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Frame the Slump: Increase your Responsiveness and Resilience with Accountability

Friday August 21, 2020

The recent worldwide tumult has been a really prime testing ground for models and frameworks which address the question of psychological resilience.

As I’ve been journaling through my goals and experiences, and working with various coaching clients, I’ve explored a variety of ways to address this need for resilience.

One of my simplest, most effective resilience tools is what I call Framing the Slump. Here’s how it works:

  1. Pick an area of your life in which you’re experiencing a Slump. Maybe you’ve slacked on your exercise, or your social life, or your investment plan.
  2. You probably have a current plan, but that plan is not working out as great as you’d like. Maybe it’s a 2 out of 5 in terms of current effectiveness, for example, and you don’t feel very resilient in getting back on track.
  3. Write down your current plan, so you have an opportunity to think about it, and a record of the plan. Make any alterations you’d like.
  4. Mark a future date on the calendar. Maybe a week or two out, in the case of your exercise plan.
  5. Place the frame: “If (exercise plan) progress hasn’t improved by this date, I will try new methods X, Y, or Z, or possibly brainstorm a new plan.”
  6. When that date arrives, stick to your decision.
  7. Place another frame (calendared decision date) a couple weeks out, using the same concept.
    1. Consider using a measurement scale to indicate how well your (exercise) plan is working, so the decision is easier to make.
    2. For example, rate your exercise plan’s effectiveness on a scale of 1-3; anything less than a 3 will be changed within 2 weeks, and anything less than a 4 will be changed within 1 month.

The major goal of the Frame the Slump concept is avoiding longer slumps that lead to a more drastic decline in 1) activity and responsiveness and 2) resilience.

The secondary goal is to build long-term activity, responsiveness, and resilience by encouraging stability with more frequent, but less-drastic decisions.

INTJ-specific Twists

Those who rely heavily on their intuition may find that it conflicts with calendar- and timeline-based planning. For example, you want to change your exercise plan because it’s not working, but your intuition tells you “nothing will work for now—there’s no use in changing things.” Use framing to test out your intuition—ask your intuition when things will get better, and how you’ll know. Then calendar that and use measuring tools to keep your intuition accountable. The INTJ’s dominant intuition is subjective intuition, so there may be good reasons to make it prove itself, or at least “pay rent” if it is going to keep calling the shots.

If you’ve gone and overdone it, like a lot of workaholic INTJs do, new information and ideas may seem like the enemy. In effect, you could be stuck in a bad mood, which then influences your ability to affect change, believe in change, and follow through by trusting your change. Please consider measuring your results, and trusting the measurements.

And please, before deploying a tool like this make sure the change is not too drastic for your current conditions. Be gentle and realistic about your goals—it’s better to build an activity platform over time than to quickly build an activity cliff.

Related: Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale

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Own your procrastination with Whole Productivity, a new system → Get my free INTJ COVID-19 Guide → Explore your gifts with my INTJ Workbook → Other Publications → ...and the fake word of the hour: "Luaterkest." I think this is related to uncooperative vassal states.