Unfortunately, as much as we would rather not admit it, we sink into slumps. We might take what we think is a temporary break from working out, for example, only to see it stretch into weeks. Or, we might put off a project for work only to cram it all into one or two days before deadline once the pressure kicks in.
Some slumps are a result of having little to no time to keep up with whatever it is we’ve been prolonging (I can definitely relate; with 29 days before my wedding, many things have taken a back seat to planning). Other slumps are caused simply due to a feeling of laziness (raise your hand if you can also relate—and don’t lie). Regardless of how the slump starts, the end result is no good.
As the slump persists, you feel less and less motivated to do what you know you need to do. Then comes the hard part: getting back up on the horse. Not only is losing that extra 5 pounds due to a lack of cardio more difficult to accomplish, but it can leave you feeling a bit ashamed.
Here are a few things to keep in mind in order to escape either a personal or professional slump:
Remember the Real ‘Why’
Behind every meaningful decision is a “why.” It’s the disruptive force that initially drives us to make change, cut something out of life or pursue something new. Remember what your why is, and not just the surface-level why (i.e. “I have to finish this project for a client because I’ll be penalized if I don’t.”)
There’s always a deeper and more impactful “why” behind our decisions, and it’s our job to constantly remind ourselves of them in order to keep pushing forward. For example, the reason you don’t want to procrastinate on an important client project (despite how badly you’d rather put it off) is because you want to make a stellar impression on your boss and you feel a promotion coming soon. Perhaps the reason you’re in a slump is because you haven’t discovered your “why” yet. After all, why do anything at all if there’s no solid reasoning behind it?
Consider the Long-term Benefits/Results
If you’re struggling to identify your “why,” consider the benefits or results you’ll experience by sticking to whatever it is you have committed to. For example, imagine how energetic and less lethargic you will feel on a daily basis by continually eating healthy. Imagine the body you will have if you commit to working out 3-4 times a week. Imagine the satisfaction you will feel after receiving praise from your client (and/or manager) after a job well done, and imagine where constant great praise can take you in your career. Best of all, consider the fulfillment and personal enrichment you will feel in simply knowing you can and did do something you committed to.
Don’t Forget the Consequences
Conversely, while it’s not at all as much fun, imagine the consequences of not following through with your commitment or responsibility. Consider the feelings of sluggishness and discomfort you may feel after neglecting exercise and proper eating for a few weeks. Imagine the feeling of disappointment or even embarrassment in not performing your job at peak capacity. Worst of all, imagine the feeling of knowing you could have done better but voluntarily chose not to.
Not to get too negative here—remember it’s never too late to start the day over, and that every second is a new opportunity to begin heading down the path towards your best you. All you need to do is choose to recommit and give it your all.
Seek and Surround Yourself with the Right People
Perhaps the best way to get over a serious slump is to surround yourself with seriously awesome people. Join some motivational groups on Facebook or, better yet, start your own with some friends. Create a safe space where you can be honest and be held accountable—and do the same for others. Seek and surround yourself with people you admire and who you would love to emulate. Better yet, find 1-2 people who have been on the same journey as you who can mentor you and offer realistic, first-hand advice.
It’s time to get over that slump, whatever it may be. So, are you ready to get started?