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Even though we typically think of winter as the season when we get off track in our pursuit of X,Y, and Z….summer can sometimes be just as difficult and maybe even more depending on your summer plans.
Why is that?
In the summer, there are so many competing opportunities of things we don’t get to do all year round. Between more free time, summer BBQ’s, summer getaways, and plenty of ‘I would rather do this’, we might actually find our summer ambitions getting shifted aside for higher motivators… such as sun, sand, and a drink in my hand (sorry I just had to quote Kenny Chesney at least once).
So, what can we do about it?
The mind is a powerful weapon, so you have three choices here!
1. Shift your Expectations
We have all heard of the infamous S.M.A.R.T. statements, or specific, measurable, action focused, realistic, and time-bound for pursuit of a goal. Perhaps for your summer goal, we take a closer look at realistic. Is this goal realistic to accomplish this summer, or would the trek be more realistic to pursue in the fall or later seasons? As a person who lives by expectation management, this one is huge for me. Now this doesn’t mean that you aren’t good enough or cannot pursue your goals, it just might be more realistic to pursue this goal and go ‘all in’ when these competing priorities aren’t constantly fighting for your attention. Some things are worth the wait and in this case worth the stronger pursuit.
2. Downsize Ambitions
If the pursuit of your goal is still towards the top of your priority list, but you have trouble hitting all of the benchmarks on your weekly to-do’s than perhaps you can downsize a little. What do I mean by this? I mean if your summer ambitions are to run three times a week, strength train twice a week, eat X amount of vegetables and fruits a day, and then pull a certain number of hours working a week, while also hitting that summer concert series, then you might want to take a closer look if you are consistently falling short each week. This is a different form of realism. I typically look at my weekly goals and then prioritize them. Look at what is most important to least important. Put your energy and effort into those most important priorities and go after them- HARD. It took a long time for me to realize that splitting my energy into many tasks wasn’t as productive as putting a lot of effort and energy into a few and doing those really well.
3. Hold Steady and Prioritize Your Goal
If you have read this far and you aren’t buying what I’m putting down, then your summer pursuit is a main priority for you. Perhaps you already signed up for a fall marathon or you really want to make try-outs for your school fall season sport, either way you are ready to go and have found a way to make your ambition your reality. Then what I have to say to you is, hold steady. This summer your motivation is going to be your progress. There won’t be any of the typical ‘catching up’ to do when fall rolls around for everyone else who put their goal on the backburner to the more popular motivators of the beach, concerts, and summer jobs. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy those either, you just need to keep prioritizing. This might entail a little more effort than usual on the planning phase of your daily tasks. Comfort for you will be setting parameters for when you accomplish your to do’s every day and not wavering. That’s your time that you have committed to yourself- so be selfish about it. After all, you know it will be worth it.