Summer is the time to soak up the sun and relax. Which, if done right, can lead to a sense of calm and lethargy in the best way possible. But what if that lack of energy starts to seep into the progress you’re making (or not making) toward your work and money goals? How do you turn your focus from your next weekend getaway or a night out with friends back to achieving your career and financial plans? I’m sharing 13 simple and actionable ways you can make progress toward your goals so you get everything your heart desires this summer, from a successful career to fun in the sun to secure finances to a tiki drink with a little pink umbrella.
Journal It Out
If you need more motivation or clarity, write it out. Grab some pen and paper and get everything that’s been floating around in your mind out in front of you. Sometimes to get out of a slump, you need to work through the thoughts that are holding you back. Challenge yourself to sit down for five minutes. Set a timer and write until the timer goes off. You’ll be surprised at what you might learn. If you want a bigger challenge, do it every day for a week.
Schedule a 1:1 With Your Manager
If you’re feeling stagnant in your career, schedule one on one time with your manager. Set the expectation that you want to discuss your professional development, opportunities for growth, and any feedback they can share to help you reach your objectives. Communicate any goals you have in mind, or if you need ideas, ask how you can contribute to the company’s current priorities or what steps you need to take to score a promotion. If you’ve been really knocking it out of the park and believe your efforts warrant a raise, use this time to make your case. Do your research. Bring the facts and figures to the forefront and make the ask.
Summer is usually the time to gather with friends and family at the beach or BBQs. But if you’ve been feeling distant lately, make an effort to reach out. It really can be as easy as sending a text or an Instagram DM. Make plans to meet for a drink at an outside patio or go for a walk together, so you can enjoy summer at its best and each other’s company. Personal schedules can fill up during the summer, but work tends to slow down depending on your industry. Use that to your advantage to reconnect with old colleagues or make new connections. Send a LinkedIn message to someone in your industry or at your company you’d like to meet. People are more willing to meet than you’d think, and the conversation could inspire you.
I know; it’s easier said than done. But action leads to action. If you lack motivation to work towards your goals, sometimes the only thing that can help you break through your slump is to do the work. Start small, and set a timer for 15 minutes. Use that time to do whatever it is on your to-do list that you’ve been putting off. At the end of that 15 minutes, if you’re still not feeling it, give yourself permission to stop. But if you’re feeling compelled to knock a few more items off your list, go for it. You can’t always wait for motivation. Sometimes you have to make it.
Mediation is a useful way to clear your head space to realign your goals. You may think mediation isn’t for you, or it’s too hard. But I promise, if I can do it, so can you. Commit to meditating for five minutes. Set a timer so you have something to look forward to if you need to. Sit or lay in stillness and just breathe. The object of meditation isn’t to not have thoughts. It’s to acknowledge the thoughts when they pop into your mind and then let them go. Meditation is an effective way to tune into our bodies and mind to get clear on what we need without the distractions of work, screens, and other people.
Organize Your Workspace
I don’t know about you, but clutter stresses me out. When my workspace is visibly messy, I feel more scatterbrained and less productive. Make an effort to tidy up your desk and surroundings to settle the chatter in your head and spur engagement to meet your goals. If you want to spruce up your workplace, pick up a new desk organizer or picture frame or anything else that you find inspiration from so you can draw on the good vibes throughout your workday.
Refresh Your Routine
Daily routines get, well, routine. To get out of a slump, try shaking up your standard routine. Wake up at a different time. Schedule a new workout class. Say yes to plans when you’d usually say no. Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. If you find the change works for you and is helping to get you back on track to meet your goals, make it a part of your new routine.
Start a Side Hustle or Hobby
If you’re stuck in a rut when it comes to your career or finances, focusing your attention on something completely new could give you the creativity you need to help you get back on track. It can be as simple as starting a hobby like reading, baking, or painting. Or if you’ve had a business idea floating around in your head, start a side hustle to see if it’s something you’d like to pursue. Whether you want to monetize a hobby or just do it for fun, being creative is a great outlet to propel you out of a slump.
Download a New App
If you’re looking for a way to hold yourself accountable to your goals, try downloading a new app. There are a lot of apps available to help you with your career and money goals. If you need to organize your tasks to make progress toward what you’re trying to achieve, download a project management app, like Asana, Monday, or ClickUp, to help. If you want to form new habits, try a habit-tracking app like Streaks, Productive, or Habitica. To help realign your money goals, try YNAB, Credit Karma, or Mint.
Revisit Your Budget
Need help sticking to your budget or meeting your financial goals? Make time to revisit your budget. Checking in on your money can sound less than exciting if you’re in a rut, but find a way to make it fun. Plan a budget date night with yourself or your partner. Make your favorite meal, put on a face mask, light your favorite candle, or treat yourself to a nice bottle of wine. Find a way to entice yourself to make the time and create an enjoyable experience because taking care of your money is a whole other level of self-care.
Take a Class
To reinvigorate your professional growth, sign up for a class to learn a new skill or spark your creativity. There are plenty of online and in-person classes available where you can learn something new and even make new connections. Websites like Skillshare, Masterclass, and LinkedIn Learning offer a great library of resources to choose from to sharpen your professional skills. If you want to meet new friends or colleagues, attend an in-person networking event in your field. If you want to get a bit more innovative, sign up for a class at a local pottery or painting studio. Getting out of your comfort zone to learn something new can help you break through a lethargic summer.
Do a Money Challenge
To realign our goals and actually make progress toward them, we need to challenge ourselves in a positive way. If your financial plans have started to go awry, try a money challenge. Attempt a no-spend week or month. Or take on a savings challenge where you save a certain dollar amount each day or week until you meet your savings goal. Breaking up your routine and typical spending habits can be the shake-up you need to reinvigorate your financial life (and save some money along the way).
Find Things That Bring You Joy
Sometimes work or money isn’t the root cause of the problem. It’s that we’re not living enough outside of our 9-5. Take a moment to think about what brings you joy. Now try to infuse joy back into your every day. When we feel like we’re living a fulfilled life, we’re more apt to work towards our goals and fulfill our passions. Whatever joy looks like for you, do more of it. Listen to music you enjoy. Take an extra minute to savor a good cup of coffee. Plan a picnic in the park. Go for a walk and take in nature. Spend time with your friends sans cell phones. When you feel happy and energized by the things that light you up, nothing can stop you from achieving your career and money goals.