I am great with short-term goals. In fact, I always prefer them. Work all the time for a few months to reach a goal? I am done with that. I will give up a social life, downtime, spending money, eating yummy food, doing whatever it takes, for the short-term. Long-term goals—ugh, not so much.
Despite this preference for immediate gratification, I have followed through with various long-term goals in my life.There have been quite a few goals that I have dropped that I wished I hadn’t.
I, like many of us, have observed a pattern of finding it much more difficult to stay engaged once the initial excitement of starting something new starts to wear off.
With this learning process of motivating myself to follow through with long term goals, I have come up with some steps which have really helped me to stay focused. Here are three steps that you might find helpful –
Remind yourself that you are in charge
There can be loads of reasons that we get off track with goals. Self-doubt, fear that we won’t succeed, and concern of not setting realistic goals are just a few of them.
You can change this goal if you want. You just have to keep on going, you can revise it, or you can leave it altogether. Whenever we are experiencing doubts, it is easy to feel that we have no power; it’s easy to feel that we don’t have a choice. However, most often, we always do have these options.
I find it very helpful whenever I remind myself that I am in charge. Many times, when the going gets tough, we start to feel like the choices we made long ago were not our own. Sometimes a simple reminder to ourselves that we are the ones who originally set this goal is a good way to reverse the engine.
Look back at all you have already achieved.
If you have been taking small steps towards your goal for a while, then you should take some time off to consider all that which you have already accomplished. All long haul goals take multiple attempts and incremental steps to attain. Just Pat yourself on the back, and remind yourself of what you have already achieved.
When I am frustrated about something and I feel like a lack of movement toward a goal, I sit down and prepare a list of the steps I have already enacted to reach it, and what are the results of those steps have been. I am almost always amazed by how much I have produced. This clarity helps me in analyzing those feelings of frustration.
Explore the reasons you are going for this goal
If you can’t remind yourself of your initial reasons for going for the goal and get re-ignited for those reasons, then it might be the right time to re-assess.
Only you should decide what is best for you, and it can change over time. It’s important to give ourselves permission to go for the goals with full-on focus and gusto, or to change them, or even to put them aside for a while, or whatever else you decide is right at that time.