We hear about children losing academic progress over the summer. Merchants are figuring out ways to combat summer sales slumps. When the weather is nice, we want to slow down and enjoy life a bit more. If you set goals, you’re probably tempted to take a few weeks off for the summer. If you feel yourself sliding into a summer slump, here’s how to stop:
1. Give yourself a deadline. If you want to take a break from one or more goals, go ahead, but decide in advance when you’ll get back to work.
2. Banish “I can’t” from your speech and thoughts.
Quit telling yourself what you can’t do over the summer. When you keep saying “I can’t” it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you’re tempted to say or think “I can’t”, replace it with “I will” or “I can.”
3. Collaborate. Two like-minded heads are better than one. There are several ways that you can collaborate. You can become an accountability partner with someone who has a similar struggle. You could form a live or virtual group of people who have similar interests.
4. Strategic Thinking. Start with five minutes of uninterrupted time during which you will think about and or pray about the situation that has you in a slump. You can also use your time in the shower to think about your situation. Consider using your commuting time to strategically think. Ask a better question. Instead of saying, “why can’t I ever eat right?” Ask, “What can I do to be disciplined when I eat out?” Instead of asking yourself, “Why do I always spend too much money at the mall?” Ask, “How can I be a wise steward of the money that I have?”
Once you get into the habit of strategic thinking for five minutes at a time, you should work up to 30 minutes of interrupted thinking at least once a week. Consider sitting with a journal and thinking about your goals and anything that is interfering with your progress. Write down what’s working, what’s not working and what you can do better. The time that you spend quietly contemplating your next move will help you to be more effective when you return to your project.
5. Go to bed with it. When I was in high school, my grandparents would tell me to literally sleep with my text book under my pillow when I had a test. I used to do it while I was in high school, and I found that it worked. Many decades later, I understand why this practice worked for me. When you’re asleep, your subconscious mind is still at work. You can give it an assignment before you go to bed. Don’t lie in bed ruminating about a problem. Just simply ask a good question before you go to sleep. Here are some good examples. “How can I manage my responsibilities and still exercise three times a week?” “What should I do to complete my degree?” “Who can help me get my business started?” When you wake up, think about the questions that you asked. Make note of the new insight that you have.
There’s no reason to lose ground or go backwards over the summer. You don’t have to invest thousands of dollars or hours of time to reboot your progress. Change your thoughts and speech. Collaborate with like-minded individuals. Set aside time to think and pray, and give your brain an assignment before you go to bed.
How do you get yourself out of a slump?