Sophomore Slump: How to Survive the 2nd Quarter of 2018

 Most of you are familiar with the sophomore slump. This is when the highs of starting something new have faded and the lows of potential failure loom. In sports, the sophomore slump is about failing to deliver the stellar results of rookie year. In music, it is often referred to as the sophomore jinx. This is the critical time in which a new artist must show that the success of their first record wasn’t a fluke. In college, we see the sophomore slump when students lose the zeal of freshman year. The sophomore slump comes in many forms.

However, the sophomore slump that creeps up on us after the new year is perhaps the most challenging to overcome.  

In my life and career, I tend to view the year in four quarters. Much like in sports, music, and school, the 2nd second quarter of the year is critical in goal-setting. It is the time when you can fall prey to the sophomore slump or rise above it. As someone who has done both, I can advise on overcoming this challenge as we shift into the next phase of 2018. Read on for 4 effective ways to demolish your goals this 2nd quarter.

1. Go back to the first quarter.
The first quarter is like the freshman year of college. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, you entered 2018 with the energy to crush your goals. But then – life happened. And, bills happened. And car stuff, family issues, fallouts with friends, and an overall drop in energy toward meeting your goals. It happens to the best of us. Instead of choosing to just try again next year, revisit your goals. What were you doing in January that was working? How were you motivating yourself in February? Go back to the drawing board and figure out what helped you get through 1st quarter to re-up during the 2nd quarter.

2. Get re-organized.
It's easy to get organized in January with a fresh set of new year’s resolutions. However, April and May tend to be a bit harder. As the weather finally starts to break, we get a little distracted from the goals we created. Truth be told, this is the most important time to stay on the straight and narrow. If you fell off from the gym, this is the last time you'll get before summer to look and feel better. If you stopped applying for jobs, start up again. Summer is a key time in the job market because employers lose workers who are taking extended vacations or leaving the organization altogether. Get re-organized and re-focused to make the most of your 2nd quarter.

3. Change what no longer works.
You are not obligated to stay committed to goals that no longer serve you. Some goals can be like relationships – even when you put in the work, you outgrow them. So, evaluate the goals you set in the 1st quarter. Figure out what works and what needs to be adjusted to your current needs. Align your goals with where you are heading, not where you have been.  

4. Don’t get discouraged.
It is easiest to get discouraged during the 2nd quarter. Our accountability partners fell off back in March and some unexpected issues have come up that need our attention. We're really just trying to survive at this point. However, stay encouraged. The path to accomplishing your goals is not linear. If anything, your path to achievement will be rocky, disconcerting, and downright stressful. But, keep your eye on the prize! With proper planning and your complete commitment, you will be well on your way to a victorious 2nd quarter. As Muhammad Ali declared, ‘It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.