Here it comes: summer! The heat, the sun, the water - it is a great time of the year. In Charleston when we get that first week of 90-degree weather it signals a season change. Within that internal sense of change in nature is a seed that you can use to advance yourself.
Motivating yourself is a full-time job. Professional athletes have entire coaching staffs to keep them going each day. Most of us have the mirror. We can look in the mirror and coach ourselves up, or we can just let another day slip by. I am always looking for unique ways to motivate myself, and the gift of the seasons of nature is one of the best gifts we have!
The beauty of taking a walk in spring is that you get to see new life literally springing forward. In fall, you get that first cool evening and you know it’s time for football season, photographing the changing leaves or whatever your thing may be.
I use the seasons to reset my brain, to give myself a fresh start on something that maybe I have not figured out yet, or to visualize a short-term burst of activity. In the seasons you can see the wonder, scale and awe of the entire world around you going through a transformation.
Here are just a few of the silly things I do when a season changes to use it as a motivator:
- At the beginning of summer I will go to the local surf shop and buy a bunch of t-shirts and leave them stacked on my dresser (my summer wardrobe of sorts). When I am not at work I will only wear those t-shirts. It is a signal to my brain that I can loosen up, have some fun, do something new, be creative.
- I will get a new bottle of suntan lotion and set it out. Each time I walk by it, I will open the cap and smell it. It floods my brain with memories of beach, sand, surf and being on the water. It gets my mind in a good mood and I will then think about a few goals I want to accomplish during the summer.
- In the fall I will make a list of sporting events that our family can attend and put the list on the refrigerator. Yes, an analog list still works! This signals to our family that we have some fun times together coming up. I will then visualize key milestones that I see accomplishing over that period.
- Winter is for planning. It is cold so I read and plan. I will buy a batch of books and stack them near the fireplace. It is a visual of how I can learn during this season and what I hope to come out the other side with.
- Spring is for walking. I love to walk with my wife and talk about what trees and plants will spring with new life first. It is a signal that I can start something new again; I can be bold, that conditions are great for being out and about.
Use the change in the seasons to motivate yourself. Use them to reward yourself with some simple walks, books or even a few t-shirts!