Tame Your Inner Grinch

Did anybody else read or watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas over the holidays? It’s a Dr. Seuss classic!

Yes, he’s the cranky green guy who hates the whole holiday season. He doesn’t like presents, singing, or even roast beast. Nobody knows the reason. Some suggest it is because his head wasn’t screwed on just right or that his shoes were too tight. The other folks think it may have been because his heart was too sizes too small.

I think perhaps, he was overwhelmed. Fatigued. Just plain wore out. Can you relate?

Do you ever feel—or act—like a Grinch?

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Do you think it is possible your coworkers think your heart is 2 sizes too small? It happens. We all have Grinchy moments, caused by areas of fatigue in our lives.

But wait! I don’t want to only focus on the negative qualities of the Grinch because everybody (even Grinches) have something positive about them. For example, remember how he turns his dog Max into a reindeer?

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Or how he took action on his wonderful/awful idea. Whether you agree with his intentions or not, you have to admit the guy was creative. He knew how to improvise and was definitely driven to take action. Fortunately, an encounter with Cindy Lou Who and subsequent Whoville holiday festivities gave him a change of heart. Some even say his heart grew three sizes that day.

There’s nothing like seeing the furry guy’s heart grow to realize there’s hope for all of us—even if we feel stuck in a big green rut. How? For starters, we have to intentionally reduce our areas of fatigue to diminish our inner Grinch.

3 steps to tame your inner Grinch.

1. Identify the things you know about yourself that bring out your Grinch-ness.

On a sheet of paper, list 3 things you’d like to change about YOU in relation to your work or personal life (yes, often they are intertwined).

It could be an attitude, a work habit or even how you communicate (or don’t) with a particular colleague, client, partner or family member. It could be an unhealthy coping mechanism. It may be your inability to leave work at work.

Do you carry the stressors of the work day home and dump them on your family? Would you feel better if you ate better? Do you automatically assume negative intent from a coworker? Could you, perhaps, benefit from some physical activity? What areas of your life could you improve?

2. Brainstorm simple solutions

You don’t have to get fancy here! Keep in mind that sometimes small changes can have big impact. Choose practical, do-able solutions to help reduce your areas of fatigue and send your inner Grinch packing!

Let me offer some examples of simple solutions…

If you want to break a habit, then what do you specifically need to do to change this habit?
Are you chronically late? A college professor told me she was always running late and scrambling to be “game on” when her students started arriving. Her simple solution: set her alarm 10 minutes earlier. Bam! She started her workday prepared, relaxed and had time for a cup of coffee before her students arrived.

Do you struggle with not having enough time for your spouse or family? A simple solution may be to set specific times to connect with your spouse where you can be physically and emotionally present. Make uninterrupted family dinner a priority by time blocking it into your schedule or choosing one night a week as “family night.”

Do you bring your work stress into your family space? Remember YOU and only YOU are responsible for the energy you carry over from your work day. Make a plan to reset between your workplace and home. Maybe that means building five minutes of decompression time into your commute. Or revising your family schedule to allow more margin. Figure out what will work for you.

3. Take action!

It’s time to turn your simple solutions into action items! This, folks, is where the magic happens. Write down 2-3 actions you WILL take to improve the energy, attitude and habits you are bringing to your workday and to your home life in 2019.

Put this list in a place (mirror, kitchen cabinet, car visor) where it will remind you of your commitment to turn your fatigue into fulfillment.

Now, pull out your phone or daily planner and block 30 minutes exactly three weeks from today. Why three weeks, you ask? Be sure to read next month’s newsletter where I’ll explain why those three weeks are so important.

Use this half hour—a GIFT of time for YOU—to reflect on the changes and improvements you’re experiencing. You may even realize that you have eliminated an area of fatigue and can scratch it off your list. Celebrate these successes! With this kind of momentum, why not identify other areas of fatigue and strategize doable solutions? You have the power to tame your inner Grinch and bring more joy into your work day, home life and heart.

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