You had a plan. It was solid. There was no reason why you couldn’t have made this happen. You had the time. You had the place. You had the motivation … it’s mid-July. Now what?
Many of us have been there. Work may be slower in the summer months. We have more time-off planned. We expect to be more active in the summer considering more time is spent out of doors, especially for us Northerners. We have been hibernating for the better part of the year. And then, we get caught up in those summer activities. You know what I’m talking about.
There’s nothing like breathing in that summer air with the rich, smoky BBQ aroma on a summer evening with a gathering of good people. The sun is still warm and shining through that margarita pitcher, enticingly tart and sweet all at once. There’s an endless spread of Tostitos and cheesy dips. Before long, we’ve had more than our fair share of s’mores by the fire. It’s late. We sleep in. We’re groggy the next day, and that heat will probably have us moving a little slower, not to mention, a little dehydrated.
Before we know it, we lose any ambition we had to accomplish any activity goals, whether it be for maintaining our fitness or shedding a few pounds. Granted, many of us have lost our mojo due to the impact of Covid, well before the summer.
How do we overcome this slump? I mean January 1st is that time when we reach for the stars and set those goals that are no mean feats. We start off strong, then lose momentum after the motivation-high wears off and things get real. Should we set a January 1st goal in July?
Try something different.
1. Plan just a bit - Set a small goal
Instead of redlining it right from the gate, how about planning on such an easy goal that there is really no reason to not do it. Take walking, for example. Instead of gearing up to start walking 1 hour per day, or 12 000 steps per day, why not aim for 10 minutes, or even 5 if you have really fallen off the wagon (rolled down into the ditch, face-first in a puddle of muddy water).
2. Get up and go. Don’t think about it. Just go and do it!
Do not give yourself anytime to contemplate any other option, such as delaying the activity from when you originally planned to do it.
Try the 5 Second Rule created by Mel Robbins (I highly recommend this book):
“Count backwards to yourself 5-4-3-2-1.” This will help you focus on your goal and distract you from doing anything but doing what you set out to do. It gives you control to direct yourself toward your goal (not arguing with yourself and losing time and time again).
3. Repeat positive self-talk aka affirmations
There is no room for negative talk to tarnish your shiny new approach toward your goal. Make sure you include what you can currently do and what you will succeed at achieving. Say something like: I have got this! I have strength in my legs and I am now getting stronger!
4. Increase a little each day - I mean just a little!
If you go too hard too soon, chances are you will derail within a short period of time. How about matching what you did the day before? Or, better yet, if you can, add a few steps, laps, reps, or increase the length of the workout. As you gain confidence and skill, you can also change it up with increasing the intensity.
Sure there are no quick fixes to teleport you to your end goals BUT these 4 steps will immediately aim you straight toward your goal. Start with these, and your summer will not only be enjoyable, it will end with you even closer to your goal.
See you out there! 5-4-3-2-1…
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Shelly Hosman Ink