Courage for career women blog

with Vanessa May

Make your second lockdown easier

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We got through the first lockdown with cheers for the NHS and the knowledge that summer was on its way.  But now we’re heading for winter, days are darker and there’s the awareness that a clear end in sight is unlikely until a vaccine is available.

So, how can we use this time to stay in our well-being and motivated?

Let’s start with Locke & Latham’s goal setting theory …

  1. Set yourself a clear and simple 30-day challenge. Something you’ve put off and wished you’d put your attention on – if only you had more time, more space, more energy. Choose that thing.  You know what it is.  Be really specific and clear with yourself – what’s the exact thing you will do each day.
  2. Know why you’re doing it. You want your why to keep you motivated. Maybe it’s because you’ve always promised yourself one day you’d do it.  Whatever your why is, name and claim it.
  3. Create a vision of how life will look when you’ve achieved this challenge. Reflect on what it will be like to have had this new experience and reached your goal. Close your eyes and imagine yourself 30 days from now. Use as many of your senses as you can. Make it really vivid. How will you feel, what positive things will you be saying to yourself, what will others say to you? Make that vision tangible, find images that represent what you’ll achieve, the effort that you will have put in, make a note of positive comments and make a collage that you can put in a prominent place and look at it every day (particularly on those days where it’s dark and gloomy!).

Now here’s the secret sauce…

  1. Give yourself a gold star every day. Find one thing to praise yourself for and make a big deal of that. Stop hiding your light and success from yourself. Celebrate it. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is.  Perhaps it’s that you turned a frown into a smile, or you allowed yourself to exhale in the midst of a crisis, or maybe that you stopped criticising yourself.  One star, every day for 30 days.
  2. Lean in. Whilst you may be living on your own, you can still connect with others. Yes, it requires vulnerability, to reach out, show up and try something new but you might just surprise yourself. I’ve decided to put my 30-day lockdown challenge on Facebook. Why not join me?


And finally, if you’re a Type A and the thought of another achievement-based challenge sends you to despair, I hear you. And I would like to offer you a different kind of challenge. What if you were to set yourself a daily well-being challenge and commit to spending 5 minutes every morning with yourself and simply sitting in your well of being. Nothing to do, just the commitment to show up for yourself, notice how you’re feeling and be with that.

Whatever your challenge, I hope to see you on my Facebook so that we can support and champion each other.