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The Winter of My Discontent

I admit it.

It’s only January and I’ve gotten pretty sick of winter. It’s been particularly nasty here in New York and it’s dragging me down, to the point where sitting at my computer and doing work has become a tad problematic.

Pulling me away from work are thoughts of cozy slippers, hot cocoa and endless hours spent reading some good fiction.

You know, the kind of thing that is best left to Saturday and Sunday and as a reward for a productive workweek.

Do you ever have those kinds of days when being lazy is not so much a choice as a mandate and getting out of your pajamas requires Herculean strength?

I know that I can’t allow myself to wallow in such a state and so I’ve developed my own little action plan that gets me going despite my inner voice shouting for tea and flannel.

Here’s what works for me; perhaps it can for you as well:

Have a morning routine.

Knowing what I am going to do for the first 30 minutes of the morning helps me to get out of bed no matter what the weather. It certainly helps that I have a cat that sets to howling if he doesn’t see a new bowl of food first thing in the morning but even if he didn’t make his needs known I have my own plan of action. Mine includes a very large mug of cappuccino and the New York Times after which I do a few necessary chores and then get showered and out the door. It’s comforting to know the coffee and newspaper are waiting and since I find this time enjoyable I find it easy to “get started.”

Record 5 things for which I am grateful.

931 days ago I joined a Facebook group called “90 Days of Gratitude.” Since then I have recorded my gratitudes each morning without fail and it has become my anchor for each day. Besides giving me clarity it helps me to stay motivated and keep my eyes on what is important in the short and long-term too.

I don’t exercise (in the morning that is).

Exercising in the morning IS NOT good for me. My mind is distracted by work and I am too anxious for it to be over for me to enjoy it very much at all. My point here is that you should exercise when it feels right for you and not because people have told you that exercising in the morning gets them going. Trust me, I’ve tried it and it just doesn’t suit the way I like to run my day. You have no one to answer to but yourself so work out when it feels right for you. As for me, I love exercising in the evening when I can clear my brain and focus on me.

I believe in rewards.

The frigid temps might be a turn-off but I know that in 6 weeks I’ll be frolicking in Key West just like I have for the past 26 years. On my desktop you can also find the itinerary for two other trips that are already planned and booked. I get it. Travel might not be your thing but you should allow yourself to indulge in whatever gives you pleasure and reward yourself for all of your hard work and effort. The reward doesn’t have to be large in order for it to be meaningful just as long as it brings you joy.

Surround yourself with positivity.

I’m very lucky in that I work for myself and hence I have a tremendous amount of freedom in my choice of clients, vendors and work associates. Even with that being said I still have to make choices and actively slow down or end relationships with individuals that do little to lift me up but instead bring me down. It’s pretty difficult to get out of bed in the morning when you know that the first appointment of the day is with someone that undermines your confidence and motivation. Be self-protective and steer clear of the people that suck your power.

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