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5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise Every Day

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Exercise, Productivity, Time Management | 1 comment

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Photo Credit: Photl

Several weeks ago I caught a nasty head cold that left me absolutely exhausted. The sinus headaches made it difficult for me to concentrate on writing, and all I felt capable of doing (in between drinking copious bowls of soup and cups of green tea) was curling up on the couch and taking a nap. But what made it even worse was that I really wanted to work out, and I couldn’t! I was far too weak. As soon as I vanquished the cold, however, I couldn’t wait to start lifting weights again and going for long walks.

The funny thing is that I wasn’t always this motivated to exercise consistently every day. Especially in college, exercising often felt like a nuisance: just one more thing I had to squeeze into my already busy to-do list. What changed? How did exercising become a necessary part of my daily schedule, something I love doing and miss terribly if I skip a day? Today, I’m excited to share with you the tricks I’ve discovered for creating a truly addictive exercise routine.

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How to Resurrect Your Broken New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 in Productivity, Time Management | 4 comments

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Back at my desk and ready to start writing!

Hello, scholars! I have finally returned!!

Yes, that’s right. I am alive and well and a bit ashamed to admit that this blog post has been sitting unfinished in my drafts folder for several months now.

I had intended to publish it in January as my very first post of 2015. In fact, I had a beautiful New Year’s resolution for Inkwell Scholars. I planned to update at least once a week and had started coming up with a list of possible topics I could write about. But somehow I became involved in other projects, and this post fell farther and farther down the list of things that I needed to finish.

But that’s not the worst of it.

The post was going to be about how to successfully achieve your New Year’s resolutions. So essentially the longer and longer I procrastinated over the post, the harder and harder it became for me to publish it at all. Each day that I delayed updating the blog, I was creating a chain of excuses that became nearly impossible to break. “Well, I missed the first week of January,” I said to myself. “I guess I’ll wait until the second.” That week came and went and then the whole month itself, and then I planned to publish it on a Monday, but the Monday went whizzing by along with several more months.

And if you’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution that you were very serious about and then failed to follow through with, you know how terrible you can feel and how difficult it can be to start afresh.

The good news, however, is that my list of New Year’s resolutions hasn’t been a total failure. I have managed to make nice progress with quite a few of them. And best of all, I finally sat myself down at my desk in front of my computer, refused to accept any more excuses, and forced myself to type out the rest of this post. So for any of you all that still have several daunting New Year’s resolutions that you have not yet gotten up the courage to tackle, this post is for you.

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5 Steps to Effective Note Taking & Acing Your Next Exam

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Study Tips | 8 comments

5 Steps to Effective Note Taking and Acing Your Next ExamNote taking is one of the most important skills to master if you wish to be successful in high school and college. When you are sitting all day in class, it is easy for your mind to start to wander, but if you are taking notes, you are forced to concentrate on the teacher’s words and think through the concepts he or she is discussing. Even better, the notes you jot down provide a written record of the most important information covered in class, making life much easier when it is time to study for the final exam.

In today’s post, I share five important steps that have helped me supercharge my note taking and use those notes most effectively when studying for exams.

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4 Essential Books on Writing for Every Writer’s Toolbox

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Writing | 6 comments

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The seventeenth century writer Ben Johnson once observed, “For a man to write well, there are required three necessaries. To read the best authors, observe the best speakers: and much exercise of his own style.”

Johnson’s words emphasize that if we want to learn to write well, we must study the rules of grammar and the techniques of great authors. Before we can construct a palace with our own words, we need a foundation with which to build. In today’s post, I’m sharing four books that have served as several of my best writing teachers. They’ve helped me strengthen my knowledge of grammar and develop my stylistic technique. I hope they will also help you on your way to mastering the craft of writing.

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The Ultimate Guide to Creating an Inspiring Writing Workspace

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Creativity, Productivity, Writing | 6 comments

writingworkspaceMy parents recently surprised me with a wonderful gift: a beautiful leather office chair. Though I do all of my writing on my laptop (it’s easy to carry around so I can create a workspace nearly anywhere), I have found that I am much more productive when working in my room at my desk. Naturally, this new chair was the perfect addition to my little writing office.

Every writer needs a tranquil, comfortable place where he or she can retreat to, a private laboratory to experiment with new ideas and plan out new projects. The other day I was looking through the photos of the workplaces of a number of famous authors. They were all unique; some were large and sprawling while others were cramped and disorderly. But all of them shared five important characteristics that seemed essential when creating an inspiring workspace. Read on to discover these five important traits and how you too can create your own writing laboratory.

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5 Daily Habits to Feed Your Creativity

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Creativity | 14 comments

5 daily habitsI have a confession to make: I’m obsessed with to-do lists. Writing up a list of everything I need to accomplish for the day makes me feel organized and in control. And, of course, it helps me meet deadlines and finish important projects. But sometimes I become so overwhelmed by all of the things that I need to accomplish that I forget to take time to recharge my creativity.

That’s when I thought to myself: why not add several activities to my list that will help re-inspire me after completing the other slightly more mundane tasks? By making sure to check them off my to-do list each day, they will quickly become daily habits. Without further ado, here’s a little peek at the most important section of my to-do list: five daily habits that feed my creativity. Add these five activities to your to-do list, and you’ll soon be leveling up your creativity too.

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How to Accomplish Any Goal: The SMART Guide to Making Your Dreams a Reality

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Foreign Language, Productivity, Study Tips, Time Management | 10 comments

The SMART method is a fantastic fail-safe five step approach to accomplishing your goals.

The SMART method is a fantastic fail-safe five step approach to accomplishing your goals.

It’s easy to set goals. Sometimes it’s even easy taking those initial steps towards achieving them. Maybe we want to learn to play an instrument so we buy a guitar and sign up for lessons. The first few days are fun, but somehow life gets in the way, and it becomes more and more difficult to find time to practice. Or maybe we want to learn a foreign language. We buy several books that promise we will be fluent in a matter of months, but after memorizing a few phrases, our interest wanes and our goal is abandoned. What are we doing wrong? How do we maintain that original interest and energy that motivated us during those initial stages? In today’s post, I’ll share a fantastic fail-safe five-step approach called the S.M.A.R.T. method that has helped me transform my goals from dreams into reality.

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Writing Ninjas: How to Write a Book Report (video)

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Videos, Writing | 6 comments

New video episode from the Writing Ninjas: How To Write A Book Report!

New video episode from the Writing Ninjas!

Book reports are one of the most common essays assigned in school. By writing a book report, you practice outlining, summarizing, using descriptive words, and presenting your opinion. You also strengthen your reading comprehension and assure your teacher that you actually read the book she assigned. Learning how to outline and write a book report will equip you with the skills necessary for writing more advanced critique papers in the future (book reviews, movie reviews, etc).

In today’s episode of the new Writing Ninjas video series, I’m sharing a quick and easy outline that will have you writing a book report in no time.

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How to Become a Virtuoso: 5 Lessons from the Life of Child Prodigy Felix Mendelssohn

Posted by on Sep 25, 2014 in Inspiration, Productivity | 8 comments

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Felix Mendelsson: the child prodigy more gifted than Mozart. We can learn much from child prodigies.

It has long been argued that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the most brilliant child musical prodigy who ever lived. At five years old, he could already play multiple instruments, had begun composing his own pieces, and was performing in the royal courts of Europe. However, eighteen years after Mozart’s death, another child prodigy was born: Felix Mendelssohn. Like Mozart, he demonstrated a rare and breathtaking musical talent. In fact, the famous German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who had seen a seven-year-old Mozart perform in Frankfurt, dared to state that Mendelssohn’s skills surpassed those of Mozart. Goethe remarked to Mendelssohn’s teacher Zelter, “What your pupil already accomplishes, bears the same relation to the Mozart of that time that the cultivated talk of a grown-up person bears to the prattle of a child.”

Regardless of whether Mozart or Mendelssohn was the better musician, the fact that they were both so remarkably talented from such a young age is enough to fascinate and inspire. But, of course, talent alone does not equal success. The lives of child prodigies reveal many other factors that are essential for becoming a virtuoso. In today’s post, we’ll look at the life of Felix Mendelssohn to discover five lessons anyone can use to hone their own talents and skills.

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5 Steps to Starting a Writing Club & Why You Should

Posted by on Sep 16, 2014 in Creativity, Productivity, Writing | 6 comments

Writing can be a lonely task. A writing club provides you with fellow adventurers during your writing journey.

Writing can be a lonely task. A writing club provides you with fellow adventurers during your writing journey.

If you want to become a successful novelist or painter or musician, it doesn’t happen overnight. Many different factors are necessary including hard work, practice, and dedication. When reading about the lives of several famous writers, I discovered another important ingredient that contributed to their success: a writing club. Having a group of fellow writers who critiqued their work and encouraged them along the way was an essential part of their writing process.

Of course, it isn’t only writers who can form these kinds of clubs. Gathering together several likeminded friends working on similar endeavors to yours could be just the missing ingredient you all need to successfully launch your next big idea or finish a current project. In today’s post, I’ll share why these groups can be so beneficial and five steps you can take to get started forming your own.

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