How to Get Motivated After the Holidays

Are you feeling that post-Christmas slump? It is always hard to stay motivated, but especially after the holidays. How do you get back into your productive rhythms while still enjoying this winter season? Here are some ideas to get you off of the couch and ready to work in a way that feels fun and doable.

  1. Give yourself mini rewards. Are you dreading writing that email to your boss? Have you been procrastinating continuing the job search? Instead of just forcing yourself to email him or postponing the job search another week, give yourself a mini reward for accomplishing something today. Maybe that means treating yourself to your favorite latte, watching an episode of your favorite show, or going outside and enjoying the beauty of creation for a few minutes. As these examples reveal, rewards do not have to be lavish, time-consuming, or expensive in order for them to be effective. By letting yourself do something fun after completing a dreaded work-related task, you will be cheering yourself on and motivating yourself to continue persevering and trying new things.
  2. Give yourself extra time. In their article about excelling in school post-holiday season, Independence University points out the benefit of “coming back home a day early” in order to “give you time to recover from traveling and start the year off right.” While you might not be traveling as much this year, the point remains that you need time to rest, reorganize, and recover before starting work again. Perhaps that looks like scheduling an afternoon simply to rest, or by giving yourself time to reorganize your office before jumping back into your work routine. Whatever it looks like for you, make sure that you are operating from a place of rest instead of starting from a place of exhaustion. If you feel the latter, give yourself times to rest even today! Even short moments of rest will prove effective in preparing you for the work to come.
  3. Give yourself accountability and community. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things, especially when you feel alone. Schedule times with people in the midst of your week, and watch how your energy and motivation levels increase. For instance, maybe scheduling a call with a friend every Thursday night will help to motivate you to accomplish things by Thursday so you can debrief about them. If you need more specific accountability, reach out to people and ask for help. They likely could benefit from some accountability, too. In addition to finding accountability, invest in community. That looks different for everyone in this season, but think about going on a hike with friends, setting up a Netflix Party to watch your favorite show with family who are far away, or having some painting days in the park. There are also online games such as Codenames that you can play on Zoom with friends or family. By investing in life-giving relationships, you will motivate yourself by realizing that you are not alone. You have support and people championing you. If that’s not motivating, I don’t know what is!
  4. Give yourself lots of grace. 2020 has been a pretty unprecedented year, filled with its unique challenges and hurdles. If it’s harder to get back into the working groove, take a deep breath and allow yourself to rest and process. Celebrate the small wins, like sending that email or cold calling that company. As you cultivate a perspective of gratitude, you will start noticing more and more accomplishments and victories. These victories might look different in each season, but they are always worth celebrating. These will help to movitave, encourage, and inspire you to continue working hard.

These simple tips will equip you to enter 2021 with motivation and readiness. By giving yourself mini rewards, time to rest and prepare (before, throughout, and after your work!), community, and grace, you will be laying a positive and productive foundation for whatever 2021 brings. Which motivation strategy will you try this week?

By Carissa Joy Burns

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