Remembering Our Goals – Defeating The Mid-Year Slump
By Aphelele Mtwecu
As we are halfway through the year- it becomes natural to feel a sense of lethargy or stagnation as we pursue our goals. The initial excitement and motivation may have faded, and doubts may have started to creep in. However, it is crucial to remember that even small steps can lead to significant progress. With that said, we will explore Lusanda Mbane’s powerful methods and principles of goal-setting, offering motivation to keep pushing forward, no matter how challenging it may seem.
Now, we all know the drill of a new year. We set this year’s goals the same way we did last year. We will start jogging, write that book (guilty!), and other notable goals. Research by the University of Scranton suggests that as few as 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions are successful at achieving them. This leaves 92% of people out of the race. There are many reasons why we don’t achieve these. They may be unrealistic, not SMART, and our lives become heavily cluttered, clouding our resolve. And so, as a general foundation to this resolve, is to acknowledge the mid-year slump instead of letting it consume us with guilt and potential paralysis, we use it as a reminder to re-centre and get back to the basics.
With this in mind, Lusanda Mbane provides a framework.
Kicking us off, she encourages us to take out those diaries, journals, and vision boards if you will, and use them to remember our why. It becomes pivotal to step back and reconnect with why we set our goals. Furthermore, what impact would this fulfilment bring into our lives? Rediscovering our purpose can rekindle the fire within and invite us to start over.
Moreover, old-age technique of smart goals still applies in our adulthood. Even though goals may vary- the principles can be applied to anything. As long as they are SMART, this SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
Specific- What exactly is it that we want to achieve – she provided us with an example of a weight loss goal – if a person had desired to lose 10kgs at the beginning of the year, although you have fallen off, in the next six months, what weight loss methods are you going to do, how much weight can you lose monthly? What is it that you want?
Measurable – As you continue working on the weight loss goal, you have six months- what can you realistically do with that time, and how will you use that time? Determining when you will start, times of training, and how long you will do is critical.
Achievable – your goal needs to be something you can achieve – this is not to say you cannot do the impossible, but achieving small steps keeps you going. Continuing with our weight loss, if you weigh 100kgs, and have been struggling with gluttony, it would not make sense to want to lose 20kgs in the first month. Setting such restraints and harshness on ourselves can discourage us.
Relevance – the goal must be contemporary and relevant in your current situation, e.g. it would be a bit difficult for a new mom right after giving birth- to expect herself to look like she did when she was 15- of course not! And so it must move in the context of the current dynamics, or it sets us up for failure.
Time-based- Any goal should have a framework as it helps us to keep going, and to be accountable to ourselves. How long will it take to lose weight? Unlike the measurable aspect, this confines you within a time, on what day you start and the completion date. How many weeks, months?
Concluding the session, she invites us to utilize these principles- when we work on our goals.
She says that the biggest obstacle will be your mind. She encourages us to live by these principles.
Firstly, just start! No matter how the situation looks, you keep moving forward, no matter how unfavourable the circumstances may be.
The second principle is one of my favourites- She says life is a numbers game. For every achievement, many seeds need planting.
On her journey to becoming a TV and radio personality, she maintained this principle until she made her breakthrough. This is a cardinal powerful principle. It teaches us to put in the work – be deliberate, monitor our crops, and trust and believe that those efforts, taken together, will produce our desired harvest.
Thirdly, she reminds us that success lies on the other side of our fears. We need to pursue our dreams, despite our fears.
And finally, as we navigate the mid-year slump- it is noteworthy to remember that progress is not always linear. By staying strong and consistent, even in the face of obstacles, you re-ignite your goal-setting fire. And so we must keep the faith, push the boundaries, do what we can, as best as we can and hope that the universe will conspire in our favour.
About the author:
I’m Aphelele Mtwecu, 2016 Activator, a 31-year-old female. As an ambivert, I am a content writer, activist, and creative. My true passion lies in youth development, transformation, and making a meaningful impact. Every day, I encounter the world, seeking healing, innovative solutions, and fresh methods to drive social change on my personal journey. My work and advocacy reflect my unwavering commitment to fostering positive change.