Determination Always Beats Indignation

It’s easy to begin something new with determination. A new year, a new job, a new relationship are all opportunities to sprint headlong into something. However, when faced with challenges, adversities, and unforeseen circumstances it can be difficult to maintain a high level commitment. Everyone wants to be persistent and strong, though many of us find it difficult when overwhelmed by day to day minutia. Below are 4 tips on how to stay determined throughout the year.

In an effort for full honesty, I feel the need to provide you with a disclaimer at the beginning of this article:

Waking up with a chip on your shoulder is not a sign of wisdom. Resentment is not a scar from battle that you should make you proud. People hide behind their unhappiness and call it ‘healthy skepticism’. It’s easy to be the cynic, to pessimistically walk into the office on Monday carrying the baggage of your unfulfillment. We’ve been conditioned to by pop culture to believe that, unless you are doing something really exciting, 9-5 jobs are never going to provide you with purpose or meaning. There are cat posters hanging in people’s offices that proudly state “I Hate Mondays”. The movie Office Space made the term ‘case of the Mondays’ commonplace. Terms like Hump day, TGIF, working for the weekend, and another day another dollar just reinforce this pledge of indignation surrounding our work and our weekdays.

You’ve been lied to. It’s NOT cool to hate your job. It’s not cool to complain about Mondays being difficult.

If you find yourself slipping towards indignation there’s good news: YOU can do something about it. The key word here is YOU. It is not up to anyone else to fill you with purpose and determination. There are some things you can do to make Mondays and any other day more exciting and less daunting.

Tips for being determined:

  1. Set your goals for the week. What 5 things will you accomplish this week? Knowing what’s ahead of you is a great way to stay focused and on-task. When we have set goals it allows us to avoid time wasting tasks that pop up in the middle of the week. Knowing the things you have set out to achieve allows you to unapologetically avoid distractions.
  2. List 3 things you accomplished the previous week. Write down three things you achieved the week before to give yourself some encouragement. This will subconsciously re-enforce your goals for the week because if you have already completed tasks before, the ones in front of you will seem more attainable.
  3. Start your day from strength. Find the task(s) you enjoy most and begin your day there. Most people begin their day by sorting their email or getting the mundane tasks out of the way. While there is some credit to be given to attacking the most difficult things ahead of us, we should never focus on the boring, dull, or frustrating things at the beginning of the day. It then sets the tone for us to be bored and frustrated all other thing we approach that day. Instead start by doing something you really enjoy. Then you will put yourself in your best mindset to accomplish other things with the attitude of determination and enjoyment.
  4. Make someone else’s day better. It can be easy to focus on ourselves, especially early in the morning when we haven’t had enough coffee or just dealt with traffic. However, positively impacting someone else has been scientifically proven to improve your own mood. In effect, setting someone else on the right trajectory will propel you into a better day.

It’s important for us to be aware of how we approach each day. If we wake up Monday morning with determination and positive attitude then that is what we will be bringing to the table in every task, responsibility, and interaction. If we choose to approach the new week with indignation and skepticism that is what we will surround ourselves with. Your attitude determines your surrounding more than your surroundings determine your mood.

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