302017Aug

How to Thrive in Every Season – Even if it’s the One You Hate

The other day, while taking a walk with a friend of mine, and noting the chill, I said, “Ah, fall is in the air!” She remarked, “I hate the fall!” When I asked why, her reply was, “Because that means winter is right behind and I really hate winter!”

I am quite the opposite; I love the fall, and it is definitely my favorite season.

For as long as I can remember, for me, September feels like the “real New Year.” Despite the parties, gatherings, and singing of Auld Lang Syne in January, the day after Labor Day is when I am thinking of fresh starts and new beginnings.

Perhaps it is memories of going off each new school year with a shiny new lunchbox and cool backpack, or in later years, sending my kids back to routine. Maybe it is the restarting of networking events that took a hiatus over the summer. Or even the fact that my family celebrates the Jewish New Year which usually falls in September.

The reason doesn’t matter—while many of my friends, and indeed my husband, are mourning the loss of summer, I am energized and excited to get moving on my goals and aspirations.

What about you? Are you one of those folks who lament the passing of warm, long days and drag through those first few weeks of the fall, or are you like me, sprinting into the last quarter of the year? Do you have best-loved and least-liked seasons?

We all have our favorite time of year. However, for us entrepreneurs and business professionals, it is important to make sure we are productive and moving forward despite the season.

Our moods dramatically impact our behavior. When we are feeling upbeat and excited, we end up being more productive and efficient at everything we do. So it stands to reason that when we are feeling down, sad and despondent, it is reflected in our work.

Time goes very quickly. We all know that. How many folks have said to you this very week, “I can’t believe the summer is over!” So I’ve been thinking a lot about the best way to make the most of every season, no matter whether it is our favorite one or not.

Create rituals and traditions to celebrate the beginning of each new season and say goodbye to the passing one.

For the past several years, we have enjoyed visiting our friends’ beach home on the Jersey Shore for the Labor Day Weekend. It has become a tradition to spend those few days together, and I feel blessed we have the opportunity to do so. We make it a NO LABOR weekend, and relax and enjoy each others company. Hello fall, bye, bye summer. The first day of winter, I light a fire in the family room fireplace and serve home made soup for dinner. When those cold days finally leave, inevitably there is a spring morning when I will wake and know it is warm enough for the first bike ride of the season. And Memorial Day weekend is bar-b-que on the deck with friends. You see what I mean? There is always something to look forward to each change of season. What might you do to mark the beginning of each new season?                   

Pick a theme for the season, set some goals, and challenge yourself to see how much you can accomplish.

Why wait for January to set resolutions? They usually get forgotten by February. Instead, how about setting a resolution, goal or aspiration for the upcoming season? Four months is a short time frame and you’ll stay on target way more so than thinking about a whole year to realize what you set out to do. This fall, I am working on publishing my first eBook. It’s exciting and a bit daunting, but it has me focused on what I need to execute this season.

Buy something that you love, but is unique to the upcoming season.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to purchase something that represents the season for you. But choose something that is only available for those few precious months. When my kids were little, there was a farm near by that sold home-made apple cider donuts. They were only for purchase in the fall, and we loved visiting the farm to buy donuts and cider. I know spring is here and ready to celebrate when I see the first bunch of tulips for sale in my local market. And of course, what would winter be without a new pair of cashmere lined gloves or a lambs wool scarf.    

Make a list of the folks you love who celebrate their birthdays in the upcoming season.

Even if you “hate” the winter, I bet there is at least one person you love who was born during those winter months. See if you can arrange a special get-together to mark the occasion. Whether it is a birthday dinner out, a weekend away, or even a Skype call, having a special time set aside gives meaning to that time of year.

Look for the silver-lining in every season.

Let’s face it—we all have our favorite season. And that’s OK. Yup, mine is the fall. But just like the seasons of our lives keep changing, the seasons of the year will continue. And there is nothing we can do to stop that. Rather than missing the season that’s passed, or yearning for the ones to come, take the time to appreciate what each season has to offer. Experiment with a new hobby that might be unique to that time of year. It could be gardening in the spring, kayaking in the summer, apple picking in the fall, or cooking soup in the winter. Embrace it, celebrate it, and be grateful that you are here to enjoy the distinct pleasures of each.  

So I ask you now, what is your favorite season? What special traditions do you have to mark that season? And what might you plan so you can anticipate with excitement your least favorite season when it begins creeping up? Leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to respond. 

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