Your alarm goes off, its 6:25am and you have a full week of work to look forward to. The sun hasn’t even risen yet, and the world outside of your duvet is nothing short of freezing. You hit snooze.
When the Southern Hemisphere hits mid-July, work seems longer, the weather gets more depressing and our zest for life seems non-existent. We began our year with so much hope…full of determination and what now seems like a naïve sense of expectancy.
It’s common to feel flat and demotivated around this time of year. Most of us do! Looking back at our list of New Years’ Resolutions, can make us feel depressed and slightly ashamed.
But, the year’s not over! We still have five months to go, and we can make the decision now to finish those five months strong.
How do we get out of the mid-winter slump?
- Change up your routine
After six months, it’s easy to settle into a slow, grinding routine. Get up, fumble through our coffee, drive to work in a daze, come back and watch Netflix until we fall asleep.
Even if your routine looks better than this, changing it up and adding something new or different can still create positive change! For example, I have personally instilled a new rule of no screen-time an hour before bed. So, the TV goes off and my phone goes away until the morning. This means that I have digital downtime, which lets me languish in a warm shower, drink tea and read a book and focus my attention on my spouse. I wake up in the morning feeling a good deal more refreshed than I have in the past!
You could do the same thing or something totally different: like adding more vegetables to your plate, drinking 2L of water a day, or making sure you get out in nature at least twice a week. Whatever it is, adding positive change to our routines can shift us towards ending the year strong!
- Renew your mind
“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
This quote has been attributed to so many people that it was impossible to find out who originally said it…but whoever it was, the truth of it still stands!
A lot of the time, we think of our thoughts as something we don’t have much control over. And although that is true to a certain degree, we can put effort into controlling our own minds. If we wake up and we think “Today is going to be terrible, my co-worker is driving me nuts and I don’t get paid enough to do this job”, we are automatically starting off our day on the wrong foot.
But if we consciously decide to redirect our thinking, we’re setting ourselves up for a win. “Yes, my job is difficult at the moment, but I’m blessed to have one, it helps me provide for myself and my family, and gives me a sense of purpose everyday. Although it may not be a dream come true, it has value and I can still do it to the very best of my ability.”
The Bible puts it like this:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” Romans 12:2.
- There is a plan and a purpose
The above quoted scripture is one of my favourites. Because it doesn’t just say “be transformed by the renewing of our mind” it ends with “Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Sometimes we can feel as if our lives have little or no purpose. What difference does it make if we think positively or negatively? We’re here, we live out our days, and then we’re gone. What for? What’s the point of renewing our minds?
Well, you’re not here for no reason. You weren’t an accident or a random selection. You were purposefully and specifically created for a purpose. You have an inherent and unique value that nobody else on earth has and that nobody ever will have again. There’s a job that only YOU can do. God created you with a plan, and He doesn’t want you to meander and wander blindly through your days. He wants you to wake up with a sense of vision, passion and purpose – knowing WHO you were created to be.
God has a plan and purpose for the rest of your year, He doesn’t want your days to blend into one another and look the same as they did last year. He wants good things for you – a life that will fulfill you and bring you a deep sense of joy.
And the best part is – you don’t have to do it alone! When you have Jesus on your side, you have a constant friend helping you along the way. Life is difficult enough as it is – doing it without God is like trying to run a race with your shoelaces tied. By inviting Jesus into your life, you’re handing over your burdens to someone far more capable to carry them and allowing your life to be filled with freedom, grace and peace – despite your circumstances.