Loralyn Mears, PhD
MOTIVATION MONDAY: FRESH STARTS
This article was originally published on September 2, 2019 at https://gritdaily.com/motivation-monday-fresh-starts/
Monday Motivation here we come! This is for those of you who slog through your Monday mornings. If you lament the end of the weekend and dread returning to the office, you may need our Motivation Monday quick tips. Grit Daily offers an avenue to connect with others like you. We’re here to help get your work week off to a good start. Pump your fists – it’s time for Motivation Monday!
There are arguably a couple of times per year that we can classify as a fresh start. Of course, you could debate the topic further, adding in the seasons, the Spring in particular, plus the first of the month and so on but, for today’s motivation Monday column, we’re going to stay focused on the Big 2. Specifically, one, New Year’s. No debate there, I’m sure. But we must also consider the start of the academic year.
Labor Day itself marks the second fresh start of the year. The holiday has its origins in some rather unsavory events and times. Throughout the 1800s, the average American worked a 12-hour shift, often without a break, 7 days per week! And earned meager wages at that. Conditions were abysmal and included child labor where kids aged 5 and were routinely forced to work the same long hours in factories, earning only a fraction of what their impoverished parents earned. Horrible!
On September 5, 1882, more than 10,000 workers marched from City Hall to Union Square in NYC to protest poor working conditions and sub-human treatment. It wasn’t until 1894 that the day became formally recognized by the Feds as a national holiday. Then, by the middle of the last century, Americans began to commercialize it as a holiday to mark the end of summer with parties, BBQs, and fireworks.
WHY FRESH STARTS MATTER
The academic year is the calendar that most of us operate on for one-third to one-half of our working lives, whether it’s our attendance at school or that of our children. So it’s no surprise that we are mentally conditioned to think of September as a time for a new start. A new academic year, a new grade level and one year closer to graduation. The promise and potential of it all are enormous.
This is a time when you need to practice self-care and self-love. Alright, you didn’t accomplish everything that you set out to do by this time of the year. Let it go. Don’t berate yourself over it. Instead, take action! Pump up those motivation Monday fists and get psyched. You’ve got a chance here for a fresh start and can go like blazes until you’re sipping eggnog by the fire waiting for Santa to come down the chimney.
TIPS TO START FRESH
Since this is motivation Monday and we’re all about sharing tips on how to do things differently – and better – we’re going to feature some tips on how to make new academic year resolutions. We still have a few months to get through before we can start daydreaming about the magic that Santa will bring to our homes. So, until then, let’s get busy!
Here are 10 tips as a student on how to embrace the new school year. And for those of us no longer in school, here are 8 other tips. Finally, for those struggling with change and a bit overwhelmed by it all, here are a few more tips on how to do hard things.
#1 – DEFINE YOUR ESCAPE POD
No, that doesn’t include the option of stuffing your face with greasy, fatty comfort foods. Perish the thought! The escape pod concept is anchored in how you will center yourself and find a reprieve from the stress and anxiety of work or school or, in some cases, both. Perhaps that’s a pledge to do a super zen yoga class each week or maybe it’s to take a hike every weekend. Whatever you do, just make sure you go unplugged, however briefly, as doing so is essential to recharge.
#2 – SET MODERATE GOALS
Here on motivation Monday, you don’t get points for being an under-achiever. That’s not the point. What we want to emphasize is that setting unrealistic and unattainable goals is likely going to result in you missing them then chiding yourself for doing so. It’s a slippery slope between happiness and depression. Don’t set a goal of going for a 10km run every morning at 4 am. Odds are that your sheets will keep you trapped in your bed from Day 2 onwards …
#3 – FREE YOURSELF OF OBLIGATIONS
Perhaps you got into a cadence of multiple Instagram posts per day over the summer since you had extra time on your hands. And now you don’t. Let it go. Unless you’re being paid by your employer or client to post on social media X times per day, you’re not obligated. Give yourself the freedom to just experience the moments privately, indulge your senses in those moments and hang onto them as memories in your head, not your account. Tune in, not out.
MOTIVATION MONDAY AND ALL QUARTER LONG
And, with that, go get ‘em! You are ready for a fresh start. And only you can set yourself on a course for success in this last quarter push for 2019. Go, go, go!