Ah...a fresh new year. Overwhelming, isn't it? December 31st, drink in hand, this was gonna be your year. You were gonna be a rock star and epic shit was gonna happen. Then, January 1st came. Oh well, better sleep off the the weekend. Things don't really start until Monday, January 2nd, right? Then Monday came and went and you barely hung on as you tried to both catch up and recover from the holidays. So here we are, a few days in and you're feeling a bit defeated already.
I've either been in that same spot or heard that same story a thousand times. If your "year of awesome" hasn't quite started yet, let me help you with these simple (yet powerful) suggestions. Please remember...you don't need to climb Everest to have an epic year. Small moves lead to big rewards.
Here we go!
1 - FIND SOMETHING YOU LIKE TO DO
Before we begin, let me be clear: I'm not talking about finding your passion or your ultimate purpose in life. For heavens sake, take the pressure off! All you have to do is find something you enjoy doing on a regular basis. Not sure what that might be? Congratulations! By being open to the process and trying new things, you will find out a TON about yourself and will probably be surprised by what you really do and don't like. Booze-laden paint class? Sure! Dancing to Latin hip hop with grown-ass women wearing neon shirts? Sign me up! Visiting art exhibits where everything looks like scribbles from a 4 year old? Why not?!
2 - COMMIT TO ENJOYING YOUR WORK...TODAY
Whether you've landed your dream job or are toiling away at something you hate, you can't change the fact that TODAY, this very day, you are there. Since that's the case, don't harm your mental game by throwing up your hands and taking a victim stance. Show up on time. Arrive alert and ready to take on the day. Avoid the negative chatter. Eat a healthy and hearty lunch. Take a mind-clearing walk. Say something nice to a co-worker. It all adds up.
Don't get me wrong...
If you truly hate your job deep in your bones, you need to make a plan for change ASAP! You will find, however, that it will be nearly impossible to make that change while you're stuck in a negative loop. Give the hours of your life the respect they deserve and you'll find that positive change, whether at your current workplace or a new one, will come together quicker than you expect. Promise.
3 - MAKE A KICK-ASS PLAYLIST (and keep it close!)
Whether you dig Mozart or Metallica, Ricky Martin or The Ramones, Pitbull or...okay, I'll stop there. We all have songs that make us go "hell ya!" Music that makes us want to dance, do something rebellious, shout out loud. Gather at least 12 songs and then, whenever you feel "meh", press play and rock that soul medicine - hard!
Don't forget to give your playlist an awesome name. Some suggestions:
- Crush It
- Sanity Saver
- Oxygen Mask
- Badass In Charge
- Own This Town
- Damn, I Look Good
- Let's Do This
- Scream Into My Pillow
- Gonna Burn This House Down
- Go To Sleep...Momma Needs a Cocktail
4 - SAY "THANK YOU"
It's ridiculously simple, has a huge impact and is often not done enough! This one thing alone could change the game for you. Send out the good karma and it will definitely come back to you in ways you never anticipated. Do it a few times a week, without expectation, and see what happens. Whether via text, email or snail mail, contact at least 1 person and thank them before your head hits the pillow tonight. (Yes, I'm always watching...)
5 - PERFORM RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS
Want to give that good karma bank and your mental game an extra boost? Start performing random acts of kindness! Why? Not only does it feel good, it can be scary! Yep, scary, because we don't know how others will react to or receive our gifts. So what, do it anyway! Traveling away from your comfort zone is the only sure-fire way to find the path you should be on.
To be clear, it doesn't have to cost a thing. Elderly neighbour? Shovel his/her driveway. Overwhelmed co-worker? Offer to help. Impressed by someone's art/efforts/accomplishments? Write them a little note and let them know. The more you do, the more you will find joy in the act of doing rather than the expectation of reward. Your brain will start to become so positively focused on opportunities to do good that you will invite all that good right back to you. (I know it all sounds a bit hippie dippy, but this stuff really works!)
6 - JUST DO IT
Not feeling the love yet? That's okay. Fake it 'til you make it! Yes, I said that. If we always wait until we feel like doing something, we may never make a move. Action leads to more action. Something powerful happens when we just DO. Don't overanalyze it, don't overthink it. Just do it. Try the new vegan restaurant down the street. Invite a new co-worker out for coffee. Dare a friend to join you at the gym. Slap on your favourite lipstick before heading out to the grocery store. Again, take the pressure off. You don't need to make a 10-year plan. All you have to do is make an effort to enjoy today, this very day, and the rest will eventually take shape.