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Slumped Over the Summer? How to Regain Control of Your Career and Finances

small business finance

Summer is synonymous with basking in the sun and unwinding. This relaxing season, if embraced correctly, can usher in a sense of calm and lethargy in the best possible way. Yet, what happens when this lack of energy starts to infiltrate your progress toward your work and financial objectives? How can you shift your focus from planning your next weekend getaway or a night out with friends back to pursuing your career and financial aspirations? Below, I’m sharing 13 straightforward and actionable methods to make headway toward your summer goals, whether they involve a flourishing career, frolicking in the sun, securing your finances, or sipping on a tiki drink adorned with a pink umbrella.

Journal Your Thoughts

When you require more motivation or clarity, it’s time to put pen to paper. Grab some paper and a writing tool, and release all the thoughts swirling in your mind. To overcome a rut, it’s essential to address the thoughts that are hindering you. Challenge yourself to dedicate five minutes daily to write. Set a timer, and keep writing until the timer expires. You might be astonished at the insights you gain. For an even more significant challenge, maintain this daily practice for a week.

Arrange a Meeting with Your Manager

If you’re sensing stagnation in your career, it’s prudent to schedule a one-on-one meeting with your manager. Clearly express your interest in discussing your professional development, growth opportunities, and any feedback they can provide to help you attain your objectives. Share your goals or, if you need suggestions, inquire about ways you can contribute to the company’s ongoing priorities or the steps necessary for securing a promotion. If you’ve been excelling in your role and believe it merits a raise, use this opportunity to present your case. Research thoroughly, and bring relevant facts and figures to support your request.

Reconnect with Friends and Colleagues

Summer often involves gatherings with friends and family at the beach or barbecues. If you’ve been feeling distanced from your social circle lately, it’s time to make an effort to reconnect. It can be as simple as sending a text or a direct message on Instagram. Plan a drink at an outdoor patio or a leisurely walk to enjoy both the season and each other’s company. Personal schedules tend to fill up during summer, but work typically slows down, depending on your industry. Harness this advantage to reconnect with former colleagues or establish new connections. Send a LinkedIn message to someone within your industry or company whom you’d like to meet. People are often more open to connecting than you might imagine, and your conversation could offer inspiration.

Take Action

The power of action should not be underestimated. If you’re struggling to muster motivation for your goals, sometimes the only solution is to start working. Begin with small tasks and set a timer for 15 minutes. Use this time to tackle an item on your to-do list that you’ve been avoiding. After the 15 minutes, if you still lack motivation, give yourself permission to stop. However, if you find yourself inclined to complete more tasks, continue working. Waiting for motivation isn’t always an option; sometimes, you need to create it.

Practice Meditation

Meditation is a valuable technique for clearing your mind and realigning your objectives. You might think meditation isn’t suitable for you or too challenging, but I assure you that it’s accessible for everyone. Dedicate five minutes to meditation, setting a timer for added structure. Sit or lie down in stillness, focusing on your breath. The goal of meditation is not to eliminate thoughts but to acknowledge them as they arise and then let them go. Meditation effectively enables you to connect with your body and mind, gaining clarity on your needs free from the distractions of work, screens, and others.

Organize Your Workspace

Clutter in your workspace can be a source of stress. A messy desk and surroundings can make you feel scattered and less productive. Tidying up your workspace can help settle the internal chaos and foster focus to achieve your goals. If you’re inclined to enhance your workspace, invest in a new desk organizer, picture frame, or other items that inspire you and infuse positivity into your workday.

Refresh Your Routine

Daily routines can become monotonous. To break free from a slump, try shaking up your usual schedule. Consider rising at a different time, enrolling in a new workout class, or saying yes to plans you’d typically decline. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and embrace new experiences. If you find these changes beneficial in rekindling your drive to meet your goals, incorporate them into your updated routine.

Start a Side Hustle or Hobby

If you’re feeling stuck in your career or financial aspirations, focusing on something entirely new can ignite the creativity needed to regain momentum. It could be as simple as taking up a hobby like reading, baking, or painting. Alternatively, if you’ve harbored a business idea, launching a side hustle can provide insight into whether it’s a path worth pursuing. Whether you aim to monetize your hobby or simply enjoy it, creativity is a powerful catalyst for overcoming a rut.

Download a New App

To hold yourself accountable for your goals, consider downloading a new app. Numerous apps cater to career and financial objectives. If you require task organization to make progress toward your aims, opt for a project management app such as Asana, Monday, or ClickUp. To cultivate new habits, try a habit-tracking app like Streaks, Productive, or Habitica. To align your financial goals, explore apps like YNAB, Credit Karma, or Mint.

Review Your Budget

Revisiting your budget is essential when striving to adhere to financial goals or getting back on track. Although managing your finances may seem less exciting when you’re in a rut, consider making it a pleasurable experience. Plan a budget date night for yourself or with your partner. Prepare your favorite meal, indulge in a face mask, light a cherished candle, or treat yourself to a fine bottle of wine. Find a way to make budgeting enjoyable and enticing because taking control of your money is a form of self-care.

Take a Class

To reinvigorate your professional growth, enroll in a class that teaches new skills or ignites your creativity. Numerous online and in-person classes are available for learning something new and making connections. Platforms like Skillshare, Masterclass, and LinkedIn Learning offer a rich resource library for honing your professional skills. For networking and building new connections, consider attending in-person events in your field. If you seek a more innovative experience, sign up for a class at a local pottery or painting studio. Stepping out of your comfort zone to acquire fresh knowledge can help you break free from a languid summer.

Undertake a Money Challenge

Challenging yourself positively is a key to realigning and making progress toward your goals. If your financial plans have faltered, attempt a money challenge. Consider a no-spend week or month, or engage in a savings challenge where you regularly save a specific amount until you reach your financial target. Altering your routine and spending habits can provide the impetus you need to rejuvenate your financial life and save money along the way.

Find Joyful Pursuits

Occasionally, the issue isn’t with your work or finances but with not fully living outside of your 9-to-5 job. Pause to consider what brings you joy and then make an effort to infuse it into your daily life. When we lead a fulfilling existence, we’re more inclined to pursue our goals and fulfill our passions. Identify the sources of joy in your life and engage with them more often. Listen to music you adore, savor a delicious cup of coffee, plan picnics in the park, immerse yourself in nature, and socialize with friends without distractions from your phones. When you’re happy and invigorated by the things that bring you joy, nothing can stand in the way of achieving your career and financial aspirations.

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