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5 Ideas for Kickstarting Your Motivation in the New Year

Christine Bruno

January 11, 2018

The following article was published by the SBA.

January is here, and it’s back to business as usual.

Or is it?

After a holiday break filled with eating, drinking, and being merry, chances are you may be feeling the winter blahs. Psychologists attribute the post-holiday blues to a number of factors including the sudden lack of social events on our calendars, days short on daylight, cold weather, and fatigue.

But duty calls—it’s time to take action and snap out of it. Your business needs you!

Now that the excitement and adrenaline of the holidays are over, how will you kick off this new year with a renewed sense of determination?

Here are 5 tips to help reclaim your motivation.

1. Ease back into your work.

Trying to check off everything on your to-do list in the first few weeks of the new year will leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Instead, create a manageable plan by reserving dedicated blocks of time for all the tasks, meetings, etc. that you need to accomplish. That will help you stay on track and prevent you from trying to multitask, a habit that hurts rather than improves productivity.

Also, consider focusing on uncomplicated tasks first, like sending invoices, paying bills, organizing paperwork for tax time or tackling other simple administrative work. Because they require less mental energy, you can complete them more easily and build momentum for carrying out more complex responsibilities.

2. Walk off sluggishness and stress.

The weather outside may be frightful, but provided it’s not dangerously cold and you’re in good health, a brisk walk can do you a lot of good. Besides the cardiovascular and muscle-toning benefits, a daily 30-minute walk can diminish feelings of stress, brighten your mood and boost your creativity. Those are solid reasons to step away from technology, and get a breath of fresh air.

3. Reconnect with a colleague.

Whether you meet up over coffee and bagels or grab lunch at your favorite diner, reconnecting with a business colleague offers three benefits:

  • It will help remedy the social withdrawal you might be feeling now that all the holiday get-togethers and celebrations have concluded.

  • It jumpstarts your networking and relationship-building efforts in the new year.

  • Bonus: Your discussion might shed light on new ideas for growing your business or tackling challenges. 

4. Take stock of your achievements, and envision the great things to come.

Reflect on all that you have accomplished in the past year or since you started your business. Pat yourself on the back in recognition of how far you’ve come and how hard you’ve worked.

Now, get excited about where you’re going to take your business in this new year. Sit down with pen and paper (or computer), and make a list of what you want your business to achieve. You might also consider creating a vision board, a tool that uses visuals to facilitate an emotional connection between you and your goals.

5. Find someone to be your sounding board.

Sometimes escaping a slump can be difficult on your own, so consider enlisting the help of a SCORE mentor. Our mentors have experience in all aspects of starting and growing a business. Many have faced the same uncertainties and challenges that you are encountering. They can offer valuable advice, feedback and encouragement when you need guidance, honesty, or a little push. Get your 2018 off to an inspirational start; meet with a SCORE mentor. Our mentoring is free of charge and available through face-to-face sessions, by phone, via email, and through Skype or Google Hangouts.

Where will your business be next year?

I hope these tips will empower you to get unstuck and move your business forward. You have the whole year ahead of you—stay motivated and succeed.

   

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