Is it already that time of year when the New Year’s resolutions and promises are wearing thin or perhaps have disappeared completely?
Don’t give up just yet or file them under “next year,” because it takes weeks, if not months, to create a new habit. And even when we do create more lasting and embedded habits, there can still be times when we just hit a slump in our motivation and seem to reverse the progress we have been making.
Momentum only really happens when our “why” becomes greater than our objections.
In other words, our inner cheerleader is making more noise than the naysayers in our minds.
It doesn’t matter whether it is something big or small that you want to be, do or have, here are some ways that will lead you to have more consistent momentum, forward movement, and traction toward your goals:
1. Name your WHY
Understanding why you actually want to achieve the goal is crucial. You need to lock into the feeling that you expect and anticipate when you get to the point of saying “done.” What is it exactly about this feeling that you are interested in? What difference will it make in your life? What level of importance does it hold for you?
2. Stay out of the HOW
This is easier said than done. Our logical mind wants to work things out and plan step-by-step what we need to do. But that is often counterproductive, because seeing all the work ahead of us before we even start to take steps can generate a lot of overwhelm. Staying out of the “cursed hows” can be easier if we adopt a playful attitude and become a little more curious as to what life wants to show us.
3. Take the next step
This is often the tricky part because we can lapse back into figuring it all out and trying to do everything at once. Anything that is new requires us to move beyond our comfort zone, so it helps if we take time to get comfortable and competent at each new level. It also takes courage to take those steps we’ve never taken before, and that sometimes leads to going back to questioning our WHY in the first place. That’s okay… it will solidify your reasons and motivation even more.
4. Just allow
Without letting yourself off the hook completely or going into slacker mode, just notice and accept that there are some days where momentum seems to be impossible. Maybe you don’t feel up to the job that you had planned. If so, is there something else that you can do instead? Or perhaps you need some downtime? If it’s one of those days, then give yourself permission to be in your non-productive mood. The more you allow it and are actively off-duty, the sooner the slump will pass. Sometimes we’re just human and need a time-out! Perhaps your inner-kid is trying to tell you something. Go have fun, re-energize, and come back to your “adulting” when you’re ready.
5. Celebrate all that’s good
I’m a huge believer in mini-celebrations and rewarding one’s self. It doesn’t have to be expensive, nor should it be a distraction from what you’re trying to achieve. Don’t just gloss over your achievements and progress… if you do, it can feel like an endless road of tasks and challenges. So, if you’ve taken a brave step in making a decision, taking action or achieving a milestone, then call yourself out for a reward.
Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it does require consistent action and sticking with it to build anything!