So I’m guessing about now you’re feeling the great New Year bouyancy. In this first month of the year we can seemingly all get by on enthusiasm and adrenaline alone. We’re feeling revitalised, refocused and have more energy. But, I’m sorry to say, it just isn’t going to last.
Right now it’s easy and you might be tempted to coast along for the next few weeks. I suggest you don’t. Instead, read my tips that follow on how to maintain momentum and set yourself up for success. Taking the easy road now will not keep you humming along in a month’s time.
I want to keep you moving forward after the energy wears off, after life“happens” and you get derailed. Here’s my 5 tips to keep the momentum way past the month of January:
Understand the structure of your winning actions
Right now you’re doing things efficiently and it’s all working. Why is it working?What are you doing that is producing your winning actions? If you seem to be on top of things, how have you achieved that?Ask yourself: what am I doing to make this work?
Ensuring that you have only 3 priorities on your list every day. Not answering emails and phone calls for a few hours a day.Even if you put down your current success to the time of year – “it’s quiet at the moment, so it’s easier”… Maybe it is quieter but what are you doing differently?Are you spending less time in meetings? What are you not doing or not being distracted by? You must find out what the structure is that is underpinning your current success. The structure will likely small key behaviours and involve boundaries. This is the foundation of your success! Understand it and aim not to compromise it moving forward into the following months.
Once you understand your winning structure that is producing your current results, you want to start tracking these small key behaviours now. If you can
keep these small key behaviours going at least most of the time, you will be able to keep up your momentum. So set up a spreadsheet (click here to download my tracking table) or use an app to track your key behaviours.
Simply record each key behaviour and record the number of times you need to do it in a week.Then update the spreadsheet/app every day or every other day with a tick, an emoji, whatever indicates to you that you have done that action.Don’t leave it for more than 2 days because you won’t remember what you have done. Keeping this record for a week will give you a simple indication of what you have and haven’t done with your key behaviours. At the end of the week, tally your number of each key action.
With this whole process, your aim is twofold:
- Aim to meet your target number of actions
- Have a clear visual indicator of any changes in your behaviours.
Tracking sounds simple but is incredibly powerful! Just bringing this information into conscious awareness every week will act as a reminder of the key things you need to do and indicate clearly when you’re off track. And yes, we will all get off track many times throughout the goal achievement process, so this is important!
Don’t allow derailment to mean anything
I absolutely swear by the tracking tip we just discussed for the very reason that you will get off track in pursuit of your goals. Everyone does. It’s pretty simple really. Life happens, unexpected urgent tasks arise, things are delayed, unexpected changes in your office etc. You know what I mean. It’s not inevitable that these things mean the death of your goals, it just means you need to be prepared.
As a Coach I am often coaching clients through derailments and most of the conversations revolve around what they think about getting off track. I spend time reassuring them that it’s normal. Even well experienced successful people will reach the same conclusion when they get off track. They conclude(like you and I do) that something is wrong. We all conclude that our ability or the circumstances around our goal are wrong. We use the“getting off track” week(s) as evidence that“it’s just not working”.
When you’re at this point, firstly, have compassion for yourself. You’re clearly feeling disheartened. Then gently remind yourself that this is in fact not evidence of anything except for the natural progression of goal achievement!
Let me reiterate: Getting off track means nothing about you, your ability or the potential success of your goal.
Getting off track is a natural part of the journey. Don’t make it mean anything other than that. Keeping this in mind, you will be able to avoid the negative thoughts that can creep in and inevitably impact your momentum.
Plug into the WHY of your goals
One of the reasons that we feel so motivated at the start of the goal setting process is that we are very clear about WHY we want to achieve our goals. We have a vision of what that will mean for us personally. We imagine the accompanying emotions and feelings of success. After we start on the goal achievement journey however, this can often be lost.
The day-to-day disciplines required, the focus and energy that you need for success can erode rather quickly. Understanding why you want to achieve your goals and actually recording these reasons to review later, will help you to keep moving forward. We all want to achieve our goals so that we can experience certain feelings, whether they be of accomplishment itself or the outcome of the goal, such as feeling better/significant/lighter/less stressed. So now is the time to record your WHY for each goal and read over them every fortnight. This will help ensure that you keep your momentum in the months ahead.
Make sure you implement these 5 tips over the next week to get you set up for rolling momentum!