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Blog: Back in the Saddle and Ready to Ride

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I realized something insightful when I returned to work after the holidays. I believe it is something we all face; however, this year I was able to more clearly identify it and wrap my head around the “why” as well as the “how” to make it different.

This thing that I am referring to is the post- holiday blues. We work diligently to stay on track at work while we get our homes ready, buy and wrap gifts, plan the holiday menu, go to the grocery store (again and again),… making sure everything is just perfect. We run around attending holiday parties, planning the festivities, while still taking care of our families, ourselves and our work…. Then all of a sudden…. it is done… over… everyone is gone, the house is quiet as well as a mess …. there are decorations to be taken down and it is time to go back to work.

As leaders, we are responsible to help our teams re-engage or get back in the saddle from the post-holiday slump. But before we do that, we have to shift ourselves back into alignment. Below are 4 tips to help you refocus your mind first:

  1. Get the things done that need to be done – procrastinating will not make things go away. 
    1. Make a list with dates, even for things such as taking down the decorations.
    2. You will feel better mentally by just getting the small things done.
    3. Small wins create big wins
  2. Take control of your thoughts.
    1. It is easy to let yourself get into the  doldrums by thinking negative thoughts.  Before you know it, it is March and you are still wondering where the holidays went.
    2. An ancient Hebrew proverb says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” - so center on positive things.
    3. Each day, identify three things that you are grateful for and write them down. After 30 days of doing this, you will have created a new pattern for thinking positive.
  3. Focus on what you want. 
    1. I am not necessarily a fan of New Year’s Resolutions.   However, if the New Year is when you choose to  focus on life changes, then so be it!
    2. It is not about setting goals, it is about making a plan for your life and constantly working to tweak and refine it.
  4. Set your mind for something great!
    1. What do you want to accomplish? Once you identify  something that you would like to achieve, you will need to create steps in order to achieve it (break it down into small pieces)…. How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time. Remember, small wins create big wins.
    2. Next, write down your desired accomplishments and the steps you will take to get there.  The more details you use the better.  Research from the book, “The Power of Habit” reveals that we are 78% more likely to accomplish our goals if we write them down.  The research also reveals that the more details we write to describe how we will accomplish our goals, the more likely we are to actually accomplish them. There is a reason for this success, and it is the act of visualizing.  The more specifics we generate, the more we have already created the “process” in our minds, which makes it easier for our minds to put the plan to work.  Creating the course of action is most of the battle.  Once that is done, the brain can relax a bit and march out the plan.
    3. Set timelines on your steps. A timeline is one more detail that will help you complete what you have set out to accomplish.

What about you ? Are there other techniques that you use to get your head back in the game after the holidays? If so, we would love to hear from you.


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