There are lots of slumps you have to deal with. That mid-afternoon energy slump after your late night and carb-heavy lunch catch up with you. The mid goal slump, where halfway through your progress towards a goal, your motivation and progress hit a low point. And the mid-life slump where you wonder what you’re doing with your life and you go buy a sports car to deal with it.
The first type is easy to deal with. Get to bed earlier and eat better. Problem solved.
The last type, I can’t help you with, but I like this quote from Brene Brown,
The middle type, though, I can offer some insight into and maybe help you out a bit.
If you are anything like me, you’ve experienced this mid-goal slump. You get halfway through whatever goal you have, whether it’s a course, training program, work project or diet and you just grind to a near halt.
It’s a well-researched phenomenon whereby you start strong, you’re hyped up to start, you’re ready to smash that goal. You get everything ready, you start strong, then the Meh strikes. Only to finish the goal with a surge.
Case in point. (One of many!)
I decided to get the Precision Nutrition PN1 certification. It’s recognised as one of the best nutrition coaching courses available and I knew it would benefit my business massively. I paid the course fee. Got the coursework through and my log in details for the online sections of the course.
I was excited, I was super keen to start. After getting off to a flying start, the first few chapters flew by, notes were taken and study was done.
I figured 6-8 months and I’d be done.
13 months go by and I’m stuck about 60% of the way through. Not stuck stuck, but slowed to a near halt, motivation gone, stuck.
And the textbook taunted me every time I walked past the desk it was on.
The same has probably happened to you with your fat loss/ training goals. You start strong, everything set up to help you attack the goal and see success.
Then gradually, you let a good habit slip one day. Then another couple of days, motivation is low and the habits start to fall away.
Maybe it’s the seeming lack of progress. Maybe it’s too far out of your comfort zone to be sustainable.
Then you realise that you have 4 weeks till your holiday, deadline or competition and suddenly motivation comes flying back to push you over the line. Maybe not having achieved your full potential, but you’re through the finish line.
What you can do to avoid the slump.
Nothing. Sorry. It’s going to happen. As I mentioned above, it’s a well researched phenomenon. Physical tasks, group projects, individual goals, they all tend to start strong, slump in the middle and pick up steam as they near a deadline.
What you can do is to minimise the depth the slump takes you to.
Here are 4 tips to help.
Set mini, progress goals.
Setting a series of progress goals helps maintain motivation. As you tick off each mini goal, you are more likely to feel motivation to go for the next on the list.
For example, set yourself a (realistic) target for the number of training sessions you’ll do over the next 3 months. Each session you complete, make a note or tick a box (see point 2) and maybe set a small reward for reaching a certain point.
Don’t break the chain.
Jerry Seinfeld famously uses a calendar with boxes for each day. His target is to write every day and each day he puts a big cross in the box. Over the days and weeks, he creates a chain of crosses that show how much progress has been made and increases momentum to continue as he doesn’t want to break the chain.
2 Publicly commit to your goal.
Publicly committing to your goal, via friends, Facebook groups, or online communities, puts your reputation on the line. Encourage the group to ask for progress updates to make you more likely to complete the task and avoid the discomfort of saying you haven’t done what you said you would.
3 Remember who will benefit.
Remember your Why. Or Who. Why are you doing what you are doing? Who will benefit? If your reason is strong enough it’ll pull you through the slump more quickly than if your reason is weak.
Will your family benefits if you improve your education and get a better job.
Maybe you benefit from the improved health and fitness by following your training and nutrition plan.
Do your clients benefit from the project you are working on.
While the slump may be practically inevitable, but you can use these steps to reduce it’s impact and help you push through to the end.