Thursday, January 7, 2016

Focus for Today and Look Forward to Results - Tips For Not Letting the Post Holiday Blues Derail You

Stick to the knitting” is from the 1982 book “In Search of Excellence” by Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr. This means focus on what you do best. Focus on what will bring you the desired result. One of the most successful people I know introduced me to the concept of sticking to the knitting. 

With all of the resolutions of the new year come work. Tasks, jobs, activities that will get us to those end goals. If you are like me the tasks are all around and weighing down. The Christmas tree is dry and needs to go. The gingerbread houses that were once adorable are starting to look a little gross. Email inboxes that got less attention over the past few weeks need clearing out and attending to. The calendar needs to be filled with appointments that will bring business. Bills need to be paid.

Anyone else feeling the after the holidays blues this week? It can be tough getting back to the regular routine after the fun that was had over the holidays. For some if the holidays did not live up to your expectations there can be that let down as well.
In addition to that this year that there were many deaths around the holidays. And anniversaries of loved ones passing. A sad reality for those in my age group. My peers parents are older and some passed on over this past holiday season.

I spent some time thinking about shaking the holiday blues and finding balance again in the new year. I found a great quote from Vincent Van Gogh - "Great Things Are Done By A Series Of Small Things Brought Together."

Doing things each day to reach your goals, whatever they may be, can be tough. Keeping your eyes on the horizon and looking forward to the results are a way to keep going strong.

"What you do every day is more important that what you do once in a while." - Gretchen Rubin

The 21 Day De-Clutter Challenge I did this past fall was great because I was able to do small things each day to reach that big goal.  End goal - a (mostly) clutter free house to entertain in for the holidays. The challenge part of it with a defined ending is what helped keep me going and stay motivated. I had my eye on the prize.
My tip - take a little time today to define what the "prize" is for you when it comes to all of the tasks and activities on your to-do list. This exercise will help you gain clarity and momentum to keep forging ahead. I know we are only in the first week of the new year but this first few days can be the toughest.

One more tip is to have small things to look forward to along the way. If you are exercising like crazy go get a new outfit or sneakers to make it more enjoyable. Eating right? Look for a new recipe to keep from getting bored with your menu. Working on your time management? Go get a fun new planner or learn one more thing about the online planner you are using to make your efforts more efficient.

Last tip - I do like a sharp pencil and piece of paper for some things. A commenter on this blog recently mentioned Trello to me, which is a similar online tool that I may give a whirl but for this week it was pencil and paper.
To do - doing - done
My system is very simple. A blank sheet of paper held the long way labeled at the top
To do, doing, done across 3 columns. I have also done this on large sheets of paper and hung it on the wall for big projects but for a few days or a weeks worth of to-do's this approach works out well for me. Nothing complicated, no learning curve just the satisfaction of seeing the little things you have accomplished. Which will lead to big things.

How are you doing in this first week of the new year? I'd love to hear from you about what challenges you are facing and your strategies for those challenges.

All my best, Wendy

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