“Maintaining your momentum” – sounds easy doesn’t it? If you want something, you just keep working for it right? If you want something badly enough you just keep going, don’t you? But we all know its not that easy, because life isn’t like that..
There are days when you’re not feeling 100%, or when other things take priority, or those days where the unexpected happens, and of course there are those times when you just don’t feel like it.
Whatever goal you’ve chosen, healthy eating, exercising, job hunting, learning a new skill… you start off, all systems ready, full of motivation with a “can do/ nothing is going to stop me” attitude, but somewhere along the way it disappears, and getting started again can seem overwhelming.
Its most visible around the end of Winter. New Year resolutions that you were so determined to keep, fall by the way side. But losing your momentum can happen at any time. So what can you do about it?
Revisit your reason for starting
Go back to the very beginning and ask yourself why you wanted to accomplish this particular goal in the first place.
It may be that when you first set yourself this task it was relevant to your life. Perhaps it isn’t any more? Its perfectly acceptable to change your mind about things. In which case, draw a line through it and move on.
If the goal is still relevant but seems overwhelming, you need to re-do your action plan and break it down into smaller, achievable goals.
Make a realistic timetable
The secret to maintaining your momentum is to make a realistic timetable.
When we set goals, we are so determined to succeed and succeed quickly, that we under-estimate the time it takes to achieve them. If the only thing you had to do was to work towards your goals, then speed wouldn’t be an issue. But there’s this thing that you need to remember, its called your life, and you have to make time within your planning, for the everyday stuff that you have to do.
The reason you’ve lost your momentum could be that you’re burned out. You might have taken on too much and tried to accomplish too much within too short a time. Things always take longer than you think they do! Don’t be impatient. Why not over-estimate the amount of time that you think you’ll need? Then if you accomplish the task ahead of schedule so much the better! Double bonus!!
Do one small thing from your original to-do list
If you’ve lost your momentum, you might be feeling a bit down about it and even demotivated. Accomplishing a small task will be just the thing that you need to get you going again.
Pick something small from your to-do list. Something that you know won’t take too long, and do that next. Don’t plan it, don’t schedule it, just do it! A quick win might be just the thing that you need to get you motivated again.
Scrap your original plan and start again
If the above actions work for you, great. However if you’re still feeling stuck you could take the drastic measure and scrap the plan and start again.
This option isn’t for the faint hearted, but it may work for you. It did for me.
When I realised that I wasn’t getting anywhere, I did a bit of soul searching and then it dawned on me that it wasn’t the goal that was wrong, it was the action plan that needed changing. My plan just didn’t inspire me.
Starting again with a blank sheet paper can be really daunting OR it may be the inspiration that you need. I know some people prefer a planner with headings to guide you, but for me a blank sheet of paper really gets the creative juices flowing and its that feeling of being inspired and motivated that you need to get you going again.
So once you get your momentum back, how do you make sure you don’t lose it again?
1. Don’t try to do too much at once.
Don’t get me wrong, there are going to be days when you fly through your to-do list and everything just falls into place. But those are the easy days. Its the days when nothing goes right, when you start to doubt yourself that your momentum starts to vanish. Choose no more than 3 tasks to achieve each day. If you do more than that, great. If not, you’ve done your 3. Mission accomplished!
2. Don’t let the bad days win.
We all have bad days. No matter what you do, things just don’t go right and it can seem that the universe is against you. The trick is to let it go. Put it down to experience, bad timing or just bad luck and move on.
3. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.
There are many blogs written on this subject so all I’m going to say is, there is one you, this is your journey.
4. Enjoy the ride.
If you’re constantly struggling with maintaining your momentum you should ask yourself if this is what you really want to do. Achieving your goals is hard work, but half the fun should be in getting there. Take the set backs on the chin, learn from your mistakes, grow, learn some more. Make sure you enjoy the journey. After all you chose this, so make sure its the right path for you.
Let me know in the comments below what you do to keep your momentum going and what you do when you lose it. I’d love to hear your suggestions.