We’re a week into a new year – chances are that by now you have maintained your efforts in one of your resolutions, and either re-evaluated or ditched another one; you’re planning on returning (if you haven’t already returned) to work; and you’re probably feeling a little on the flat side following the silly season.
The simplified psychological explanation behind this is pretty easy to follow, so I've mapped it out:
We are drawn into weeks of building excitement and gift giving, followed by a climactic celebration of the new year, a few more days away from work that we’ve spent with family and long lost friends, and now, we’ve returned to the old grind stone and life has resumed as normal. We are tired, and for most of us, the past month has been a bit of a rollercoaster. It is NORMAL to return to work and experience a short period of discontent.
Usually, this will dissolve in the first week or so. Of course, there are things we can do to help kick-start our motivation.
So, want to turn that frown upside down? How about trying:
Update your photo - remind yourself of your most precious loved ones. Whether it’s a picture on your desk or in your wallet, a simple happy snap has the power to make you smile and help put the worries of the day in perspective.
Harness the power of the resolution -like the majority, you’ve probably resolved to be happier, healthier, more balanced etc in the coming year. Take the time to go for walk of an evening (or morning if you’re inclined), join a social club or sports team, write a journal, learn to meditate – activities don’t need to cost money or significant amounts of time to have a significant impact on your quality of life. If you need help to set a successful resolution, pay attention to number 3….
Be SMART about goal setting - where resolutions can be non-specific or activity driven, SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic (or Relevant), and Time-framed. In other words, SMART goals can assist you to be really considered in what it is that you want to achieve, and help provide the framework for you. Goal setting for both career and personal life is important at any time of the year, but can be an especially great motivator early on in the year, and help keep you on track over the coming months.
Find additional areas of passion outside of work - as somebody who gains an immense amount of pleasure from my work I understand how tempting it is to throw yourself entirely into your career. However, to protect yourself from burnout it is important to have interests and links to others outside of work. Not sure what else you’re interested in? Why not try some experimenting – with the amount of information available at our fingertips now, we’ve never been in such a position to learn more about … well … anything! You might find that you have a flair for writing, painting or other crafts, or a knack for investigating historical facts, or even an ambition to have a crack at a local comedy night.