How’s your motivation holding up?

How’s your motivation? Are you still feeling fresh as a spring chicken, or are you starting to flag..? Is the long haul from the summer to the winter break now starting to take its toll?

Or maybe that’s just me?!

Somehow, I doubt that I’m the only one looking forward to some time-out, a rest, a holiday…some time to rejuvenate.

I mean, isn’t this what the winter is all about? The winding down, a period of quiet, dormancy in preparation for the renewal of life in the new year… ‘New year’ in the sense of the starting over of the cycle once again…

But we seem to have winter a little bit back to front nowadays, don’t we? While everything around us is resting, preparing to sleep and becoming dormant for a spell, there we are merrying the December evenings away night after night on an endless merry-go-round of raucous Christmas ‘dos’…

When everything else in nature is saying, ‘I’m just going to nod off for a while…’, we say, ‘let the festivities begin!’

We are such curious creatures, when you consider it…we defy our nature over and over again.

The motivation meme

There’s also a huge social suggestion that we ought to be ‘on it’ all year round. When our true instincts are telling us to wrap up our projects and acknowledge all that we’ve achieved during the year, up pops another motivational meme reminding us to repeatedly front-load our productivity to optimise our monetary worth….

It’s just not sustainable.

And aren’t we at a point where we need to make life sustainable in very real terms?

We’re shifting our viewpoint, aren’t we, on how we’re living our lives, because the status quo seems to be leading us – and the planet – towards the brink… The brink of our body’s health and the brink of planetary resources.

I exaggerate with both actually – no doubt we could carry on in this same manner for a little while yet. Maybe…

The perfect winter storm

One winter, a few years ago, I was really quite poorly – all as a function of pushing on and on and on. It was like perfect storm – ‘events’ corroborating to keep me burning the candle when I was well and truly down to the wick…at both ends!

You know the situation – you’ve been non-stop at work for what seems like all year (!), and then at the end of a particularly relentless week, you have a Christmas party to go to. But you’ve been looking forward to it! A night out in a snazzy restaurant, music, dancing to the best of the Christmas songs (is that an oxymoron?!?) and a bit of ‘letting your hair down’…yet you’re exhausted.

Truly exhausted. Literally drained.

Drained in the sense that, sensibly, you’d be going to bed at 7pm and sleeping through the entire weekend.

And so, after this particular frenzied week, I went to the Christmas party on the Friday night…and then the next one on the Saturday, and by the Sunday lo and behold, before Joseph could say little donkey, there was no chance of abating the imminent illness ‘by sleeping it off’ and I had succumbed to being rather unfestively poorly…

Then, of course, it – the extroverted onslaught – nor I, could stop there… There was work to finish off the following week, then family to welcome – and entertain! – food to prepare, presents to trudge back outdoors – again! – to finishing buying…The ‘obligations’ never seemed to end!

And you know what it’s like when you’re poorly, the very last thing that you want to do is to have to keep going through the motions of hauling yourself up and getting on your glad rags…

Everything conspired together (or rather I repeatedly refused to listen to my better intuition and to stop, properly); Christmas went on forever that year and I was ill for a month.

And that’s not pretty.

Or necessary.

Nor productive, ultimately.

Endless razzmatazz

So if it’s hard to motivate yourself right now…know that it’s because you need a rest. Physically, probably, and no doubt mentally too. So take it…take your body’s better advice and skip the mulled wine.

We really don’t have to listen very hard to hear that our body want us to stop. It’s just about being kind to ourselves really.

Winter: it asks us to take some seasonal rest and recuperation. We can’t keep living our lives as if we – and our body – can cope with an endless 12 months of razzmatazz!

A wonderful wintertime

Winter is such a wonderful time and mostly because it’s an opportunity to slow down, to go within for a while…rather than a time to be out all night! Not every night, in any case…

It’s a fabulous time for reflecting on the year’s busyness, and acknowledging the events that have taken place, the changes that have occurred and the progress that we’ve made… And by all means, share the joy and the celebration (I’m not suggesting becoming Scrooge!)…just be selective.

Especially if the fizz is feeling flat.

Winter’s a time for wrapping up projects (not just presents!)…not starting new ones.

It is a time to prepare for starting new ones, that’s for sure…but only in the sense of recouping our energy, of letting the ideas mull over in our heads (preferably when they’re not soaking in the mulled stuff though!).

We don’t need to be pushing pushing pushing until the very last fairy lights go out.

We’re not supposed to. We have a natural lull when motivation wanes, and arguably, sustainably, we ought to do what other species do and hibernate.

Ok, perhaps relatively…otherwise we’d miss all the timeless Christmas tunes on the radio ; )