Pushing Through The Lethargy

Jan 10, 2013, Written by Sue Miley

After the holidays it can be hard to gain energy back and regain productivity.  Too much food.  Excessive sitting around.  No routine.

I tend to feel the yuck of too much spending, excessive sweets, and much more time in my sweatpants not sweating.

I know many of you are probably heading back to the gym and back to work, but is your heart in it?

Here are some suggestions:

Clean out and organize your office/desk.

We were fortunate that we had a good year last year and were able to buy a new desk, a new console, some new chairs, an extra fridge for our office to spruce it up and give us room to bring healthier snacks and lunches.  It feels fresh and more organized when I go into my office – a fresh start is energizing.

Change your eating habits.

I hate dieting.  If I diet I tend to eat more than twice as much.  Deprivation hits some nerve in my brain and instead of diet, I feel the need to eat more and store up.

  • Instead of a traditional diet, try eliminating something unhealthy or adding something healthier to your current diet.  I am going to try to add more raw foods into my diet.  You can get some ideas from Carolyn Dennis.  I am not suggesting you dive in to completely changing your diet, but a day a week raw may be a first step.  My team and I are going to try it next week.  (We’ll let you know!)
  • Try some kind of fast.  Another thing I am doing with my husband is a 21 day wine fast.  We like wine.  But, I am pretty sure I am allergic to the tannins.  I am hoping this fast helps my sleep and reduces headaches!

Create a new routine.

When we feel out of control, we just don’t feel well.  It may be that out of control is stress magnified.  The best way to bring stability to feeling out of control is to put routine back into your life.  If you are an entrepreneur, or an ENFP or ENTP, the idea of routine is almost worse than diet!  But, having a little routine is the quickest way to feel back in control.  Types of routine that may help are:

  • quiet time in the morning for reading your bible and/or journaling
  • 15 minutes at the beginning of each work day to make a list of the 3 most important things that need to be accomplished for the day
  • okay, for some it may be to set up an exercise routine
  • get back to date night with your spouse
  • go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday; even weekends

Embrace a Minimalist Mindset – or at least Start.

  • Get rid of junk.  Similar to organizing your office.  Go through your junk drawers with a garbage can next to you.  Throw away all of the things you felt you may need for something one day.  The key that you don’t know what it goes to.  The extra buttons for clothes long discarded.  Candles half burned sitting on a pantry shelf.  Mail you will never look at again.
  • Then dig deeper.  Old electronics that are obsolete.  I know it still works, but you don’t use it.  Electronic chargers, like the buttons, for long ago discarded technology.
  • Take old novels you won’t read again to a book swap store.

I love the idea of minimalism.  I read www.theminimalist.com all of the time.  I am far from a minimalist though.  First step, reduce maximizing, eliminate hoarding, and get rid of your junk!

Get financially fit.

  • Find something you waste $2-$3 per week on and save it. My daughter is taking a class in personal finance at college during intercession.  Her professor said that eliminating one Starbuck’s drink a week and saving it will give you $60,000 by age 60.  You may not be able to retire on it, but start there.
  • Put together a system to pay all of your bills on time.  Make a goal to not incur a single fee for any type of late payment this year.
  • Pick the smallest credit card or loan you have and make a plan to pay it off.  Then use the eliminated monthly payment to add to the next smallest debt.  Start knocking it out a la Dave Ramsey style.
  • Review your bills.  What one expense can you eliminate, price shop, or lower?  Last year I combined my home phone with my cable and internet.  The combo price of all three was less than just the internet and cable alone.  One year I eliminated some stations on cable we never watched.  Look for subscriptions you are still paying automatically and cut them off.  I just received a receipt for a Norton security automatic renewal.  We have all Mac Books in our house and my office.  I just never turned it off.
  • Ask to have your checking account fees removed.  If you have been a good customer many banks will waive the fee.

These activities don’t take a ton of enthusiasm and energy, but they get you back in the productivity mode, and provide a clean slate to ramp up your motivation.

It’s a start.  You will gain momentum.

You just have to push through the lethargy!

Reader Interactions


  1. David Rupert says

    Sue, you are so correct about the lethargy. I ate too much, didnt exercise and basically lost all my discipline for reading, praying, and writing.

    This is a good jumpstart for this slug.

    “Rise up o sluggard, consider the ant and all her ways””

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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