How Real People Combat the Winter Blues

How Real People Combat the Winter Blues

Are you feeling a shift in mood with the change of weather?

Winter has arrived in Australia and if the cold weather has you feeling lethargic and low you’re not alone. 1 in 300 Australians suffer from an extreme case of the winter blues called seasonal affective disorder (or the aptly abbreviated SAD). Most of us don’t struggle to this extent but we can find the colder months tough. Here are some tips from real people - our readers, listeners and members of the PP community - for combating the winter blues.

10 Facts You Must Know To Achieve Your Goals

10 Facts You Must Know To Achieve Your Goals

Great goal setter? Sure! I set goals all the time.

How’s your execution? Are you procrastinating? Struggling with distraction? Finding it hard to keep motivated?

Read on for my 10 tips from psychological research that give you what you need to get going and stick with it until you hit goal success

3 Ways to Motivate the Un-Motivated

Motivating another person is a challenge for every parent, manager, teacher, coach or leader. Where do you go when your considered request is met with apathy? Or worse? How do you motivate the un-motivated?

Look to your future to get more done.

Look to your future to get more done.

Last week I wrote about how to prioritise and so many of you wrote back and said, ‘I need to try this!’  It seems we’re all getting stuck in the hamster wheel of doing and we need to spend a bit more time prioritising what we’re doing and why.

Getting your values, the things that are most important to you, clear in your mind (or preferably out of your mind and on to paper or screen), is a really simple way to quickly identify your priorities.  Once you know your priorities you’re much more likely to spend your time doing the stuff that’s important and meaningful and goal pursuant than if you’re just reacting to what pops up in front of you. 

Positive Life: Fast facts on inspiration

This morning I had the luxury* of sitting up in bed with a cup of tea and the iPad doing some research.  Sadly I was not researching a trip to New York or child free holidays in Tahiti.  I was researching cheap block out roller blinds. And despite the unlikely set of circumstances I felt a flash of that heady mix of excitement, motivation and future possibilities that comes with inspiration.  

The endless pictures of drab synthetic blinds triggered a flow of mental activity that had me effortlessly cleaning, painting and decorating the very broken down old house that we've just purchased, turning it into a piece de resistance of budget driven yet understated elegant style.

I revelled in this little fantasy for a minute or two, visualising my beautiful home that bears no resemblance to its current state (and somehow transforms without the massive physical effort that it's really going to require) and I then started thinking about inspiration. What is inspiration really?  Why is it that the the 'inspiration' memes that get flashed about on Facebook with their pastel colours and pictures of sunsets and small children leave me cold but I can get quite excited about the possibilities associated with roller blinds?

I'm going to do a bit of exploration of inspiration in the next week or so.  Please join me.  In the meantime, here are a few fast inspiration facts to kick us off:

  1. Until very recently - the last few years really - there has been very little scientific research into inspiration.  So what do the science heads know about inspiration - what it is, how it works and how to get more?  Well until very recently not much at all, despite all the memes.
  2. From what we have learnt recently inspiration seems to be made up of three parts - evocation (it hits us from nowhere), transcendence (it disregards practical, self-serving and animal instincts and brings a flash of future possibilities, sometimes a grand vision) and approach motivation (it compels us to take action). 
  3. Some of us are by nature more easily inspired than others.  It comes with along with a mixture of personality traits. 
  4. We can't force inspiration but we might just be able to create the right environment to let it thrive.

I'm going to run with my roller-blind inspiration and get some of my myriad of tasks ticked off my list today. My challenge to you?  Think about what last inspired you, harness that thought, take it and run! Go get inspired. 

*The luxury of a slow morning and a cup of tea in bed was compensation for spending the hour between midnight and 1am consoling and cajoling a super fractious three year old who, after an hour of not much success, ended up in bed with me for the rest of the night.  Kids eh?

You can see it's going to take a little more than just inspiration....