The weather has finally started to warm up and you can feel the fresh Spring air in Toronto! In Canada we get excruciatingly long winters and it is totally reenergizing to feel the season changing.
I personally suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and I guarantee many other Canadians do too. SAD is like a minor depression (or major for some) that leaves you feeling lethargic, hopeless and can cause antisocial behaviours, overeating, loss of concentration and many other negative symptoms. Over the past few years I have gradually felt these feelings getting worse and worse each Winter. For me the most impactful symptom is that I lose my motivation. Since I spend the majority of my times indoors and out of the cold I end up wasting time doing unproductive things. One of the most important lessons I learned in regards to dealing with the winter blues is to practice hygge (pronounced hoo-ga), this is a Danish word meaning to enjoy the little things and just get cozy.
However, Winter is now over and it is back to focusing on my goals. My most productive and active months are March-October. And I don’t want to waste any time. When I begin feeling the Vitamin D back in my body I feel reenergized and excited.
I like to to channel this energy and refocus on my goals, maybe I take a look at my New Year’s resolutions that got forgotten on January 10th or maybe I set new goals. I usually start with the obvious and that is my fitness and then move onto my personal and career goals.
- Fitness: For obvious reasons when Spring arrives I always start spending as much time as possible outdoors. I love going for long walks and bike rides. I also switch up my workout routine to focus more on strength. I love incorporating Kayla Itsine workouts into my week as well of course, hot yoga. I like to create a fitness schedule in my planner for each week and do my best to stick to it. I will schedule something for everyday as well as pencil in my lunch time walks. This way I can plan the rest of my week around my fitness schedule to ensure I follow through.
- Personal: My personal goals usually consist of getting out and socializing more. I have a habit of becoming a hermit in the winter and lose touch with some people. Again I start planning out coffee dates and double dates whenever possible. As I get older I find myself needing to plan social get togethers further in advance due to everyone’s crazy schedules (it’s almost wedding season). This is the time I also start planning bigger events for my summer, for example music festivals, vacations, cottage trip, my birthday bash and again weddings.
- Career: Finally, I refocus on my career goals. During the summer, workplaces tend to slow down a little bit due to vacations, this leaves the perfect opportunity to do some self reflection. What are some special projects you pushed aside when you got busy, or maybe you have some areas of development you need to focus on. This Spring I am scheduled to write the Employment Law 2 Exam a step towards my CHRL. I plan on passing that so that I get it over with before summer starts to avoid having to study for the next test during the months of July and August.
Now that the sun will be shining a little more consistently (aside from rain showers) you should be cultivating that energy and putting it towards some of your own goals. You don’t have to have many, it’s better to just focus on a couple of things and really follow through. Create an action plan for yourself and be sure to set SMART goals. This means Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-bound. I love to track my progress in my planner and also use my phone calendar to set reminders for myself to do things. One of my favourite tricks is to use time blocking. And what that means is to block out time in your day for specific tasks. An example of my day looks like this:
6-7am: Hot yoga
Most importantly in regards to setting goals, you need to find a method that works for you; use a touch of self discipline; and don’t forget to enjoy the process.