You know the feeling of excitement you get when you set a goal and you can see yourself achieving it? It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?! But it’s often the case that the initial goal excitement can lessen with time, especially if things get in the way of your plan or you get side-tracked by life events or people. Let that be a thing of the past — I want you on track, so your goals become a reality as you deserve them to!
Here are some tips to help you to build some momentum to achieve your goals, no matter what life may throw at you. Keep focused and you will get there!
The first thing about momentum is to trust yourself more! This is often overlooked but it is actually a make-or-break element of goal achievement. Think about this: when you came into the world you let people know you had arrived, and you were heard. You cried to let people know you needed food, you cried to let people know you needed changing, and you cried when you wanted to be picked up for a hug. You knew exactly how to get heard and you trusted yourself to get what you needed and wanted. Not only that you innately knew how to reinforce the strategy with your googahs and giggly smiles, to ensure you kept getting your needs and wants met. Your very survival depended on it. Isn’t it amazing that you intuitively knew what to do to survive and excel in a world you knew nothing about, yet you trusted yourself and your approach to be effective? Fast forward to now, following years of living life, having experiences, and meeting people, trusting yourself may not be as easy, and may even have been replaced by self-doubt. When was the last time you trusted yourself, really trusted yourself? It’s time to reconnect to your innate guide (in-tuition) and see once again that you are very capable of achieving the outcomes you want!
Understand the process of momentum.
The goal achievement process is like stepping up onto a recumbent bike. A recumbent is a bike that requires momentum, like the bikes used in gym spin-classes. Initially, when you get on, it can be really tough to get the wheels spinning. You have to work against resistance, and it can be difficult to get started, but once you push past those first few pushes and gather some momentum, it gets much easier, and soon your legs are spinning away using far less energy than it took to get started.
When you set out to achieve a goal or dream, it can be tough but, just like the recumbent bike, once you trust and push past the initial effort, even the smallest successes can build upon one another, creating an eventual tidal wave of momentum pushing you onward and upward towards your desired outcome. It’s what sees you through from your initial inspired excitement to routine daily habits and the actions needed that keep you on course through to the endpoint, at which our goal is realized. If you can keep moving on your little projects every day, it’s infinitely easier to stay focused, make great strides, blast through any obstacles that come up and achieve your big goal.
Avoid trying to do everything at once.
To create and maintain momentum, it’s important to chunk down your main goal into small, manageable steps, and then take action, one step at a time, every single day. You will avoid overwhelming yourself with your main goal by deconstructing it into bite-sized parts.
*Note to donnakennedy.com club members: Watch the videos on multi-tasking/ mono-tasking, focus, and overwhelm in the Self Discovery Library. If you are not a member yet, see https://www.donnakennedy.com/join-donnas-club/
Write down what you want.
It has been shown in several studies that people who write down goals are much more likely to achieve their goals than people who don’t write down goals. In fact, a 2007 study by Gail Matthews (Department of Psychology, Dominican University of California) found that people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them. That said, to create momentum write down your goals! I’ll say that again – WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS! Decide exactly what you want, give your brain a very clear GPS-like direction and action plan, and then commit fully to it!
Use Positive Commanding Statements
Rather than describe your desired outcome as a problem or something to get rid of (‘I don’t want to be unhealthy anymore’ or ‘I don’t want to be broke’), frame it as a positive commanding statement that calls to you (‘I am becoming fit and healthy now’ or ‘I am getting more confident and self-assured every day’). An outcome stated in the positive form gets your brain excited to take the specific actions needed to achieve it. Only present your brain with things you DO WANT!
Focus on what you CAN DO, not on what you can’t do.
Sustaining momentum is all about keeping your eye on the goal and focusing on what is possible. You’ll encounter obstacles, but don’t go looking for them and don’t linger on them if they occur. Keep your focus on what you can do and what is possible. Take the next step, no matter how small, that will move you forward. Become solution oriented. Be proactive, not reactive. Keep focused! As Henry Ford said, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”
Make your goal seem real already.
Visualize your ultimate outcome and activate your senses. What will you see when you achieve what you want? What will you hear? How will you feel? etc. Create detail and attach emotion to it, so your brain has plenty to grab onto. Our brains like sense-activated detail. To make it easier to create a perfect mental picture of you attaining your goals, you could create a collage using visual cues (vision board) or put an image of your goal on your phone or computer screen saver as I do, so every time you open it you are reminded what to focus on. It will inspire you and keep you on track. Take one minute out of your day, in the morning before you get out of bed, or before you go to sleep at night, close your eyes, and really picture yourself achieving what you want and engage in it. Bring up the lovely emotions that you’ll feel when you finally achieve your goal and think about how you’ll reward yourself afterwards. Step into it and connect with it!
*Note to club members: you can use the visualization audios is the Self Discovery Library to assist you with this. If you are not a member yet, see https://www.donnakennedy.com/join-donnas-club/
Carve out a consistent block of time to work on your goal.
This is especially important if you’re juggling work or other commitments. Make sure you have regular time to devote to your goal every day. Although that may be challenging, it’s doable. Consistent action is paramount for many reasons: it keeps your head clear and focused, it rewards you with a constant feeling of progress and, most importantly, it keeps the ball moving forward. Don’t wait for this free time to magically open up. It won’t. Rather, proactively carve out and prioritize a block of time in your daily schedule, make it public, and honor the commitment the same way you would an appointment. When my son was a baby, I used his nap time as my focus hour. I knew that was the only time I had to get stuff done (including writing one of my books!) and I got more done in that hour than I would have if I had no reason to focus. Social media, texts, etc. were all put aside during my focus time, as I committed fully to the goal.
Understand what it takes to keep you motivated.
It’s important to understand this, and I blogged about it last week — there are different types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Achievement motivates some people, while social connection motivates others. Positive motivation (rewards) works for some, while negative motivation (avoidance of consequence) is the ticket for others. Identify what it takes to keep you motivated and then leverage that understanding about what makes you tick. What have you had enough of? What will you not settle for anymore? What gives you fire in your belly?
Surround yourself with as many positive people as you can.
Hundreds of studies support the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are positive and goal-focused, if you want to achieve goals and enhance your performance. Being around supportive people has been shown to motivate and inspire, raise personal standards, provide accountability and positive feedback, increase the likelihood that goals are achieved, and even enhance IQ! A positive goal-oriented environment can help you to focus on your achievements rather than your setbacks.
Live without excuses.
Bottom line — there are always excuses but don’t blame others, if you use them. There will always be too little time, too many commitments and too many people pulling you in too many directions, but if you let the excuses get in your way, you’ll never even get started and you’ll definitely never build momentum! No more excuses – period! No matter how difficult the journey might be or how little time you think you have, focus on the fact that you will get what you want as a result of your positive actions, and it will be worth it. And think about this, every four years is a leap-year and you get an extra 24 hours in your day. Can you remember what you did with that extra 24 hours??? Exactly!
Once you really get some momentum going, don’t be afraid of it. Instead, feel good about it and embrace it. Don’t hold back. When it comes to goal execution, the key is to get moving and keep moving. Give yourself the opportunity to be the best you can be and give yourself a chance. Be kind to yourself, you will get there!
Regularly review your overall progress and reorient toward your goal.
If you were taking a trip across the country and took a wrong turn, you wouldn’t just keep going, wandering aimlessly. You’d stop, reorient yourself and get back on track. Do the same for your goal. Map out your course, keeping track of where you are and making course adjustments if necessary.
Celebrate your successes, big or small.
You can build on success more easily than on setbacks. Take note of every step forward, no matter how small, and celebrate every milestone. It will activate the reward center of your brain, which will make you excited for more! Create a victory log.
Decide, commit, do!