By all accounts, January is a difficult month.
Grey clouds cushion the sky, the short days are bookended by dark mornings and nights, Christmas cheer has become a distant memory and many well-intentioned New Year’s Resolutions suddenly look all-too ambitious.
Staying motivated in these bleak winter months can be a challenge for even the most bubbly of individuals. It’s no secret that motivation has its roots in mindset, so what can work teams do to stay positive, focussed and motivated this January? Read on to find out.
Innovate with optimism
Before we get into winter-themed debates about whether the puddles outside are half-frozen or half-melted, we must first understand why making an effort to be optimistic is a business must. Yes, being positive is a challenge in January, but when teams set a unifying goal to approach work with vigour and enthusiasm, they are laying the foundation for great things to come in the next twelve months.
Change starts with leadership. When managers encourage their team to keep a positive mindset by leading by example, their teams are bound to follow suit. Understand that creativity thrives in an optimistic space; while pessimists are discouraged by mistakes, optimists learn from them. There are many great qualities associated with this bright-side outlook. From resilience and perseverance to being open-minded and motivated, making a conscious effort to skate happily over those half-frozen puddles might just give your team the happy kickstart they need this Jan.
I think, therefore I dream
Though it was a month ago, your mind is likely still travelling back to Christmas feasts and festive tipples… but the New Year is well underway, and it’s about time you got those daydreaming cogs turning in a new direction. January can often be a quiet month, but instead of letting that downtime turn into deadtime, use it to get 2020 off to an innovative start. Daydreaming may sound like an odd suggestion for those looking to inspire motivation, but it’s actually a key step in idea generation – and what better way to negate the January blues than with a hatful of fresh ideas and suggestions?
Get your teams’ creative juices flowing by asking them to read up on key areas of interest – whether that be getting acquainted with a business challenge, or conducting market research for a new project venture. Then give them time to daydream. Whether it’s a doodle on some paper or a dilly-dally through the park, this mental respite will give your teammates time to turn their research into newly formulated concepts and ideas, for idea light bulbs which will shine through the dark January nights.
Body, mind & spirit
If the exercise goals you first dreamed up from the cushiest part of the sofa are slipping further from your gasp, remember it’s not too late to make some healthy choices. Studies have found that most New Year’s Resolutions meet their end on January 12th, but alas! It’s not too late! Restore some of that NYD ambition by moving more as an office. From desk yoga to walking meetings, the modern workspace has no shortage of mobile (rather than static) pursuits to offer you. Perhaps a treadmill desk is not viable for all, but certainly setting an office pact to cycle, run or walk into work is achievable (though maybe for just one day a week at first – it can be rainy in January).
Whatever way you configure this, exercise is good for your mental health and wellbeing. Getting those endorphins flowing will make you feel more positive and motivated. Amplify the effect by switching the office biscuit tin for a fruit bowl. Plus, meditation is a great add-on to these healthy lifestyle choices. Being mindful allows you to better manage stress, and it might just give you extra idea-incubation time.
All in all, January often feels more like a month to get through, than something to actually achieve something in – but it doesn’t have to be this way. As a collective, get your team thinking positively, dreaming up their best ideas, as well as making time for individual wellbeing. So that 2020 can get off to a flying, creative start.
About the author
Written by Chris Griffiths with Caragh Medlicott. Chris is a world-leading creativity expert and creator of the app www.ayoa.com – a platform used by top thinkers to boost productivity.