This is it. I’m really going to do it. I’m going to <insert big plan here>.
All those who have said something similar but ended up falling short of the goal, raise your right hand.
You tell yourself: “I’m going to write 4,000 words a day for this ebook I’ve been planning to finish for years.” After several days of doing just that, your word count starts to dwindle day by day. Time slips by you like a thief and before you know it, you realize you’re not writing anymore. Worse, the book is not close to getting finished.
And to think that you were so enthusiastic about it just a couple of weeks ago.
Feels terrible, doesn’t it? But don’t beat yourself up for it. Take comfort in the fact that losing steam while striving for goals is a common phenomenon.
Thankfully, there are effective ways for you to keep yourself on track the next time you commit yourself towards a new goal.
Please hop right in.
1. Break your big project into small, manageable parts
Big projects can be daunting -- that is if you focus too much on the end goal. If you’re planning on losing 35 pounds in five weeks and you keep dwelling on how much work that entails, you are likely to end up feeling overwhelmed and miserable, causing you to lose your momentum.
What you need to do to keep yourself going is to set incremental goals towards finishing your big project. By focusing on smaller and more manageable tasks first, you are setting yourself up for a series of small victories. Soon enough you’ll feel that every little thing you do is building up to something. By setting up micro-deadlines, you’ll find that it’s easier for you to focus on one task at a time.
Before long, you will come to accept that you can’t achieve your big goal overnight, and with that comes the comfort in knowing that every small progress you make is taking you closer to the big prize.
2. Reward yourself
No matter how committed and determined you are in finishing a big project, you are bound to lose your momentum if you don’t take the time to reward yourself for each milestone you achieve.
Just finished writing 25,000 words the entire work week? Then reward yourself for your hard work by going out with your friends on Friday night. Pop a champagne bottle and go nuts!
When you take the time to reward yourself for your small victories, you are less likely to feel burned out by your exertions. By the time you get yourself back in the grind, you’ll find that you feel more refreshed and energized to go about your tasks again.
3. Surround yourself with a support system
When the going gets tough, friends and family are the people who will keep you going.
As Ringo Starr used to sing back in the day, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”
So before you take on a project that you think will be an uphill climb, make sure that you have a strong support system that can provide you with the support and encouragement needed to keep you motivated. You can also network with people who share the same profession as you. This way, you can receive invaluable advice when there are work-specific issues that you’re struggling with.
4. Learn from your mistakes
Plans, especially the big ones, don’t always go as planned. Mistakes and setbacks come with the territory when you’re undertaking a big project, and therefore should be treated as opportunities for making improvements.
In short, you have to learn from your mistakes. If you keep committing the same blunders over and over again, chances are you’re going to punch yourself out of the game. By learning from your experiences, not only can you steer yourself in the right direction, but you also become better and more efficient at pursuing your goals.
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