How to Climb Mountains to Boost Your Motivation
Monday, July 23, 2018 at 7:05PM
Linda Samuels in Acadia, Getting Motivated, Maine, Motivation, Vacation, accountability, celebration, challenging, family, goal, husband, projects, summer

As I’m just back from our summer vacation in Maine, I have to admit that my motivation to jump into regular activities (like writing and working on the next projects) hasn’t quite kicked in yet. Vacation mode of waking up without an alarm, wearing no watch, spending uninterrupted time with my family, and exploring new places continues to permeate my heart and mind.

I don’t know about you, but I like to give myself one full day post-vacation to unpack, do laundry, return calls, go through snail mail and email before resuming my normal pace. As I settle in to write this post, I have a vacation motivation experience I’d like to share with you.

I wouldn’t describe myself as athletic.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy a long walk, swimming or an occasional bike ride, but you won’t find me actively engaged in sports. I prefer gentle exercise and stretching.

Mohegan Island

During this vacation, there was a lot of exploring. We walked all over. Maine is such a gorgeous place with beautiful seascapes, rocky shores, and wonderfully lush terrain. For those that love to hike, it’s a paradise. Before our children joined us mid-week, my husband and I took an easy hike to the top of Monhegan Island. What a gorgeous, magical place. No cars are allowed on the island. It’s quiet and peaceful with an abundance of wildflowers gracing the hills. If you ever have a chance to travel there, which involves a ferry ride, definitely go.


While I was huffing and puffing a little bit, I made it to the top of the cliff. We sat and enjoyed our lunch. There were amazing views several hundred feet above sea level of blue sky above and water crashing against the shore below. The sun was bright. Sounds of rushing waves and seagulls squawking could be heard. One seagull decided to accompany us for lunch as we sat on the cliff’s edge. I think he was hoping for some scraps.





Cadillac Mountain 

A few days later, the family took a trip to Acadia National Park. Our first stop was Cadillac Mountain with breathtaking 360-degree views of Mount Desert Island.  We did some walking off of the path and onto the sides of the cliffs. It was fairly easy, although you had to watch your footing. 









Champlain Mountain 

Following that we took a longer hike to the top of Champlain Mountain. It was a 2.2-mile round trip hike, which seemed doable. We thought it was going to be on level ground and relatively easy. None of us realized beforehand that the hike was an uphill climb on uneven paths and involved vertically climbing the rocks at some points. Remember before when I said I wasn’t athletic? So as you might imagine, this was especially challenging for me. Our kids and their partners (30 years younger,) climbed easily and were way ahead of my husband and I. While I kept going, taking short breaks as needed, I was getting physically tired and wasn't sure I could make it to the top. Doubt set in.


Every so often, one of the kids would double back to check on us. Or, they’d call out to encourage us that we were getting close and almost there. At one point, my husband asked me if I wanted to stop and head back down. He knew I was having a hard time. However, I knew I was closer to the top than the bottom. I was determined and motivated to meet the family at the top. The last stretch was especially challenging, as it was almost a straight climb up without shade on sometimes-slippery rocks.

My husband climbed behind me to make sure I was OK. But I was slowing up even more. I asked him to climb in front of me to help give me the visual motivation and pacing that I needed to reach the top. We finally arrived. The kids were waiting and cheered us on.  The views were incredible and well worth the effort. 


So what kept me motivated to keep going?

There were a few things . . .

First there was the accountability piece: people were waiting for me. Secondly, the goal was within reach. It required that I push myself beyond my normal limits to get there. Isn’t that often the case? We’re so close to our goal and then we just give up. Yet when we do push through, it feels exhilarating. Lastly, there was the celebration. The woohooing, cheering and picture taking helped to commemorate the goal. When we’re struggling with motivation, our goal isn’t always so clear. The next time I’m feeling challenged, I’m going to conjure up images of climbing Champlain Mountain along with that wonderful feeling of making it to the top. We often need to reach beyond our comfort zone to arrive at our destination.

Do you have an image or story that you use to help motivate you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!





Article originally appeared on The Other Side of Organized by Linda Samuels (
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