There’s a specific pattern that repeats itself right around this time of year.
I’ve been coaching for a long time and I started to notice this early on when I was coaching clients during the summer months.
Slowly but surely, they’d be less and less engaged. I’d notice a little bit of a drop off in the beginning of the summer, more of a drop off in the middle of the summer, and then a frantic panic as the summer started to conclude.
First, let’s address why this happens.
It all begins with the mindset around health and fitness. Logically, we know that we want results forever, right? It’s pretty safe to assume that no one says, “I want to be healthy and fit but only for a couple of months.”
However, we treat it as a short-term endeavor. We tell ourselves that our schedule needs to be clear, that we can’t have any interruptions, that we can’t get started if there’s a trip, vacation, or busy work calendar on the horizon.
So our actions tell a very different story. Which means that most people completely check out during the summer because the routine is different. More social events, more vacations, maybe some birthdays, holidays, etc.
We loosen our grip and then tell ourselves that we’ll get back to it when things “normalize.” The irony is that life never really “normalizes.” We all know too well just how unpredictable things are and even the best-laid plans can get thrown off at any moment.
Look, if you’re reading this right now and thinking “Uh oh, this is definitely me.” It’s ok. Don’t feel bad about it. There are quite literally thousands and thousands of people in the same boat.
Statistically speaking, most people get motivated to take action in January and February, then slowly that begins to fade over the summer months. We see another spark in motivation around September. Then another fade happens over the holiday season.
All because we treat this as a temporary thing that is “on or off.” If simply made the decision that this is forever, no matter the circumstances, the season or time of year would be irrelevant. Your schedule is irrelevant. The events and things we need to navigate are irrelevant.
The only thing that makes them relevant is thinking you need the right time or the right schedule to do this.
Which just isn’t true. When we work with our 1-on-1 clients, we give them clear and actionable strategies for navigating vacations, work trips, travel, date nights, social events, etc. They feel confident in the plan because the plan suits their lifestyle. Sometimes the game plan can be as simple as… just enjoy it! Sometimes we give more specific feedback like, fill up half of your plate with protein, throw some veggies on there, and then the rest is up to you based on enjoyment.
That’s not really the point though. The point is that the summer lull is all rooted in the idea that we need the perfect schedule and the perfect time to execute. It’s a false belief. The reality is that we just need to make the decision that this is a lifestyle and something we want forever and then act accordingly.
If you fell victim to the summer lull or maybe you’re still in it… take this time to assess and learn from it. Why do you feel like you checked out? Do you still have the tendency to view this as something you’re either on or off? Where do you think that mindset comes from?
Ask yourself those difficult questions. And remember, it’s never too late to get yourself back in the game. Recognize the patterns in yourself and then take action to change them. If you want a different result than you’ve gotten before, it’ll require different actions than you’ve taken before.
Nothing changes if nothing changes.