Why is it that when the warm weather comes along, we suddenly slough off all our wonderful, productive habits as we apply a layer of sunscreen?
You know what it’s like: you just get into the groove of your yoga practice or of writing that book you always wanted to write, or of making it a habit to attend a class or writing every Monday night or every morning before work. And then, bam, it’s vacation time and your precious habit is being hijacked by family barbecues, work holidays and destination escapes. Or maybe you’re a small business owner whose work schedule gets commandeered by kids being off school for two months.
Here are a few hacks to help you maintain momentum so that you’re not stuck starting from zero again in September.
Build in a support team
Having an accountability partner or belonging to a group is a great way to stay on track with any goal. It is rarely enough to have a close friend to report to, because they love you and they’ll be lenient when some cool summer plans come along to kibosh your goal. Having someone with similar self-care or career goals means you are more likely to follow through. You want to partner up with someone you respect and whom you would hate to let down. As a partner yourself, it is a gift to be a cheerleader who won’t let petty excuses sabotage your comrade’s plans.
Don’t shut off the tap completely
Many people say that business slows down in the summer. Really? Not one person on the planet makes purchases or uses services for two whole months? If that were true the whole global economy would collapse. Yes, for many, there may be less activity in their businesses over the summer, but I challenge you to see if a contributing factor is your mindset of expecting a slowdown, or possibly your habits leading to a slowdown. Are you choosing to work less, write less, workout less? That’s okay as long as you’re making a conscious choice. May I suggest that if you are choosing to turn down the flow in your life, that you not turn it off? It is much easier to open a door that is slightly ajar than it is to push against a door that is sealed air-tight. Maintain smaller goals, such as a 15-minute walk instead of an hour at the gym, writing 100 words a day instead of 1500 words, or making business follow-up calls once a week instead of every day.
Be purposeful and deliberate
Hey, it’s summer, you get to have fun and enjoy the sunshine like everyone else! Go ahead and plan time off! But, be measured and focused with that summer lovin’. Use this time to replenish your dwindling stores of inspiration. Get out from behind your computer and soak up some vitamin D, shake up your self-care with a new routine, catch-up on your sleep. And, intentionally set some boundaries around your debauchery. Enroll in your usual classes for September before you quit them in May. Promise your copy-editor something before you slow down; better yet, pay for the editing services ahead of time which will force you to hand something over to them. Schedule a product launch or a new service package for September and keep your following thirsty for your return.
It is possible to enjoy a spectacular summer and continue to honor our meaningful projects. May you continue to be productive while you bask in the splendor of summer, and may you return to a smooth-running routine when the chill returns to the air.
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This article first appeared on Huffington Post. You can read the original post here.