3 January 2017

It’s cold, it’s dark and it’s gloomy, the rail fares are up, the traffic is back to normal and it certainly seems like a long time since we last set our alarm clocks for this time.

So how do you beat the January blues and make the most of the start of the year?

1) Write down your goals

There is one thing guaranteed to motivate me – writing down my goals. This time of year, it’s essential. Where do you want to be by 31st December? How will you get there? How did you do in 2016? What can you improve? These questions all build a picture of your goals and your path for the year ahead. You never know what is over the next hill; setting a destination will help to keep you on track no matter what lies ahead.

And there is something special about writing goals down. Putting pen to paper changes something in the brain – you can’t not achieve a goal that you’ve written down!

2) Get organised

Take some time this morning to get your diary organised, plan your day, your week and your month. Decide what your priorities are and make sure that these are at the top of the list – eat that frog! Also look at your favourite jobs. Plan for the dips in your motivation by scheduling in your favourite jobs in between the more important ones – it is easy to want to start the year firing on all cylinders and this can very quickly lead to burnout. Organise your time, schedule key tasks and make time for yourself.

3) Get back into the gym

When scheduling your day, make time for the gym. It is natural to have overindulged during the festive break and that can leave you feeling sluggish. Taking even 15 minutes out of your day to go for a run or do some weights will get the endorphins running and give you time away from the desk to think.

Exercise is an essential part of my routine. I know that I am at my best when I stick to a regular exercise schedule – squash, personal training, running. I remember in the early days of UKFast, I would run 10k every day and it gave me extraordinary energy levels. Sport also teaches us incredible lessons that are easily transferred into business – if you make one change this year, make it more exercise!

4) Get excited!

Don’t get bogged down by the notion of the January blues and the negative stories in the media, get excited for the year ahead! Change your mindset and look to the positives and you will quickly find that that spreads throughout the rest of your team. Now is the time to motivate your team and get them fired up!

 5) Don’t be so hard on yourself

Finally, don’t be so hard on yourself this year. It would be easy to start the new year with the ‘new year, new me’ attitude, but that’s not necessary. Often it is the small, 1% changes that make the most difference and stand the test of time, not the radical changes that often prove to be fads. You are what makes you great!

Ultimately, take the time this week to focus on your mindset, your goals and getting organised. Now is the time to lay the foundations for the rest of the year. I’d love to hear how you get on.

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