Overcoming To do Lists and Post-Holiday Blues

Anyone else been reeling through their post-holiday to do lists? Are they as long as your arm yet? Chances are they will only get longer. But I do not share this drop of wisdom with you to overwhelm you further. I wish to express an intention I am endeavouring to walk with into the new year and hopefully many more to come. Because resolutions need to be lifestyle changes, not something we stick to for a week and drop when life happens (as it surely does) and feel a sense of failure when yet again, a host of things we resolved to do have fallen to the wayside. So here it is, my intention for 2021 and beyond….

This year I am determined to bring success to everything I do including fun. To be present. To be there in the moment.

It’s easy to measure your day by how much work you have achieved. As we move into the work week, I feel the anxiety rise as my imagination starts counting the endless tasks. But this year I will look at my ‘to-do list’ as something that will get done and remind myself – IT ALWAYS DOES.

I want to get to the end of the day and count the laughter I have heard from my kids and how many times I have looked them in the eye and caught the wonder of life. That is easy in a relaxed moment, but as life pulls us back into the ever increasing ‘to-do’ list, it is the first thing that leaves... or 'can wait'.

Now, this is all a nice sentiment but I know you’re here for the non-fluff emotional stuff, so how about I share how I plan to cultivate this intention into my life; to be there in the moment without the ‘mummy just has to…’ programmed response slipping out. To integrate the rejuvenated feeling, the slow-down and present awareness I have adopted in holiday mode into my life requires two things, a perspective change and lightness.

My daughters are and continue to be my greatest teachers. Just the other day my 3 and half year old asked plain and simply “why do people need to work, mum?” As my husband attempted to explain the ins and outs of the economy and capitalism, I let my mind ruminate on this question. I reflected on my days in the corporate hamster wheel and felt awash with gratitude for the life I have since created. Yes, people need to work in this economic system but how I do that and why is up to me. This shift in perspective showed me I do not just have to work, I get to work, and I get to do what I love and call it work.

These glimmers of new perspectives are just that, glimmers. Until we integrate these visualisations and moments to foster gratitude into our daily routines our perspective doesn’t truly shift. So how do we maintain this lightness? I have two techniques you can use next time you’re feeling the monotony of it all.

Technique 1

Let yourself imagine. You can do this as a visualisation, or simply read over this imagined image of mine that brings joy and take 10 minutes to journal something that does the same for you. Reflect on this daily until it becomes how you see life. Imagine it is Christmas day and you are a child. How do you feel? Excited, bounding to get out of bed? The only difference between that and how you wake up now is the concept that you know it is not Christmas. When lying in bed, imagine it is Christmas and approach the day as excited as you would on that day. Don't wait for Christmas to feel energised. Bring Christmas into your everyday life.   

Technique 2:

This is for when you have an activity on your ‘to-do’ list that you just don’t have the energy for. Imagine someone said - I will give you a million dollars to do this... immediately you would bound into action. What is the difference here? Other than what is at stake, it is your thoughts about the value behind the action. You find the energy; therefore, it must be there the entire time. So, if you are struggling to feel motivated, find your million-dollar energy. Imagine a $ is at the end of the task, you would spring out of bed with a sparkle in your eye and a lust to live. Bring that energy to the simple things you do, and you will change your life. A little tip with this is to reward yourself. Once the seemingly arduous task is complete, buy yourself that something you’ve had your eye on all year, take some time to move your body, eat that piece of chocolate, take yourself on a walk to the beach, whatever it is that’s your light at the end of the tunnel, your million-dollar energy.

Don't wait for Christmas, or for your million dollars. Live life as if you have it, find joy and lightness in every day and see your life change as a result of changed thought patterns.


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