Someone told me recently that you should do something you fear every day. The thought of that scared me. Or rather, recognizing how many days go by without me doing anything scary, scared me. I realized that while sometimes I take big leaps (like learning to ski) I seldom create daily opportunities to stretch myself.
I’m struggling to think of how I can stretch myself today actually. I have a normal work day and am seeing friends in the evening. Friends shouldn’t be scary, so that leaves work. I will tackle a difficult conversation I need to have. I will not leave it until Friday.
The logic behind this fear factor, I guess, is that you learn something and /or effect a positive change through doing something challenging. If you succeed in the task there’s a beneficial outcome and if you fail then you learn something about why you failed and how to cope.
Other things I have on my scary list:
- Adult ballet classes (where dancer chicks eye you out while twisting their legs behind their necks)
- Formal public speaking (judgement judgement judgement)
- Swimming (every time I think about doing laps in a pool)
- Skiing (still)
- Networking (telling your story, selling your brand)
I won’t be able to work on all of these fears every day but by writing them down I can sort between the ones that I want to work on and those that are so too torturous I should just let them go (maybe skiing).
Similarly, by looking out for a daily challenge I’m more likely to find things at work or home that I can volunteer for or tackle as they arise.
What can you do today that will give your adrenaline a buzz?
This w end I spent some time preparing a boat for the Winter or in boat language ‘winterizing’ it. Boats are not used to being off the water and need some extra love to prepare them for the long lonely stretch ahead, without their beloved wind, ocean or sails. This is a time for them to repair and rest for the next season.
On the drive home from the boat the leaves were showing off their red, goldy, russet colored magnificence and the deer were scampering around, doing whatever it is they do before Winter sets in. It made me think about how best to winterize myself – what to take a rest from and how to reflect, reinvigorate and prepare for new things.
Whatever your situation, Winter brings opportunities. Some of us are like the boat and will spend Winter alone. Others are scampering around in a frenzy trying to find a filler boyfriend, while others still are already smuggly coupled up. Whichever category you fit into, we can all take a lesson from nature and make the most of this chane of season.
3 good reasons to motivate this season:
- Re-calibration: This is the perfect time to check back on your long forgotten New Year’s resolutions and your dormant to-do lists and ask yourself what it is that really matters to you right now. We are easily distracted from personal priorities in the warmer months, choosing friends and fun over the solo time required to dedicate to important goals. Figure out what your priorities are and start investing time in them.
- Productive hibernation: Once you have re-set your priorities, it’s a race against the New Year to make as much progress as possible, and what better way to do this than by staying home where it’s warm and buckling down to do some work. I’m really looking forward to less social and outdoor obligations and more time dedicated to the projects that are important to me. For those of you that are smuggly coupled up, you are still at risk of distraction. Make home time your time to be productive and try to schedule relationship time outside of the time required to reach your goals. For single people, be selfish while you can and put your personal goals first, sheduling time for seasonal fun around them.
- Seasonal festivities: I tend to have fantasies about all the books I’ll read and TV series I’ll plough through in Winter but this rarely happens because I’m soon distracted by this special season’s unique suite of attractions. In no particular order some of my favourite things to do over Fall and Winter include: Halloween dress up, Apple Cider, Christmas markets, Christmas present selection and giving, ice skating, wearing fluffy coats to the Theatre, sparkly shoes at holiday parties, New Years with friends, fireworks, walking/playing in snow, skiing. Plus, my personal favourite, because I’m a Southern Hempisphere person at heart, the Winter break to an exotic beach location.
I leave you with some seasonal wisdom from the poetry section of the Bible, Ecclesiastes, (or if you’re a Beatles Fan you may recognize it as Turn Turn Turn…and can hum along as you read):
Happy sewing to all this Winter!