Thursday, February 04, 2010

Defense Against Excuses and Limitations

Concerns, aggravation, and wasted hours on the phone with technicians over my email server problems have put me woefully behind schedule for February. I read this post on Spark People this morning and it made me realize all is not lost. I have a lot to do, but what I accomplish or don't accomplish depends just as much on attitude and determination as it does on if Microsoft returns my calls. Hope you find some inspiration to get moving on that project that has you stymied, or the one you keep putting off, or whatever.

Burrr ...
February, for many, is a cold month. Regardless of whether it is cold or not, it can feel very cold emotionally. The holidays are in the past and there might be credit card bills to deal with. New Year Resolutions are long forgotten. The enthusiasm you had going into the New Year has worn off and you are falling back into your old routines. Things are feeling like a grind. Heaviness sets in and you can begin to feel as cold and empty as the February landscape. You have been through this cycle many times, and yet here you are again. A dreary outlook and attitude to match the weather.

When we're cold we want to get warm. How do we do that? We turn up the heat. I remember when I lived in Northern Ontario, it got really cold in the winter. Did I say cold? I meant freezing cold. I lived in a house that was heated by woodstoves. We had an expression that you created heat twice when you burned wood. Once when you burn it, but also earlier when you chopped it. In fact in subzero weather, we would go out in t-shirts to split logs because we created so much heat from the activity.

Let's not settle back this month, let's get excited. February is not what is causing us to get down, it is the thinking that we indulge in. If we see it as more than just a time we have to get through, it is not an unpleasant experience. Let's change our attitude this February and decide this is going to be a great month.

Exercise. If you're stuck inside and can't participate in your favorite fun outdoor activities, do something else that gets your blood pumping and also accomplishes something. Organize your closets. Clean out the garage. Make a game out of doing your old exercise DVD's with the kids or your husband. Just don't let them know they're working out.

Create a writing plan for February. I don't know about you but this time of year gets my creative juices flowing. Something about the wind and swirling snow outside while I'm warm and cozy at my desk makes me want to get that novel off my fingertips and onto the keyboard.

What about you? Are you stuck on a project? Are you bogged down and distracted with concern about the economy or family issues and can barely string two sentences together? One of the reasons we develop a negative outlook, is we can't see where we are going. What's your goals? What do you want to finish by the end of the month? The end of the season? The end of the year? Write it down. Change your attitude and take charge. Make this the best February ever. It's your choice.

It's time for us to take off our shirts--figuratively speaking of course--split some logs and heat up our start chopping.


  1. Good advice. Seems like there's always some distraction coming up or just that lack of spark.
    Rather than just staring at the computer screen all day sometimes I just have to jump up and busy myself with some physical activity that has to be done anyway.

  2. Very good advice! I feel like my life and emotions have been in a deep freeze for months. I so relate to the wood stove anthology as we still heat with wood. Time to get busy and generate some 'heat' with my manuscripts so I can light a fire in my writing life.