Most people start pursuing their goals — especially New Year’s resolutions — with great passion. But over time, they lose momentum, burn out and put their dreams aside. If this happens to you, it’s a clear-cut sign that your goals are not sustainable. Here you’ll discover how to get back on track toward your goals — and accelerate your momentum.
1. Evaluate your motivation. If you’ve lost momentum toward your goals, the first thing to do is verify your commitment. A lot of our goals tend to be “should’s” rather than “want to’s.” But I’ve discovered that without a burning desire to achieve a goal, your motivation wanes quickly and your subconscious mind turns its attention to more exciting desires.
For example, many people set New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, a goal that often falls into the “should” category. We feel that we should lose weight because it will make us healthier, reduce stress on our joints and make us feel more confident and attractive. Unfortunately, these benefits are typically not compelling enough to motivate us to keep our commitment to lose the extra pounds.
However, if you find out that a new baby will soon join your family, your “why” suddenly becomes bigger. Now you’re motivated to lose weight because doing so will increase the odds that you’ll be around to watch that baby grow into adulthood.
Pull out your list of goals, and for each one, ask “What is my ‘why’? Why do I want to achieve this? And am I committed enough to my why to do whatever it takes to achieve this goal?” By identifying or even upgrading your why, you can tap into greater motivation and commitment to achieve your goal.
2. Are you realistic? Once you’ve confirmed that your goals are things you truly want to achieve, the next thing to verify is that your goals are realistic. One by one, break down each of your goals. Get clear on what would really be required to achieve each goal. Realistically assess how many hours it would take each week or day to achieve your goal.
Next, start scheduling all the activities that are required to achieve your various goals. (Note: If you don’t know all the steps to achieve them, just list the ones you are aware of for the purposes of this exercise; the rest of the steps will unfold once you begin taking action.)