So what are your thoughts about this time of year? Here in Melbourne, Australia, it has been cold and wet.For me this is a particularly trying time of year, as I'm not a fan of the cold at all. In fact, I'd much rather be somewhere warm. I have to make a conscious effort to NOT let the climate dictate my feelings.Then last week the heater broke down too, which certainly made it challenging to keep working on the website stuff each night. Lets just say that if you could've seen me all rugged up with beanie, scarf and jacket, typing away at the laptop you would thought me quite a crazy nut (actually if you look at the photo below then you get a bit of an idea).
And this is what I enjoy doing, this the part of my working life that I love to do, creating websites, but I found my enthusiasm just wasn't there.So this is the approach that I came up with to "keep up my enthusiasm"
- Don't forget to breathe: Once every hour, stop for a minute and take a breath. Think about what you have been doing. Have you done the things that are important to you? Or have you just been mindlessly working away at the job? Take some deep breaths, close your eyes for a moment, drop and relax your shoulders. Remember what is important to you. Make sure that you are doing what you love, or what you need to be doing to be able to do the things that you love.
- Drink plenty of water: Listen to your body- is there pain anywhere? are you tired, or stressed?Make sure that you have been drinking plenty of water? Approximately 2/3 of our body is made up of water, so if we don't get enough we start to suffer. According to nutritionists we are supposed to drink about 8 glasses a day. The brain consists of about 80% water- so if you start to feel fatigue, headaches or dizziness, or your concentration or short term memory is struggling then you may be dehydrated. Water is crucial for your energy levels. If your brain and body isn't able to function properly, then how in the world are you going to keep the enthusiam level up where it needs to be?
- Be positive: Think about how you feel. Are you losing energy and motivation towards your aim or your dreams? Start to be aware of your feelings.Sometimes you need to consciously alter your feelings by changing your internal dialogue. Do you hear yourself saying things like: "i'm too stupid to do this" , or "things never seem to go my way"? We need to stop the negative and replace it with positive talk. Start saying the opposite to those negative thoughts that hold us back. A positive attitude goes hand in hand with enthusiasm. Both need each other. Start saying this: "I can do this", "I am clever", "I will sort this out by taking one step at a time". Be aware of your feelings and change them into being positive.
- Visualise: If you can picture what your goal, aim or dream looks like- then you can use this to keep your focus on achieving it.This is a great motivator over the long term. You can have a picture in your mind or even an actual picture or photo that you stick up somewhere as a reminder. When you look at this picture, remember what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what you are dreaming for. This helps keep your enthusiasm when times are tough.
- Expect set backs: I like this one. Sometimes people have this mentality that life should be smooth sailing. In fact some people start to give in at the first sign of trouble. I like this point because it's at this point that a person's character builds. It's at this point that a person's will becomes stronger. It's at this point that a person's confidence grows.All they have to do, is KEEP GOING. Don't turn back. Don't give in. Success could be just around the corner. The people who are successful are not the people who had everything go their way. They are the people who fell down 9 times but got up every time until they finally made it. If you realise that life isn't always going to be easy, then you won't be caught out when at times it doesn't go your way. I like this quote about life's setbacks: "If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere" ~Frank Howard Clark.
- Smile: Don't forget the power of a simple smile. It changes how you feel, and it changes how others feel. Some favourite quotes are: "Peace begins with a smile" and "We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do" ~Mother Teresa.
So what do you think, how do you keep up your enthusiasm?