Need a Pick-Me-Up? Try Energizing Your Environment

Wow, I haven’t worked out in a week. And it hasn’t been on purpose either, i.e. I didn’t have a scheduled break in my routine. I’ve just found myself being uninspired and quite blatantly lazy.

Do you ever find yourself stuck in that mode? The weather outside is depressing, it’s pitch black when you wake up in the morning, and you’re so busy that when your day is over all you want to do is crash on the couch and veg out in front of your favorite TV show?

That’s me right now, and I hate that I’ve gotten that way. Something happened, and all of a sudden, my motivation switch just turned off.

So I was on the couch watching an episode of Sex and the City – although an entertaining show, quite useless to tell you the truth – I took a step outside myself and looked at what I was doing. Yuck. I didn’t like what I was looking at. Because I knew I’m much, much more than that.

So I asked myself, why and how did I get this way? Then I took a look around my home. It was a mess. My laptop and papers were strewn about on the dining room table, mixed with random junk like CDs, a camera, and a mess of wires from random electronic chargers. Dishes were piled up in the sink. Shoes were littering the entry way, and a pile of wrinkled laundry taunted me from atop my unmade bed.

Double-yuck. I hope none of your abodes looked like mine did.

I realized my surroundings were draining me. My husband noticed it too. We’ve both been so busy, we’d let our home drift down our priority list. We’d eat dinner, pile the dishes in the sink and say, “I’ll get to that later,” only to find that “later” was two days later.

My mother would be so proud.

Think about this: You get up in the morning, and it’s dark outside. Your room is pitch black and freezing cold. You get out of bed and step into your living, and one of the first things you see is a disarray of mail you said you’d sort through yesterday. You go into the bathroom to brush your teeth, and your toiletries are scattered all over your counter. Or you get home from work, tired after a long day, and you walk into a house that is in shambles.

Doesn’t sound very energizing, does it?

What’s my point? Sometimes you have to look not only at yourself, but your surroundings to figure out why you’re feeling a certain way. Your environment has quite a significant impact on your levels of energy. Do you have an uninspiring picture hanging in your bedroom? Believe it or not, opening your eyes and looking at an inspiring picture or an uninspiring picture first thing in the morning can effect how you approach the beginning of your day.

When I see something that doesn’t move me or inspire me to get moving, I’m much less likely to move.

Make your environment an enabler for you to live the life you want to live – and that applies to the physical, mental, relational, spiritual, and financial areas of life. Your level of energy directly affects how much attention and effort you are able to apply to those areas and what you want to do with your life – working out included.

So, whether that means cleaning up the mess in your house, hanging an inspiring painting in your bedroom, buying a plant to bring life to your office, getting one of those natural light lamps to wake up to in the morning, or waking up to upbeat music rather than an annoying buzzer, do what you need to do to energize your environment.

All of the above are in my plan. Take a look around you. Do you need a plan too?

5 thoughts on “Need a Pick-Me-Up? Try Energizing Your Environment

  1. Hey Julie,

    You have touched on something VERY significant here in terms of what can motivate or demotivate someone.

    There is something deeper as well. Scientists discovered years ago that if you were exposed to a particular sensory element (visual, auditory, etc) while in a heightened state (good or bad), re-experiencing that sensory element could revive the previously experienced state.

    So if your house is cluttered and your experience a particular sharp emotion (positive or negative) while observing the house, for some people to see the house contents again (even cleaned up), can put that person back in the state they were previously experiencing. If it was a good state, then you are in great shape. If it was a bad state, then you’ve got a problem!

    The NLP folks did a lot with this back in the 80s and 90s.

    Take care,


  2. Thanks for the comment, Harry!

    Very good point you bring up. One simple example that comes to mind is music. People find music extremely nostalgic. If a certain song was playing during a significant emotional event, when that song plays again, it brings those memories and feelings back. For example, a particular song was playing during my grandmother’s funeral, so I tend to stay away from that song because it brings back the sad feelings I experienced that day. When I hear a song that was popular during the last days of of my senior year in college, I experience the happy, excited feelings I did back then.

    That should remind us to be conscious of the types of feelings your surroundings invoke in you and shape your environment accordingly. Having a pet in the house could mean one thing to one person, and something completely different to another.

    Best Regards,

  3. I recommend the flylady principles :). my house isn’t always perfect, but it’s stress free. It’s the shiny sink philosophy… like a shiny sink makes the whole kitchen stay clean. Or a made bed keeps the bathroom clean. I’ve been on her mailing list for almost 4 years now.

    Getting the motivation back is tough sometimes! I’m sending you a bit of my motivation :). I have extra today!

  4. I feel the same way. My house is filled with clutter and as much as I try to clean up, it never seems to change. I do have 3 “excuses”: a 3 1/2 year old, a 5 1/2 year old and a 39 year old. I need some help!

    Let me get off the computer and straighten up a bit. Thanks for the motivation!


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