Project Inspiration: Fight Bad Moods with Creativity

By , Project Inspiration: Fight Bad Moods with Creativity
"You can't change what was in the past…not by worrying about it, complaining about it, dwelling in it.  You also can't build the future.  You can impact the now…today….this moment.  By impacting your now, you have the best possibility of impacting your future." ~Author Unknown

That quotation routinely brings me back to thinking about living in the now, the present moment, and making the most of it:

For me, part of trying to live a life of successful maintenance has to be based on understanding what I can truly impact.  Can I impact the consequences of my food choices yesterday?  No, not really.  Those calories are already in my body.  Does wasting the day away regretting, fretting, or languishing in a downer mood help?  No!  If I do drop into one of those moods, and I'm sure you know the one I'm talking about, I'm thankful for one of my teenage daughters.  She'll remind me not to be a "Debbie Downer."  That's a name she got from a Saturday Night Live skit where Debbie is always focusing on the negative no matter what else is going on.  She will remind me that I've told her that in any given moment you can choose to change your mood and your mindset, and that I'm not allowed to disregard my own advice.  I think I might have to set up a text code with her for when she goes off to college.  I'll send her #DDM for Debbie Downer Mood, and she'll help me out of it!

So what are some ways that I try to focus on my ability to impact this moment and make it a successful one?  Well for one, I have the quotation listed above on my refrigerator as a visual reminder to focus on each food choice.  I also created an inspiration jar for me and two of my best buddies for our healthy lifestyle journey.  I realized one day while working on my inspirational journal that I had accumulated a lot of good stuff in there over the past year.  I wanted a way to make that work for me in a fast way during moments where I might be getting the #DDM on, and the idea of my own inspiration jar was born. 

Take a jar of your choosing and decorate it however you want.  Read through some fitness magazines, healthy cooking magazines, etc. and make a list of quotes that pop out at you.  I used Microsoft Word and chose a label format that allowed me to type 30 quotes to a page.   That's easy to print and cut into same size pieces of paper that you can fold and put in your jar.  Fill your jar with enough quotes for at for a month.  Each day as you remove a piece of inspiration, put it in a container for storage.  That way you aren't pulling out the same thing twice.  As you approach the end of the month, it's time to repeat the label making process and come up with some new motivation.  This ongoing process trains your mind to constantly seek out positive thoughts and helps overcome negative thought process habits that we've learned over the years.

Here is a picture of what my finished product looked like:

In the jar was one month's worth of quotes.  I then emailed my two buddies this blog and they both accepted the task of rotating months with me.  That way we each go through the process four times a year, and we are accountable to one another to keep it going. I also emailed them the label format.  Now all they have to do is fill it in and email it back. We can each print off our monthly list and put them in our jars.  If you choose to participate in Project Inspiration and you use twitter, send me a message @michelenecleary and use the hashtag  #projectinspiration or leave me a message here.  That way we can share quotes and thoughts for our project.  I also bought paper that matched a color in the SparkPeople logo!

One other thing I've done to keep a visual reminder in front of my eyes is to create a vision collage on the white board in my office.  It's right across from my desk and is in my direct line of sight anytime I look up.  Hanging right next to it are all of my bibs that I've earned from races I've done since joining SparkPeople.  It helps me to remember that it took a lot of steps to lose 95 pounds, and it will take many more to maintain my weight loss.

The thing about losing a pound of flesh is that it isn't permanently gone unless we make it so.  Making it stay gone takes effort, consistency, and a constant supply of motivation.   Creating the healthy lifestyle that will help you maintain is work, but in the end it is well worth the time and investment. 

What are you doing to help you improve your thought process each day?  Do you have a motivational tip you can share?  How do you pull yourself out of the #DDM moments?

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Very cool project.
I save pictures and quotes I find inspirational into a folder on my computer. Report
Worrying doesn't change anything except use up time and energy for nothing. You used your time and energy to be so creative. You are an inspiration. Gave me an Attitude Adjustment! Report
Awesome job, and thank you so much for making an inspiration jar for me!! I love the inspirational quotes, but I almost love the jar more! It is really spectacular! :)) Report
What a great idea! I'd like to get in on that too! license plate letters are that order!!!! Report
Michaelene - I could really use something like this. My problem doesn't revolve around eating usually - but I do get the DDM's and when they hit - I am the worst: mother, friend, teacher, etc. I have been trying different things, including seeing a counselor who is helping me see the value in myself. A dear friend gave me a book for Christmas to inspire me to "re-fill my lamp" when we run low on "oil" we don't burn as brightly! I would love to be a part of the project - Don't know how to access the label maker on word though.
Frances Report
This is pretty neat! I read a lot and sometimes wish I could remember "words of wisdom". Report
Reading or listening to the news always works for me Report
What a wonderful idea. I have one magazine I'm always getting that has some great quotes that I always wanted to save somewhere and this will make a great place for them. Report
HAPPINESS is just a state of mind. You can bring it on any time if you practice enough. Then it becomes a habit.
Today I am planning a summer function for our City. I just had the first brain storming session and it is looking good to go WOO HOO. Happiness is! Report
HAPPINESS is just a state of mind. You can bring it on any time if you practice enough. Then it becomes a habit.
Today I am planning a summer function for our City. I just had the first brain storming session and it is looking good to go WOO HOO. Happiness is! Report
What a great idea! I'm going to pick up a jar and get started!
Love the idea. For my part, when I am in "my mood", I paint. And the time goes by very fast and it calmes me. Report
I read Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of NOW" where he teaches to live in the NOW as it is the ONLY time we ever have. Wayne Dyer, PhD has many great books on how to live and his first one "Your Erroneous Zones" back in 1976 was one of the best. Being organized helps to avoid mistakes, so it pays to plan. Report
Great the jars. I m hoping to express more creativity on this new life journey as well. SP is so helpful, I thank God everyday for finding this site! Report
Wow! This really brings home the commitment to consistency one must make to ones self and health to keep the gains one makes! I too have a vision board, collect my race bibs and read heaps here at Spark. What I wish to incorporate more fully is gratitude morning and night to keep those bad moods at bay! Thank you, everyone for your great contributions! I love what CMRAND54 suggests! Report
Love it! Report
I like to do something similar to DMRAND54 - I find that reaching out to someone with encouragement or gratitude has a very positive effect on my day and a ripple effect that one can almost see.

I also find that doing something nice for someone, no matter how small or anonymous the gesture, gives me a long-lasting lift. Report
Love it as always!! Thanks Report
I have two ideas for being more positive that I learned in a course for managers, at work.
1. Start every day by sending someone an email that either thanks them or praises them for a job well done. That starts your day with a few minutes of gratitude. You have to stop and think about all the wonderful, competent people you know.
2. End every day by writing a sentence or two about the best thing that happened to you all day. If you know you are going to do this, you spend the day recognizing all the good things that happen to you so you can pick the best one to write about in the evening.
Spark People works well for either of these suggestions. You can always send someone a positive message of thanks or congratulations. You comment on their feed, or their blog, or send a goodie. And you can use your own feed to express the best thing that happened to you all day, or you can write in your SP journal.
Why did we learn this in a management course? Because happy people are the most productive. It's true! Report
Great Idea! Report
A wonderful idea! Kudos to you! I have always tried to be the positive role model for others but inside (at times) I am actually in a pity party mode #PPM. Doesn't make me a fake person, I just try not to pull other's moods down as moods are contagious. I have actually started a group to help push them & myself along in their journey… I would love to share this blog post if that is ok? Report
Very cool idea! I believe I may already have some paper in SparkPeople colors!! I'm also on Twitter with same screen name as here. I find that Spark Motivational quotes are cool (and yes, I just got the new SP iPhone app for Motivational Quotes). Thanks for sharing! Report
SInce my son died in Sept., my husband and I started a remodeling project on the upstairs of the house. Part of that remodeling is constructing a final resting place for him in a memorium on the landing upstairs. The decorating, the planning, the sorting, the cleaning has brought many tears and much joy as this task progresses. Creating a new home for us and a resting place for him has been a decidedly healing process for both of us. Report
I think creativity is the perfect antidote for Debbie Downer. The rush I get after finishing a project is similar to the endorphins after a workout. Good for you for flexing your creative muscle to keep yourself motivated! Report
i would love to be a part of the project inspiration... Report
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