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Beat the post silly season slump

January’s over and done with, and Christmas and New Year’s feel like distant memories. Now’s the time to re-energise yourself by planning to do something different in 2013 – which means doing things differently. Get into the groove this year with these four top tips.

1. Get excited and plan your holidays

First things first, plan as many days off as you can! John and Heather take great joy in planning out their days off for the entire year. They say if they plan it then it will probably happen. If they don’t then it probably won’t. They spend their frequent flyer points on airfares to see John’s parents in Queensland twice each year, they book a longer holiday to coincide with a conference or seminar, and they always do the Elvis Festival in Parkes. You can be ambitious and book in four weeks of holidays, or just a few weekends away. It can be a stay-at-home vacation, a cruise or a house swap. Of course you can still add spontaneous getaways through the year.

2. Make a routine of something you love

Choose one thing you already love to do and plan to do it more regularly. Dane meets his mates every Thursday for drinks. Amanda sees a movie once a month. Sue goes to yoga. Gary makes paper sculptures. Linda writes her novel. If you do more of what you love, then there’s little time left for the other stuff.

3. Drop some bad thinking

A few years ago I finally stopped feeling guilty about not watching the nightly news. I keep up to date in other ways. It wasn’t the habit that was bad: it was how I felt about it. It stole energy I could use elsewhere. Maybe you have some bad thinking you could drop: anxiety about clients; guilt about your messy spare bedroom; anger about a dumb decision. If you don’t want to change it (or can’t), then stop feeling bad about it. It’s your choice how you respond. Worrying, feeling guilty or getting angry won’t change the outcome.

4. Smell the roses, check out the décor

Research shows that just being in nature (such as walking through a park, by a river, on the beach) gives you more brain energy. You solve problems more quickly with less effort. So take lunch and smell the roses. Failing that, just looking at a natural environment (out the window, in a photograph or on screen for example) has a similar effect. If your office doesn’t afford a view, find an inspiring video online or a poster to put by your desk. Make a habit of paying attention to it for five minutes each day. Make it a routine if you like. You’ll be glad you did!

Cindy Tonkin is the Consultants’ Consultant. She is the author of many books for consultants, including an AIM Bestseller.

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