4 Ways to Keep Momentum
“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” — George Eliot
The Oxford dictionary defines “Achieve” as “successfully bringing about or reaching a desired objective level or result by effort, skill or courage.”
Achieving can often be misconstrued as “going for goals”. And once you reach those goals, then you will find happiness. However, this is a fallacy. It’s one of the most common misconceptions.
Our society has different ways of recognizing achievement. Sometimes these are tangible items such as awards or certificates. But what if you didn’t rely on society or a piece of molded gold metal to determine whether you are achieving? What if instead of a trophy, you looked at yourself to personally decide if you are achieving?
Imagine you are climbing a ladder. As the dictionary definition of “achieve” states, you have achieved once you reach your desired goal. What if that goal is an ever expanding goal as life goes on? What if that ladder doesn’t have a top step and instead keeps on going? How does that feel? Is that a daunting perspective? Or does that actually do the opposite and remove the feeling of failure and pressure when you aren’t at a certain height by a certain age? What if you decided that you are already achieving just by living, just by trying each day and making tangible steps towards your goals regardless of outside recognition?
The big question I ask myself every morning is “How do I want to feel at the end of each day?” This is my alternative to awards in order to define my achievements. Each day it is then down to me how much I achieve in the next 24 hours. Some days that means taking a huge step up my ladder towards my goals. Other days that means I take a small step up the ladder. On some days I stay on the same step or even feel as though I’ve taken a step back, but that is okay. Being alive, waking up the next day, allows for a new opportunity to keep moving towards my goals.
Be in the moment. Give yourself credit for any form of achievement, which could be getting out of bed. As long as you are moving in the direction you want to go, then it doesn’t matter whether you are taking large strides or small steps or even a step backwards or sideways. You know what you want to personally achieve and that is what matters.
For a healthy mindset, one of my suggestions is to remove unattainable expectations. You can all have your goals and objective levels, but instead of having them all at the top of the ladder, what if there isn’t a top anymore? What if instead your goals were placed at various places up the ladder? It is the journey up the ladder that’s more realistic to life. Moving through life, always trying to “make it” to the top, creates a toxic mindset when you may encounter obstacles and struggles on your way to achieving that goal. By removing a top step, it is a lot easier to put goals into perspective with the way that life itself works. Life doesn’t just end when you achieve your biggest goal.
Each day, each step is an achievement.
4 Ways to Keep Momentum
Read / Listen / Watch / Do something inspiring. Find something that resonates with you, whether that’s a movie, a person or an idea, that helps re-spark or fuel your enthusiasm and drive towards your goals. Do something that reminds you why you want to achieve your goals.
Take one step to branch out your network around your desired goals. This could be sending that email to your boss or stranger to take that next jump career wise. This could be putting yourself in a new environment to encourage new connections or to learn new skills that get you closer to your goals. This can be something big or small.
Pat yourself on the back. Take stock of what you’ve done and celebrate the day’s achievements, even looking further back. No achievement is too small to be celebrated.
Find something to give you hope in your goals for the next day. This might be found in a quote, a positive word or even a vision board. You’d be surprised how powerful the concept of hope can be in keeping your momentum alive.
It’s about believing everything is possible. Be open to everything. If things seem daunting, consider what’s in front of you and focus on that.
Don’t wait for someone else to say “well done”. Look at your own achievements. What would it feel like if you patted yourself on the back, recognizing all of your achievements whilst climbing the hypothetical ladder? Say “well done” to yourself and mean it. You’ll be surprised how much that self-validation and self-praise will impact you and help you keep momentum.