Photo created by Erika Walton || @ownyourpath_

Everyone’s path is a bit different. No one path is the “right” one, and the best path for you is the one that you create for yourself. So where do you begin? Right here. This post will walk you through the process I followed when creating my path. I share with you all of the things that motivate, inspire, nurture and empower me so that you can apply it to your own path. Take my suggestions or don’t. Your path is yours, my path is MINE. Own your path.

Step 1: What motivates you?

Photo created by Erika Walton || @ownyourpath_

I am motivated by:

  • Journaling/reflecting
  • Friends/family
  • Motivational quotes
  • Tracking my progress
  • Maintaining consistency
  • Education/learning
  • Rewarding myself

My biggest motivator right now is myself. I didn’t think I’d ever give myself credit for being a positive resource in my own life but here we are. Over the last few months, I have realized that I am my biggest fan, my biggest supporter and my biggest motivator.

Through journaling and self-reflection, I came to the realization that at the end of the day, what I choose to do and how I choose to live my life is completely up to me. As is my thoughts, feelings and reactions. In the past, one little push off course and I would think my day was ruined and I couldn’t recover. Now, in this new season of life, I find that when something forces me to take an unexpected turn, I am able to stop, reset and say — this does not define today, this does not define my mood, this does not define me or my progress on this path. This is a lesson with something to learn and help me grow.

So if you didn’t workout this morning like you usually do. So what! You’ll get that workout in later today or today will be your rest day for the week. Be flexible.

There are no wrong turns on your path, just detours. Every turn is an opportunity for growth.

If you’re struggling to feel motivated. Journal it out. Think about and find the meaning behind your why. What makes you want to be on your path? Why are you here? What are your hopes, dreams, goals and feelings about the future? You’ll be amazed at what comes out on the paper.

Photo created by Erika Walton || @ownyourpath_

What if that doesn’t work? Try something else.

When I can’t find the motivation in myself, I look to others. Instagram and Pinterest are some great places to find motivation. I love Pinterest for its motivational quotes and I love connecting with women on Instagram who motivate me. I find looking outside myself most helpful on days when I am just not feeling it and need a little push or a reminder that I can do this, that I got this and that I am a strong, bad ass women. I have a Pinterest board for all of the components that make up MINE and it definitely helps me to revisit this regularly as a reminder to own my path and to stay on my path.

Photo created by Erika Walton || @ownyourpath_

For days when I don’t have time for Pinterest, I use the app, Motivation.. The app sends motivational quotes right to your phone and your smart watch so you don’t have to seek them out. The little reminders make me smile and keep me motivated throughout the day and I don’t have to stop working to see them.

Photo from Motivation App

How to keep the motivation flowing

I am a creature of habit. If I make something a routine, I tend to keep showing up and I stick to the plan. 3 months ago, if you had told me to wake up at 430am every day to take some quiet time for myself with my coffee before getting in a workout, I would have thought you were crazy and I would have given you EVERY excuse as to why I couldn’t possibly do that. Now— I wake up early every weekday and it is my favorite part of the day. Creating this morning routine helps me maintain consistency with my workouts and my self-care practices.

I am also a very visual person so tracking my progress towards my goals helps to keep me on track. I track my progress on my path through my fitness apps, in my journal and just by checking in with myself throughout the day.

To-do lists help as well. There is nothing better than crossing off an accomplishment or putting a check mark next to something once you have met a goal.

Be a lifelong learner

As a Nurse Educator, I have always had a passion for learning new things. I am constantly seeking out new information to help me along on my path, whether that is related to self-love, self-growth, fitness, and/or nutrition. I get a lot of my wellness education through wellness workshops, wellness retreats, podcasts, articles, and others blogs. Learning new information is motivating to me in itself but hearing others stories is another huge motivator for me.

Reward yourself

I’d be lying if I said a little incentive didn’t keep me going. When I started my workout routine, I would buy myself a love gift every Friday for completing my 5 workouts that week. Whether it was a new coffee mug, an Ello cup, Calia by Carrie leggings or a new journal, I rewarded myself every week in the beginning of my path. I think that it is so important to recognize that following your path is not easy. Putting in the work is necessary for success in all that we do and we deserve to reward ourselves for the work we have put in.

Photo created by Erika Walton || @ownyourpath_

Step 2: What inspires you?

Photo created by Erika Walton || @ownyourpath_

I am inspired by:

  • Positive self talk
  • Positive affirmations
  • Self reflection

Speak kindly to yourself

Positive self-talk can really shift your mindset. I spent years talking down to myself. I would say things to myself that I would have never said to anyone else. When I started replacing the negative thoughts and the negative self-talk with positive vibes, that is when I really started seeing a shift in my mindset.

This did not happen overnight. It took me a while to retrain my brain and to learn how to be nice to myself. I believe I am still in the process of this work. To help with this, I actually ended up making my own positive affirmation note cards to really solidify the things I needed to say to myself everyday to see results. I found positive affirmations on Pinterest that I related to and also came up with a few of my own. I flip through the note cards often to ingrain the positive thoughts into my mind. This practice has really helped me learn to speak kindly to myself, to believe in myself, and to go after my dreams.

Photo created by Erika Walton || @ownyourpath_

Where to begin with self reflection

I started out by asking myself, what do you want to be known for? What impact do you want to leave on the world? What makes you happy? What truly inspires you?

Once I discovered the answers to these questions, it really gave me clarity regarding what I want to focus my time and energy on. I felt inspired to follow my hopes and dreams even if they weren’t conventional or related to the path I was on at the time. This blog is just one piece of that.

Step 3: What nurtures you?

Photo created by Erika Walton || @ownyourpath_

I am nurtured by:

  • Healthy food swaps
  • Cooking/baking
  • Fitness
  • Crafts
  • Watching stand-up comedy
  • Music therapy
  • Dance parties
  • Staying hydrated
  • Deep breathing
  • Progressive Relaxation
  • Taking walks
  • Mohdoh
  • Meditation/Vizualization
  • Organizing my space
  • Watching the sunrise
  • Mani/pedi
  • Facemask
  • Bubble bath
  • Pajamas and a warm fuzzy blanket
  • Diffuser

One might say that this is the easiest step in the MINE framework. I would agree. Nurturing ourselves is all about self-care and that’s what makes this part of the process so fun. This is the part where you pick the things, the practices or the activities that make you happy. With that being said, it’s important to remember that it’s not just about your body. We must nurture our minds, our bodies and our souls to be the best versions of ourselves.

Step 4: What empowers you?

Photo created by Erika Walton || @ownyourpath_

I am empowered by:

  • Being honest with myself
  • Trusting my intuition
  • Being vulnerable
  • Following my heart
  • Dreaming big
  • Rephrasing my limiting beliefs
  • Building others up
  • Taking others constructive advice
  • Positive affirmations
  • Manifesting my life
  • Staying open to new ideas and new thoughts

ah! Just writing this makes me feel empowered. The feeling of empowerment truly comes from knowing that you are the best and truest version of you and you just need to dive into what that means for you. If you do that, then anything you say or do will come from a place of love and authenticity and I promise you will feel empowered. Two of my favorite hash tags of all time are #girlssupportinggirls and #empoweredwomenempowerwomen I am empowered through empowering you to own your path!

That’s a wrap

So there you have it. That’s the MINE framework and you have the power to customize it to work for you. As the days, weeks and months go on, I will continue to share resources with you that you can use to build and expand on your path. Stay motivated, inspired, nurtured, and empowered friends!

Photo created by Erika Walton || @ownyourpath_

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