Staying Motivated During the Holidays

Staying Motivated During the Holidays

by Travis Rougier

Blogging for Tahoe Regional Young Professionals


As you may or may not know I am a member of a local organization called TRYP. Not only am I a member but I am also on the marketing committee, and just recently took on the role of being in charge of their blog! So now I will have some accountability with blogging and the plan is to be getting some more writing done on here as well.

I wrote a piece for them about staying motivated during the holiday season and I think it works for my main blog too. If you want to see it on TRYP’s site you can find it here: TRYP Staying Motivated During the Holidays. Otherwise it is below:

Staying Motivated During the Holidays

Wow. December has been busy! There have been Christmas parties galore, cookie making, shopping, threats from the “Storm of the Decade”, cookie eating, decorating, and more cookie eating. None of this has anything to do with work, but for me this is somehow an incredibly productive time of year, even though my work and my career aren’t my main focus.


I wish I was eating one right now…

Holidays are the time of year we like to spend with family, or to simply not be at work anymore. Many of us are burnt out. I understand, and feel very much the same way. There are some ways I have found to remain successful though:

  • Take some time off, get away, and get yourself into a place where you are relaxed and able to make sound decisions. Often our family and business life can suffer when we are stressed and making hasty choices. I am lucky enough to be able to work from home often. If it is at all possible I highly recommend it, especially at this time of year.
  • Once you have relaxed and shed the daily stress, it is time to evaluate. Look at your workload (without stressing!) and prioritize it. What has to be done by when? Once you’ve finished doing that for your job, do one for your personal life as well.
  • Now that you have a prioritized list you can address them in the correct order and stay focused on them until they are done. Make a schedule that is realistic and leaves you plenty of time to spend with family or doing what you WANT to do at this time of year. Try not to multitask. Multitasking kills your creativity, causes stress, and in the long run actually lowers your productivity. Get your work done, get some personal goals met, and stick to that schedule.
  • Here’s something you may not know: I love cookies. Chances are your coworkers do too. Sharing food with workmates is a great way to take a break, relieve holiday anxiety, and create trust. Recent studies have suggested that 57% of employees said that food-based perks make them feel more valued and appreciated. 50% said that food-perks would make them feel more satisfied with their employers. Never underestimate the power of a cookie again.
I wish I was also eating these right now...

I wish I was also eating these right now…


Before you know it you’ll have crossed off most of your list. You’ll be a bit more relaxed and you’ll have potentially cultivated better work relationships. Now when it is time to actually get back to the grind after the holidays you will already be set up for success. In fact, now would probably be a good idea to start thinking about those New Year’s Resolutions…


Benefits of Owning a Home For Your Children

Benefits of Owning a Home For Your Children

by Travis Rougier

Home Ownership

I came across this information the other day and thought I’d look at it a little bit more deeply. While I’d heard similar things before and sort of self-acknowledged it myself, I never expected the results to be so skewed in favor of home ownership.


I promise that below you will find links to the various studies and articles that these conclusions I provide come from. In my searches I found data that supported all the claims on the infographic, and a declaration from a study in 1997 that claimed, “Home ownership compared to renting leads to a 13 to 23 percent higher-quality home environment”. The study goes on to describe in extreme detail what that home environment consists of and what higher-quality is defined as. I also found that daughters of homeowners have a 27% lower probability of having children of their own as teenagers than children of renters. Furthermore, while the high school and college graduation rates are fantastic, they only begin to tell of the benefits that follow of having completed those milestones. We all have seen THOSE studies on how economically better off people are with education under their belt.

Some of the studies had theories on why these positive benefits occur. The theories include the belief that homeowners are more likely to make improvements to their homes. Improvements to create better play areas, reduce any hazards, put in more quality lighting, and provide more intellectual stimuli such as magazine subscriptions. Other studies conclude that the experience of hiring tradespeople and laborers, as well as budgeting for various home repairs can help homeowners to develop management skills which can also be used to improve their parenting. Another theory suggested that owning a home simply creates a more stable environment by proxy, since homeowners typically move less frequently than renters.

Ask Questions, Become Informed

Some interesting data and theories. I did find some studies that attempted to refute the data, but their conclusions were muddled at best. In the end the suggestions of these other studies was that we need to improve schools and communities to mimic the benefits of home ownership. In the words of LeVar Burton “but you don’t have to take my word for it.” My sources are below and as usual I urge you to learn more. Let me know what you think of this information in the comments.

Sources This is the 1997 study that kicked off the modern-day theorizing of this topic.

Lake Tahoe Home of the Week – Kid’s Edition #1

Lake Tahoe Home of the Week – Kid’s Edition #1

So each weekend I have been going out to get familiar with the inventory here in Tahoe. As of right now I’m just going through the vacant properties as it allows me to bring along the family and then we can go out and get lunch afterwards.

I have quickly learned that the toughest critics happen to be the girls. It is surprising what they do and do not like, and inevitably each week they have a favorite house, and one that they can’t get out of fast enough. For them this last week, the clear winner was a house on Cree Street off the Pioneer Trail area, just before Meyers.

Green gets points.  As do lawns.
Green gets points. As do lawns.

The oldest, immediately upon pulling up in the drive loved the color of the paint, “Ohh Daddy, its green!” Green is her favorite color, and so this house was already off to an early lead compared to the others. While walking up to the door, both of the kids ran onto the lawn to perform somersaults and proclaim how much that they love grass. Super, I’m sure the whole neighborhood heard them as well.

We get inside and the girls went straight for the sliding glass door leading to the backyard. This sliding glass door got some points from them because they could both lock and unlock it, and open it fairly easily. The back deck was pretty nice. The girls enjoy looking into the neighbors windows when elevated like that, so the youngest spent a moment watching Spongebob on someone’s TV through their window. I’m sure some day we’ll be able to teach them manners… some day.

The oldest proclaims that she loves hot tubs as she sprints past it into a dog kennel which according to her is “spooky and cool”. I think to myself that it might be handy to have for when the kids are acting up… just kidding. That would be wrong.

Looking down the backyard.
Looking down the backyard.

Following them down the yard there is a treehouse-type slide and play area set up. Very cool, even for me. There is also a sandbox, some benches, and some bird houses set up, and I instantly recognize that they might not see the rest of the house, and may in fact want to stay here the rest of the day… maybe the night if they can swing it. I am, however, an amazing parent and successfully bribed them with pizza and soda persuaded them to check out the rest of the house and move on from the “coolest backyard EVER”.

The "treehouse-type slide".  Also a nice vantage point to watch TV in the neighbor's houses.
The “treehouse-type slide”. Also a nice vantage point to watch TV in the neighbor’s houses.

In the kitchen both the girls diligently inspected every single cupboard. The lazy susan corner cupboard got the “this is cool” with a thumbs up, and the cat door on the laundry room door got both of them talking about how they wished that they could fit through the tiny door. In the end they decided it wasn’t actually for a cat, but for fairies that might want to help them do laundry. I anxiously await the day I get help from the laundry fairies.

I can see EVERYTHING daddy!
I can see EVERYTHING daddy!

A house with stairs instantly gets points from the girls, but this one got a few extra as it has a “spy spot” so that they could monitor kitchen activities. Once upstairs I have to make mention of how large the master bedroom was. Very large, and tons of windows. The girls were captivated by the other rooms though.

While I was checking out the master bedroom I could hear gasps from both the girls and they both immediately began saying things like “It’s so beautiful!” and “This room is mine, you can have the other one.” One room, was Pink and purple, the other a lavender or periwinkle and teal. They both began explaining to me (simultaneously of course) what they loved about the rooms.

They liked it THIS much.
They liked it THIS much.

The curtains, the carpet, the paint, the closets, the curtain adornments, the peg hangers, and the windows looking out at “their” playground. The ONLY negative I heard was that the teal room didn’t have peg hangers like in the pink room, and that it didn’t have curtain adornments. After much discussion and calculating out the scores, they came to their conclusions. They liked it. They liked it THIS much —->

So there you have it. Their home of the week is located at 1569 Cree Street. You can find the MLS information on it below and many pictures of it. If you’d like to take your critics there to see if it would be a good fit for you let me know and I’d be happy to show it to you.

Click the listing below to see more pictures and get more information on the house!