The Job of Your Life with Karen Schaffer

Get out of your rut and find your passion

Posts Tagged ‘safe ways to take action’

Starting up a New Year, right

Posted by Karen on January 13, 2010

I always find myself a little rusty and slow to start in January. Maybe it’s the weather – often grey, dark a lot of the time and no Christmas tinsel to distract from the winter blues. Maybe the temperature – the cold makes everyone seem to crave stew and pasta and to lie down whenever/wherever possible. Or maybe it’s that Christmas – however you celebrate it – takes focus and preparation (it takes focus even to avoid it!) and often comes saddled with emotional decisions, family issues, boundary issues, varied expectations, extra household tasks (pine needle sweep anyone?)  and general overload.

So by the time “New Year” rolls around, I’m just as happy to crawl under the covers for another month. And I know I’m not alone.

How do you get started when all you want to do is stop?

Good question. Here are some suggestions of how to get yourself rolling towards your career and life goals despite the call of the sofa and the duvet.

1) Start slow. Don’t expect the world from yourself right away. Accomplish small tasks or make bigger tasks into smaller ones. For instance, I need to complete my end-of-year bookkeeping. Honestly? It really isn’t that hard or that long a task, but at the end of a work day it’s the last thing I want to do (oh bed-in-my-living-room, how tempting you are). So every night instead of doing the whole thing, I tackle and sort a small pile of receipts and papers from various areas in the house. I’m starting to feel motivated to go downstairs and drop them in the correct boxes (I told you it was  pretty easy stuff) which wasn’t true at the beginning of the week.

2) Spend time on your Intentions and Goals. Before taking actions, think about what you want out of the year. Goal-setting is one piece of the puzzle and is definitely motivating, especially when you take the time to imagine and allow in what it would feel like to achieve the goal. The more you can “feel the vibe” so to speak, the more promising it is you’ll reach the goal. I also like to work with a theme for the year – something a little more metaphoric that I can draw on for energy and focus. A couple of years ago I set as The Year of The Rock. I promptly and somewhat ironically broke my ankle two weeks later. But having that intention made me do a lot of digging behind the symbolism of having a broken leg in the Year of the Rock. By the end of the year I’d had some amazing breakthroughs in my life in getting more stable and grounded. The goals can fall naturally out of your intention. Or conversely, look at your goals and see what overall theme they represent and stick “Year of” in front of it.

3) Indulge yourself a little bit. Sometimes when you push yourself too hard, you miss that your body is actually asking for something it needs. Go to bed a little earlier. Take your iron and your Vitamin D. Have a meal of Mac and Cheese with veggies on the side (or not). Have a warm bath instead. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You may actually be recovering from something.

4) Get in conversation and get support. When we feel overwhelmed or unmotivated, the trick is to do the opposite of what you want to do. What you want to do is avoid connecting, and instead retreat and indulge…and then be hard on yourself for not doing anything. Getting in connection is what can shift you into a more energetic and positive state. Pick up the phone. Reach out. Have an “Intention Night” or a “How to Make 2010 Awesome” meeting with friends who are wrestling with the same ideas. Why am I writing this blog post right now? Because there are 4 other amazing career-oriented women out there who have promised to read it. Knowing they will check my blog is inspiring me to write it, so I don’t feel that all my efforts will float out into the ether. So find ways to connect yourself to people who are committed to attaining a similar mindset.

I’m writing this on the 13th of January, so clearly, I’ve been taking time myself to get going. But now that this blog post is almost done, I’m feeling more energized and ready for the month, if not the year, to unfold. And my New Year’s wish for you is that you too find what’s important to you and find safe ways to start acting on it.

Posted in Emotional Life as connected to Career | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »