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Back to Work after the Holidays? (How’s Your Motivation?)

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Returning to work after the Holidays can be a major challenge for our motivation. Is yours at rock-bottom?

  • Feeling slow to get started?
  • Did you dread going back into the office?
  • Wishing it was mid-December again, when everyone was full of the joys of the festive season?
  • Wondering how to build up momentum again?

Now, the Holidays feel all too brief…

The festive season is a time to relax, switch off, and get away from work. Adrenalin leaks away from our blood-stream and, after a long year, we are chilled out. Bliss. Even though the Holidays last a number of weeks…

They are all over, too soon.

The ‘post-holiday blues’ is a well known phenomenon. You are not the only person feeling like this!

Some studies show as many as 25% of Americans suffer from minor to full-blown depression after the Holidays. That’s one person out of every four!

In the UK, the start of the first full working week after the Holidays (at the start of January) has become known as divorce day due to relatively high number of break-ups.

According to an article on Psych Central, it is possibly caused by “unmet expectations, unrealistic resolutions, and a return of loneliness and guilt about overindulgence.”

In contrast to the Holiday period, the start of January is very underwhelming for many people – there is little to look forward to except a long winter (in the northern hemisphere, that is).

Which is why going back to work after the Holidays is so difficult.

Carrying on like it was last year will not help us shake the blues. What we all need is to close the chapter of last year and find a compelling reason to see the New Year as a turning point and focus on the New.

jan1New Year: New Start?

The New Year really can be a New Start – even if it’s just as a result of an arbitrary calendar event.

For many workers, the New Year is the start of a fresh Appraisal Period, where new objectives are agreed with their managers. Whether you take part in this, or not, this New Year has provided a threshold to cross – an opportunity to cast aside past failures and doubts, and focus on new challenges, even if they are set only by ourselves, for ourselves.

  • Do you have a career goal you have desired, but not dedicated yourself to achieving? Is now the time?
  • Are there skills and capabilities you want to develop? Could this year be the time to develop them?
  • Do you have projects or specific objectives you want to complete for yourself? Can you take these on now?

successVisualize a Successful Year.

This year is an opportunity to become better, faster, braver, happier, richer – whatever you desire.

What do you want to say about yourself this time next year? Can you visualize success?

Picture this. And then use it to understand how you can achieve it throughout the year.

Imagine how your resume/CV could look at the start of next year.

And it needn’t just be work-related. Perhaps some simple changes like…

  • Changing your sleep pattern
  • Keeping your home tidier
  • Getting out more with friends
  • Getting more exercise
  • Eating healthier

… might be the ticket. You probably have a list as long as your arm of things you want different in your life. Until you act on these things, you will not have a chance of changing them. Just ‘deciding to’ is not enough!

We can all find something amazing that we can achieve for ourselves this year. Build a powerful image of success, and how we will achieve it, and then go for it, relentlessly.

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This post is part 14 of 15 in the series Working & Living
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About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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