We’ve discussed how to set goals and how to attain them, but how do you keep the momentum going? You may have noticed that you start out strong, and you really want to reach the finish line, but then life happens. Maybe you get ill, or you lose your job, or your mother comes for an extended visit, or your kids are out of school for the summer and you need to keep them busy – any of these things, and a million more, could get you off track. And if you’re human, usually when you get off track, you start to think that you’ve already failed, so what is the point of getting back on the bus? Or maybe you feel you’ve gotten so far off center that you’re never going to get back, so you might as well scrap the whole thing and start again with something else. Both of those might be the right thing to do, but ask yourself: “Is that really true?” The easiest way to get back on track, of course, is to notice it early and self-correct without judgment. Just go back to where you got off your mark. This is not how it usually happens, however, so if it’s been a little longer, re-assess your initial goal and re-invent it to be something more manageable for your current situation. You may find that this keeps happening to you. You start a goal and then never finish or keep putting it off. This is where your support network is valuable. Look around at the people already in your life who possess the qualities or behaviors you would like to change within yourself. Ask them if they are willing to support you in your goal. You may have to ask them to hold you accountable when you get off track – but make sure they can do this in an uplifting and supportive way, not a critical or demeaning way. (This might be the right time to hire me as a coach!)Having 3-5 like-minded and like-acting people around you to influence you in a positive way will help bring the results you want. Different people have different perspectives, so it may be good to consult more than one person with the same issue. According to the research, it can take doing an activity 7, 30, 100, or 1000 times before it becomes a habit. No one really knows exactly how the brain works, but we do know that repetition forms habits. The more you repeat a new behavior, the more likely it is to become a long-lasting habit. Positive feedback is also a strong motivator to keep you on track. If you can see the results of your behaviors, and you like what you see, you’ll keep the momentum.
Good luck with your next goal!