I always feel a low level of suppressed excitement in March and April – like something’s about to happen. A sense of burgeoning potential. Like I’m on the cusp of something – something good, that’s just beyond my reach.
And it’s not just me and it’s not even just humans. Lambs frolic, rabbits gambol. The year feels young, rejuvenated. It’s spring! And it affects us with a burst of positive energy like SAD (seasonal affective disorder), only in reverse – if I was clever I would make up an acronym about it that spelt HAPPY. Hyper Active Primary Part of Year. I am clever really, it must be said.
But anyway back to my point – which is, we get a real shot in the arm at this time of year. An actual physical urge to get up and move, walk, run, skip! We also get an urge to de-clutter, sort our hot presses, start our novel and clear our in-trays. We basically have a desire, an impulse to forge new beginnings.
The big question is whether we act on these urges or not.
Whether you recognise that this is one of the best times of the year to start that couch-to-5k you’ve been swearing you want to do for the past 10 months, or spruce up your CV and see if you can get that job you know would make you so much happier. Or whether we all just do nothing and wait for the urge to pass.
And pass it will. Summer will roll round, our mood will mellow, our energy and enthusiasm to start something new will wane. And then, sure the evenings will be drawing in and before we know it – it’ll be time to light the fire again.
Sound familiar? It’s really easy to do nothing, to change nothing in your life. But at this time of year, to do nothing you actually have to overrule what your body wants. Because it wants action. It wants to reboot.
So what are you going to do about it? Eh? ‘Get cracking!’ I hope I hear you reply.
We’ve a finite window where all this positive energy is coursing through us so capitalising on it soon – now even – is a good idea. If you’ve stuff that you’ve been meaning to try – and let’s face it who doesn’t – there’s really no time like the present to just do it.
Monday is always psychologically a good time to start anything new – I suggest that’s when you begin. Today is for planning and psyching yourself up. A written plan often helps, so why not make yourself a cup of tea, sit down at your kitchen table and write down the thing you MOST want to do. There’s probably loads of stuff – but don’t lose focus. Write down the thing you MOST want to do and decide how you’re going to make that happen.
If it is a couch-to-5k, download the app today – and familiarise yourself with how to use it. If it’s job-related, make a quick list of what you want in your new dream job and what kind of skills you think you might need – which will point you in the direction of any extra training you may require or even how to ‘pad out’ your CV.
No matter what it is you’re thinking of getting stuck into, you need a simple plan and also a parcel of time set aside specifically to begin whatever it is you’re beginning!
You need to know when exactly in the day you are going to do this. And be realistic – don’t set yourself up to fail. If you know you won’t get out of bed a minute before you have to, don’t plan to go running before work the first day – plan it for later on. Equally, if you know you always come in from work shattered don’t plan to write the great novel after dinner – maybe you need to set your alarm an hour earlier tomorrow.
Either way. Most of us have things we’d like to do. Stuff we’d like to achieve. The only difference between achieving it and not achieving it – is the doing. And that’s all about taking a first step. So, harness your inner friskiness and make spring 2017 the time you moved from talkin’ the talk to walkin’ the walk.
Best of luck.
This article appeared on Independent.ie