Ahhh, the beauty of summer-time.
We make time to stop and smell the flowers. Somehow, it’s so much easier and inviting to do in the summer months. Who doesn’t love kicking back with a glass of wine on a warm evening and mentally escaping from the norm that is called “everyday”….?
It’s when taking the time to sit and soak it all in feels ah-maz-ing….and when spontaneity to the schedule is more inviting than ever…..
Ahhhh, summer. We love you and the way you make us feel so relaxed and carefree.
(note: this concept may also be applied to vacations, and other prolonged special moments in life)
Isn’t this how we want to feel ALL.THE.TIME. ?? I think the reason why summer (or other similar circumstances) is so appealing is because it gives us this little glimpse into the more simple, satisfying parts of life. And we actually make time for it, whereas somehow the “regular” schedule is founded in rigidity and discipline – the formula for staying on track, be it financially, for practical reasons, or for maintaining structure to our otherwise tendency for freedom.
But of course, the necessary transition back to reality hits and the summer honeymoon wanes sharply as the calendar rounds out to September. And this presents a distinct contrast for our emotions and motivation. The question being: how do I re-create the drive and satisfaction to do all the “normal” things that suddenly seem mundane and effort-full?
As a fitness studio owner and life coach for driven women, this time of year presents itself in two ways:
- those that feel they need a complete 180 degree turn-around in where they currently are in their life and goals, because they have realized that there is internal (and many times, external) progress they want to pursue.
- those that feel they have misplaced their zest for effort and motivation – this is usually the result of chronic “stick-with-it” mentality and habits, that while often beneficial, can also lead to enough mental and physical fatigue to produce an opposite effect over the long-term.
Reason Number Two (the focus of this post) is one reason why traditional diets and programs fail for most of the population: the amount of energy we put into concentrated efforts (like sticking to a diet or working out exponentially harder) that do not necessarily lead us to greater satisfaction in our life and entire being tend to throw us back and forth into a challenging state of imbalance. And it’s not that our bodies cannot readily adapt through the ebbs and flows of life (in fact, it is normal and healthy!), it’s that our minds make it difficult to make sense of and thrive in these contrasts.
When our thoughts, passion, and priority don’t seem to support what we *think* we should be aiming for, and our energy is just not there to readily make it happen, then it’s time to take a DEEP breath and put it all into perspective.
So then, what are the steps to take to get that mindset shift, and bring about a new normal in order to move forward? Here’s my advice to get you started. (Hint: start NOW, don’t even think about waiting til a “better” time).
- Don’t fall into the comparison trap.
We constantly compare, don’t we? If it’s not comparison with our [former] [“better”] selves, then it may be comparison with someone else and what they seem to be able to accomplish so easily. None of that will help you move in a forward direction. Don’t look back….you’re not going that way. Long-term balance and focus requires resiliency – and that resiliency requires us to not be easily distracted by circumstances that, practically-speaking, do not actually affect our present state. Instead, remind yourself that you are where you needed to be at this moment, and that will be the catalyst for the next steps you take. Here’e the thing: you get to decide what those next steps will be.
- Re-assess what’s really important to you.
Sticking to your “plan” to reach your goals is great, but that effort and dedication is only as good as your ability and desire to do it. Start by asking yourself what it is you really want. If you’ve suddenly realized you crave more balance or downtime, then adding to your schedule and forcing yourself into a state of stress over it really is not going to do you any favours. We *think* this is the key – to muster up the strength to do what we are “supposed to” do, and then resent every minute of it. We like to feel the pressure because often we have trained ourselves to believe that *not* living up to the demands of that pressure gives us a way out – a reliable excuse to go back to that place that is un-satisfyingly comfortable, yet offers security in staying small. It’s ok not to have aggressive goals. It’s okay to just be happy doing what makes you happy. But when we start to feel complacent, those “happy” habits are often really detriment in disguise. SO assess or re-assess what you really want. What is it that truly gives you that satisfaction you crave? From there, you can carve out your next steps.
- Consider the “mirror effect”.
Finding that motivation and desire to push back out of that comfort zone while at the same time, create a more consistent and sustainable lifestyle, can be tricky. The two seem to contradict each other. But like I talked about earlier, the issue we get into is that we sometimes put our energy exclusively into efforts that exhaust us – and this results in this seemingly uphill battle to re-fill that tank. The truth is, sometimes this happens – it’s part of life and that’s okay. These transitions or challenges can be a mirror that weeds out the crucial, meaty stuff we do from the stuff that just isn’t working for us. When we have this reflected back to us, it forces us to find a better strategy or more carefully consider where to put our energy. This can also help us to re-frame our mindset – our actions easily reflect exactly where our mind is at. When things are going well and easy, we think we’ve got it all under control and maybe even conquered our “demons”…..but being thrown out of norm and relinquishing our rigid routines for a while can very sharply show us our struggles. This is why the “mirror” is of value: we get the chance to refine our perspective, to re-define our goals….it keeps us continuously seeking growth. Feeling a little broken doesn’t equate to a “falling off the wagon” or to any sense of failure (it will only mean that if you label it that) – broken-ness is required to build up even stronger.
Whether it’s simply a change of seasons, a new pursuit, a longing for something more, or a temporary lack of motivation – you get to choose the direction you will head. Remember that a journey starts with one step, no matter how small….and what matters is that you get to enjoy it and want to keep going.
Need some guidance to start your journey to sustainable changes and a balanced mindset?
Check out my new MIND | BODY | LIFE online program, starting September 15. This six month guide is designed to not only address your fat loss goals, but also get to the heart of true change – your mindset and perspective. This isn’t a quick-fix – this is equipping you to get your life back on track and gain strength you never knew you had!
This unique program is being offered for only $29 /month if you sign up in the month of September (or one payment of $129) — but this introductory offer is for a LIMITED TIME ONLY.
Get all the details HERE.