The end of June marks the mid-point of the year, and what often comes with it is the dreaded mid-year slump. It’s the time of year when we start berating ourselves for all the times we’ve procrastinated on stuff over the last few months, and when we start to feel sad and guilty about the fact that we still haven’t accomplished what we set out to do at the beginning of the year. It’s the time of year when many of us start to despair that we’ll ever be able to make our dreams a reality.
Despite the outside sunshine, this time of year often seems depressing when you haven’t yet achieved what you wanted to – but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little bit of creativity and ingenuity, you can beat the mid-year slump by turning into a mid-year “bump” and injecting some much needed new energy into your action plans.
You can beat the mid-year slump!
I’m definitely no exception to the mid-year blues. I have the tendency to start looking ahead at my calendar and panicking about how quickly 6 months has gone by, and I worry about whether it’s even possible to get all the stuff done in the next 6 months that I want to get done. And I do this – I deal with this every year. It’s craziness.Check out this 6-step process to get you through the #MidYearSlump with your sanity still intact! Click To Tweet
But I have found a way to deal with it and get through it with my sanity more or less intact. And what I do is a use a 6 step process to get myself re-focused and re-energized. The mid-point of the year is actually a really good time to sit down and regain your perspective on things. I find the best way to do this effectively is to find a quiet time where I can be uninterrupted while I sit and think and mull things over. Alternatively, if you can find a place away from your usual work zone, that helps too – the change of scenery can be a great help in focusing your mind.
So, here’s the process…
Step 1: Review Your Goals
The first thing to do when trying to beat the mid-year slump is to haul out your annual plan and look at your original goals for the year (and if you have a big dream that you’re trying to build, having an annual plan is really important – if you don’t have one, you can download a template package on my web site, on the start-here page.
So, by this point in the year, you’re usually pretty tired, and sometimes frustrated by your perceived lack of progress, but looking back through your goal statements is often enough to re-energize yourself and remind yourself of what it was that you had really wanted to accomplish this year. It helps to get you excited again about all your plans and helps to bring your scattered thoughts back into focus. And this starts kicking your subconscious mind into gear, and it starts working on ways to make progress with what’s still left on your plan.
Step 2: Take Stock of Any Changes
This is a really important step. In looking back at your original goals, you will sometimes find that your thoughts/desires regarding some of your goals have changed in the intervening months. Let’s face it – life happens, and when it does, it can have an impact on what your priorities are. In looking back through your annual plan, it’s absolutely OK (and completely normal) for some of the goals that you had set for the year to get moved off of your priority list.
You may get back to them next year, but for now, delete them from this year’s plan and give yourself permission to move them to the back-burner. Clarifying your priorities for the remainder of the year will allow you to focus more of your energy on getting those things done and getting them done really well.
Step 3: Review Your Progress
The next thing to do is to take an honest look at the progress you’ve made towards the goals that are still important to you and still in your plan. When you start beating myself up over not getting anything done over the first half of the year, this is a big clue to me that you really need to stop and get some perspective. Because I can just about guarantee that you’ve gotten more done this year than you’re giving yourself credit for.
This is one of the reasons why taking time to track all the stuff you’ve done at the end of each day is so important – just jot some quick summary points down in a spiral notebook at the end of the day and track what you’ve actually done. Because it is so easy to forget all the stuff that we have accomplished and just focus on the bad stuff – on what we haven’t done. If you’ve been tracking this stuff, then even if you have forgotten, you’ve now got proof of what you’ve actually done.Taking time to review your #goals will help to keep you energized & focused! #SuccessTips Click To Tweet
It’s so easy to get disheartened over the weeks and months and to think that you’re just not getting anywhere with your goals, especially when they are really big ones that are going to take some time to happen. But, even if you haven’t been tracking your progress — if you make it a point to just sit down and actually think back and make a list of everything you’ve already done, all the little steps you’ve taken over the last six months to get yourself closer to your goals, you’ll probably be shocked by how much you’ve actually done!
In this review step, it’s also really important to celebrate your big successes! If you were too busy in the first half of the year for a big success to really sink in, or if you just didn’t realize at the time how big something was, then now is the time to give yourself permission to enjoy it and give yourself some well-deserved congratulations.
Step 4: Make Note of Outstanding Items
The next step is to make a list of everything that you still want to accomplish over the remainder of the year. What still needs to be done? Think of this is a kind of “mini” annual plan that will just take into account the next six months.
This is the list of statements that will keep your focused and energized for the next six months, and it’s the structure for the roadmap that will keep your going in the direction you want to go. This is the step that’s going to give you the direction and focus you need to step it up for the second half of the game and really make things happen for yourself!
So make a list of the goals that are still important to you for this year. Feel free to change, remove or add to your original goals as you see fit. These are your goals, and if you want to change ‘em, you are absolutely allowed to do that!
Step 5: Create your action plan
Your next step is to create an action plan for how you plan to achieve your revised goals. I always suggest that people start by prioritizing their remaining goals list and deciding which ones are the most important. Pick the top three goals and create a list of major steps or milestones that will have to happen in order for you to reach the bigger goal.
Once you have your milestones list, break those major steps down even further until you have concrete, action steps that you can do, and pick some that you will commit yourself to doing today, even if they’re only small things like making a phone call or sending an email. But make sure to take whatever action you can on a daily basis.
For example, if you had a goal to get yourself back into shape, you could break it down into “start yoga class” and “start swimming”. You could then break those two major steps down even further with the actionable steps of: “check schedules”, “look up pricing”, and “buy memberships” — so, small, actionable steps, and you could do at least one of those today! Remember that consistent action is key to making your goals happen for you.
Step 6: Schedule your next review
Your final step to beat the mid-year slump is to decide on your next review date. Having a regular schedule for reviews, where you go through all the steps we’ve just talked about, and take the time to look over your progress to date and your remaining goals, will help to keep you focused and on track, because having that defined timeframe is like having a deadline that you need to meet.
It’s another motivational tool that will help to spur your on and make you want to accomplish even more before that next review happens. Try and make it a point to do this kind of review every quarter – so at the beginning of January, April, July, and October – and it help to cut down on the needless self-flagellation that we all tend to subject ourselves to when it feels like our dreams are going nowhere fast. It keeps you from getting too caught up in feeling like you’re not getting anywhere, when you really, really are.
So schedule your next review. Actually put it in your calendar! Giving yourself a concrete deadline and it will help to keep you focused, energized and motivated for the next three months.
Summing it up
So there you have it: my six step process to help you beat the mid-year slump! I’ll just recap those for you here:
- Step 1: Review Your Goals,
- Step 2: Take Stock of Any Changes,
- Step 3: Review Your Progress,
- Step 4: Make Note of Outstanding Items,
- Step 5: Create your action plan, and
- Step 6: Schedule your next review
Use these steps to stop beating yourself up and get yourself back on track, refocused and re-energized to make big progress on building your dreams for the remainder of the year. And if you’ve got a tip for getting through the slump that isn’t listed here, don’t forget to share it in the comments section below!