There is an interesting facet of motivation, when it’s tied to events or deadlines. Once we are through the event, or we have met the deadline, our brain perceives “job over” and our energy simply shuts down. (The same thing happens when we goal-set to get to some event, and not through some event.) You’ve probably noticed this with recent holiday celebrations. It’s what we mentioned last week, about aiming beyond the end of the tunnel.
The brain has interesting ways of dealing with time. We nearly always regard time passing in relation to specific events. Before we tracked the passage of time with timepieces and calendars, we marked each day as the sun came up, and then it went down. It got light, and then it got dark. We sensed changes in what we now call the seasons, by changes in the weather. Depending upon how far we lived from the equator, that change was either a lot or not very much.
With holidays throughout what we now call a year, we gear up for them in advance – bustle around with things to do, places to go and people to see – and when they are over, we feel a bit let down. Some even call it the “post-holiday blues.” Our energy and creativity were focused on the event and when it was over, so were we. The reason behind this phenomenon we call “motivation” – the “why” that is tied to our goals.
We are approaching another one of those defining events – the new year. We are gearing up to celebrate, gathering our energy and creativity. Yes, this year will probably be different for a lot of us, in the way we celebrate. However, we are still using our energy, and especially our creativity, figuring out ways to mark this particular passage of time. Again, the challenge will be the loss of these two vital ingredients, when the celebration is over.
So, what do we do to keep our energies up, our creativity engaged? It’s something we do naturally, as human beings. We want to look forward. What do you want for the new year? What do you want beyond January? What do you want in June? Let your imagination fly without restrictions! Forget about how you are going to make it happen. Right now, today, dream – and dream big. Dreaming engages your creativity and keeps it active. And when you have found something that catches in your mind, and won’t let go, your energy kicks in and kicks up several notches.
Get past the post-holiday blues by looking forward to what you want in the future. (And start today!)