Can we keep it real for a minute?
Achieving your goals and making huge changes is a helluva lot of work.
Besides having to take action consistently to see any results, running into setbacks when you least expect them, and changing some very deeply-ingrained habits, you also have to deal with haters.
But what about those days when you just want to lay in your warm bed instead of working on your laptop in the cold morning air?
What if you’ve had a horrendous day at your 9-to-5 and all you feel like doing is vegging out on the couch while watching bad reality TV?
Here’s The Deal…
You do have to allow yourself a break every now and then. So if you’ve been strictly focused on your goals and haven’t had a chance to catch your breath, then by all means take a day to relax a bit. It may be just what you need to get back in the zone.
And when we say a day, we mean 24 hours.
In your timezone.
No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it.
But what happens when a one-day break turns into five days? Three weeks? Six months?
Well, now you’re in trouble because a full-on procrastination slump has gotten ahold of you. Except we don’t call it that. Instead, we use phrases like “losing motivation” or “lazy”.
If you really boil procrastination, lack of motivation, and laziness down to their core, you’d see that they’re trying to tell you something.
They’re a telltale sign of resistance to change.
Now it takes a little while for your brain to catch up to the rapid outward changes needed to reach your goals. And if you don’t know how to diagnose it early on, a procrastination slump can have you rapidly moving backward instead of forward.
All of a sudden you’re sleeping half the day or getting caught up in other people’s drama. You start entertaining texts from your not-so-great ex or start sabotaging your side hustle by convincing yourself no one really wants what you have to offer anyway.
The good thing about a procrastination slump is that you can always feel one coming on long before it hits. The key is to whip it into submission before it has a chance to fully take hold!
If you feel like you’re on the verge of a slump (or are already knee-deep in one), here are ten ways to kick it to the curb.
Something as simple as mixing up your routine just a bit can help you snap out of your funk.
1. Complete Half
When it comes to achieving goals, we women have a tendency to bite off more than we can chew. [Join our mailing list to get your FREE copy of The Trés Fleek Guide To Crushing Your Goals]
Yea, we’re total badasses, and we know it.
But there’s only so much we can do in a day. When you find yourself wanting to stay in bed past noon or entertaining drama when you should really be focused on your goals, try finishing just the first half of what you told yourself you’d do that day.
Said you’d write 10 blog posts for the week? Write 5. Said you’d go to 2 networking events this week? Go to 1.
This works because all big goals are ultimately achieved one step at a time. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated, take it down a notch (and reduce your stress levels in the process). Win-win.
2. Take a Moment to Reassess
If you’re falling into a procrastination rut more than three times in a month, it’s time to get to the bottom of it.
Ask yourself what you’re really trying to accomplish…and what you’re trying to avoid.
Maybe you aren’t as passionate about your goal as you thought you would be and need to drop it altogether or maybe you need support and don’t know where to turn. Typically, once you’re able to answer these two questions, your next move becomes crystal clear.
3. Check Your FOMO
A procrastination slump can hit when it feels like all of your friends are having so much fun without you.
While you’re busy hosting Facebook Live events so you can build your side hustle, they’re courtside at a Lakers game rubbing elbows with one of the Kardashians.
Avoid this FOMO by expanding your circle a bit.
No matter what you’re trying to achieve, it’s vital to have friends that are on a similar path so you can keep each other motivated. Don’t have any friends with similar goals? Hit up Meetup.com or an online forum and find a group of like-minded people in your area.
4. Get A Change Of Scenery
When we start to procrastinate, it’s usually because we’re feeling bored.
Spice it up again by changing things up a bit. Declutter your space. Try working in a different area of your home or office. Go for a walk or try out that new twerk aerobics class at your gym.
Something as simple as mixing up your routine just a bit can help you snap out of your funk.
5. Try a New Recipe
This is similar to the tactic above but for an entirely different reason.
A study conducted by Winston-Salem State University concluded that people who engage in a variety of experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions and minimize negative emotions.
So, why not leverage the power of science and try a new recipe to get yourself a much-needed dose of the “feel-good”? Now technically you can try anything new, but food is the easiest thing to start with since we all gotta eat!
It can be as simple as a new smoothie with ginger or as complicated as a soufflé. Whatever you choose, try it out, bask in the positive emotions that follow, and then get back to chipping away at your goals.
6. Dance It Out
Okay, now wait a minute before you skip this step!
We are not talking about going to a formal dance class or learning some fancy schmancy choreography while trying to be Beyoncé.
We’re talking about pulling up your favorite playlist and just letting loose in your living room. That’s right. Sing at the top of your lungs, get lost in the lyrics, and forget your troubles for an hour. And when you’re done and feeling like the dancing queen you are, then get back to making strides towards your goals.
7. Go Be A Kid
Adulting is hard, right? So many things to juggle, so many expectations to fulfill. Life was so much easier as a kid, wasn’t it?
Too bad we didn’t know how good we had it back then. But you know what you can do about it now? Spend an afternoon being a kid!
Go to a park and get on the swings. Write on the sidewalk in chalk. Get into a water balloon fight with your friends. Play hopscotch. (If you’re too embarrassed to do this by yourself, borrow a friend or family member’s kid and take them with you. Ummm….and make sure you get their parent’s permission.)
When you’re done, see if you can approach your goals from the eyes of a child. How can you make the journey more fun?
8. Put It Down, Girl
The “it” we’re referring to is your phone.
But not just your phone–all electronics. Let ‘em go for at least two hours. If you really want to feel the full benefits of an electronics detox, then go an entire 8 hours without your phone, tablet, laptop, TV, radio, nothing!
Besides feeling a little weird at first, this actually helps you psychologically. Let us explain.
Using gadgets constantly, especially within 1 hour of going to bed, results in poor sleep. When you don’t get good sleep, you don’t feel rested. When you’re not rested, you’re anxious, overwhelmed, easily agitated, less efficient, and more prone to laziness.
Girl, you cannot achieve anything when you’re feeling any of those side effects. So, give the electronics a rest for a few hours, and especially before bed. You’ll thank us later.
No seriously, laugh out loud.
According to Forbes, laughter helps us release our natural “feel-good chemicals”. And we all know it’s impossible to be sad when you’re laughing your butt off!
When a procrastination slump is trying to creep up on you, it wants you to be depressed, skeptical, and negative. But sitting around feeling bad isn’t going to get you any closer to where you want to be.
Beat it down by getting your Netflix on. Find some comedy shows or funny movies to watch, then sit back and enjoy.
Get a good laugh in today, and you’ll be shouting out “What procrastination slump? I’m ready! Let’s do this!” soon enough.
10. Treat Yourself…To A Goals “Cheat Day”
In the diet world, it’s an accepted practice to eat a strict meal plan for 6 days and then on the 7th day, feast yo’ face off!
It’s been shown to work because it helps people stick to their diets knowing that on a certain day, they can let loose and have all the junk they want.
So why not have a Goals Cheat Day every week?
What should you do on your cheat day? Everything but work towards your goals. Get a massage, a facial, a mani pedi, binge watch the Real Housewives, have a movie marathon with your girl gang…whatever!
When you add this to your schedule every week, it will put your procrastination in check real quick. Why? Because now you’re allowing yourself to indulge in the glory of taking it easy, knowing that you will get back on track the next day.
Your Mental And Emotional Toughness Toolbox Is Now At Your Service
Making big moves is tough. Changing your life and the lives of those around you takes a ton of focus and hard work.
But it is totally doable when you have a toolbox of psychologically powerful weapons to depend on in a time of need. Be sure to bookmark this page and come back to it whenever you’re feeling less than motivated to hit your targets for the day.
And most importantly, don’t let procrastination kill your dreams, okay? The world needs you to bring them forward. Don’t forget that!
Absolutely agree on 9. L-O-L!! It is so important to laugh as it helps us to de-stress. I’m constantly looking for ways to find the humor in challenging situations and it really does help me regroup before I tackle the challenge.
When I’m stuck in a motivation slump I am pretty good about allowing myself to have a break because I am a human, after all, and I deserve one! At work I send people calendar invites called “human breaks” and they’ve been a big hit because sometimes we forget that we are human and try to become robots to accomplish all we have to do in a day. Sometimes if I really need creative inspiration I go to a high intensity dance class and I have so much fun that I’m in a joyful mood for the rest of the day!
A word of caution, I try to stay away from food as a “cheat day” because it allows food to become a comfort and support system. The second that tortilla chips bag rips open and a tub of hummus is nearby I’ve already spiraled down the wrong path…..they taste so good though!! YOLO…..
Ok finally, last thing I promise, I agree with the “put your phone down” advice. In today’s world people are so glued to their phones and forget to be present in the moment. They care more about their virtual-self over their in-person self and I can only image what type of issues that will lead to in the future. Also, with everyone staring down at their phone all the time I always wonder if our bone structure will start to mirror that pose….YIKES!