How-To stay motivated even when you’re not feeling well

Perhaps the most difficult part of building a tiny house is truly designing it (internally and externally) the way you want without ever having stepped into your trailer. Sure you can dream, measure, space things, measure again, sketch, etc. But there just is no end to trying to perfect a design. I know. What I am sharing today is version 4 of our interior. And I am pretty sure this is subject to change to once we get the shell of the house built. Space does seem to close in on you once you get some 2″ x 4″ studs surrounding you.

But that isn’t all. I awoke Saturday morning with a horribly itchy throat. I have had this sort of annoyance before and it is typically the change in weather, etc. I expect this is no different. Saturday turned into Sunday and then Sunday became today. As I sit here I am balancing typing, blowing, sniffing, exhaling, and blinking my heavy eyelids. No doubt the stress from our hacked site this past week is weighing into the scenario as well. I tell you. When it rains, it pours. But the show much go on.

I bought some lights and some wire this weekend and I intend to get them installed and bolted on this week in anticipation of our VIN assignment and titling. I also want to start with some garden prep and soil amendment. Spring is coming and this is NO time to not feel well. And lest I forget that whole “day job” thing in which I work from about 7:45am to about 5:30pm each day.

So how do I stay motivated? Besides a loose foundation in self-inflicted agony, I find the following tips to be quite useful as well.

  1. Remind yourself of your overall goal. Imagine the first cold night when you and your family are snuggled into your tiny house drinking cocoa and listening to a good program on the radio or watching a movie on the Internet or just playing a board game. Think of the feeling each month when the mail arrives day-to-day and you realize no house payment bill will be coming in. Focus on the small things to jumpstart your productivity.
  2. Schedule breaks. We all know Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither will your tiny house be. Neither will your blueprint be. Neither will the trim be. You have to pace yourself. Schedule reasonable breaks in which you can just reflect on all that you have accomplished. Tell yourself that you’re going to take fifteen minutes off after you complete x amount of work. When you do take a break, don’t just continue to tinker or get busy with something else. Get up and take a walk, run a short errand, or do some exercises. Heck, grab a glass of iced tea or a warm cup of coffee. You’ll find that not only do you look forward to each break, but that each break renews and refreshes your energy and creativity.
  3. Alternate projects. In general, it’s best to avoid interruptions. However, if you find yourself getting bogged down in a particular project (and your schedule allows for it), then you may went to switch to a different project for a while. Be careful to choose something that uses a different part of your skillset. Often working on something different for a while lets you return to the project that you were “stuck” on with fresh energy and fresh ideas.
  4. Have regular routine. Habits can be powerful things. It’s a proven fact that a habit can be very difficult to break. Some people have made a small fortune with books and courses to help people break their bad habits. If you develop the habit of starting your day at the same time everyday, working during a certain part of the day, every day, then you you’ll find it much easier to schedule your time and ensure that all projects are completed on time.
  5. Take care of your health. It’s no fun working when you are sick, and that’s a fact. Eat right. Get enough rest. Exercise. I could write post after post about taking care of yourself. But I digress. Even when you are sick you should take care of your health. Double up on the Vitamin C. Invest in a neti pot. Drink a “mean green” each morning. The better you feel, the more work that you will be able to get done.

Oh yes, lest I forget. The design. We’ll be talking about it more in a post later this week. However, I encourage you to submit your questions, concerns, thoughts, etc. Remember, our trailer is 30′ long so we have a bit more space than some of the more popular designs.

And by the way, what do you do to stay motivated even when you aren’t feeling well?


  1. says

    I like the routine and the health ones the best.  Knowing what to do when and where is  a great comfort when it seems like there is SO much to do.  My body is how I provide for my family now so I need to take care of it.

  2. Anonymous says

    I have been going through the same stuff!  Nice list, I have a set order of things I want to get done but I found I was procrastinating a particular task too, and thus the whole project.  This weekend I set up a work time, I still didn’t want to do the next thing so instead I worked on a more appealing aspect.  At least I got SOMETHING done rather than nothing, progress is progress :).  What is the area all the way to the end, kiddo’s bed?  I hope you feel better soon!

    • says

      The area at the back (lightest part of the trailer) is our daughters “bedroom,” so to speak. Because of her age she won’t require too much. Of course the top will be the sleeping area (well secured and quite protective) and the bottom will be setup as an indoor play area with a artist board, her toys (she doesn’t have all that many), and maybe a beanbag chair or something. When viewing our design it is helpful to remember that we live rurally and have a small farm so much of our life is outside in one capacity or another. 

  3. Theresa Schultz says

    I can’t reccommend red tea enough.  It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, plus you can substitute it for water.  If I don’t feel well, I drink at least one mug every 3 hours.  I feel rotten for a couple days, but then I’m able to shake whatever is “bugging” me.

  4. Chelsey says

    Thanks for this post! You have no idea how badly I needed some motivation this week. We haven’t even started our tiny house yet but I already am overwhelmed with all the planning. If I’m getting stressed out at this stage, will I ever be able to finish our project!? My husband and I are planning to build a slightly larger tiny house, using a 16×16′ shed from home depot. I hope we can do it!

    • says

      Of course y’all can do it. You are going to get stressed but I encourage you to remember that it is a work in progress. You are always going to want to move this this way or move that that way. Remember, a house should grow with your family; not vice versa.

  5. Heidi says

    While I really like the idea of tiny homes, I would never want my bathroom right next to my kitchen. I lived for 3 years in an apartment that was  situated like that and quite honestly, it was revolting. Toilets spray up a mist when they are flushed…and I would like to suggest stairs to access the loft. You won’t be young forever. 😉 I hope you feel better soon!

    • says

      Thanks for writing in Heidi. We are actually going to float up to the loft. We aren’t even planning stairs or a ladder. This is why I always hesitate to share blueprints. They are easy to mininterpret because most viewers only see the literal plans. We are working on captains staircase design that will serve us most immediately. We are also building our tiny house trailer to be part of a pod system. Within a few years of it being in our land it will be added on to via a hallway which will give access to a bedroom. This bedroom will become the “master” while our daughter will then transition up to the sleeping loft. As for the bathroom/kitchen situation. We currently live in 220 sq. ft. and have the bathroom door shut 99% of the time when we are using it. I am not sure what spray you might have endured but we don’t seem to have a problem and we keep the lid down when not in use. We are terribly clean folks and do our best to be wise about the spreading of germs or even fecal matter. 

      And yes, I am feeling much better today. Thank you so much!

      • Heidi says

         Teehee, I like your sense of humor. I see a lot of ladders in tiny homes and while I agree that they would be space saving and easy to install and work around, it seems to me, a balance challenged individual ;-), that they could be tricky for some to use.  I admire your drive and have been popping in from time to time to check your progress. I have tiny home envy. My family is too large for a tiny home…one day though, when my kids leave the nest. 

        • says

          Yeah, we are not keen on the ladder as of now. We are looking more at a Captains Stair which has a bit more of a steep rise but is not as tricky as a ladder in the dark of night (or prime diaper changing time!). Thank you so much for popping in when you can Heidi. We do appreciate it!

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