As February fades, we glance at past weeks in our rear view mirror. The passion we had at the year’s dawn now shrinks in the distance. We gape at the road ahead. Such a long, winding trek looms between our place and those audacious goals. Doubt prickles the backs of our minds. What were we thinking?
Sigh. Whatever gusto once propelled us to begin has exhausted itself. Fatigue blurs our view. Worse yet, we cannot see much difference for all our work. As twilight washes across our highway, the exit signs’ reflective paint gleams in our headlights. Taking a break or turning back just makes sense, doesn’t it?
Before you decide to shift gears, consider the alternative. Drive on for another mile. One more day, week, month. Just one at a time. Even if your progress remains imperceptible, you stand to lose more by giving up than by persisting.
Progress comes in small increments, not giant leaps. The first steps toward a goal occur where no one else will see them–in your head. It takes time to change mindsets. A cognitive shift might not bring tangible results right away, but will produce huge long-term benefits. Remain vigilant about your desired attitudes and lifestyle. Keeping this mental focus will help you get past the temptations to brake or reverse.
Cultivating perseverance, refusing to quit too soon, will strengthen you to achieve more significant goals in the future. The mindset might seem a small thing due to its intangible nature. But since thoughts drive behavior, they are the most powerful factor for getting results.
When outcomes appear disappointing, remind yourself of a few key math facts:
.1 > 0 (Some progress is always better than none).
A tension headache compounded the incessant watering of my eyes yesterday. My frustration mounted. I had planned to finish a certain amount of writing, but doubted I could meet my goals without vision. I rose from the computer. Maybe a little time outside the house would clear my sinuses and I could at least finish some errands. The effects worsened outside. Driving with blurry vision proved less practical than trying to type. A webinar about writers showing up for work without excuses came to mind. I decided to push through and finish as much as I could. I typed for 2 or 3 hours with my eyes closed. The drafts needed editing, of course. I didn’t meet my goal, but I finished more than half of it. A lot less to catch up on today. If you only complete part of your objective today (or this month or this year), you will have accomplished more than if you gave up.
x(a + b) > a + b, where x = why.
Keep your reason for accomplishing the goal in mind at all times. Altruistic motives enhance our stamina and propel us onward through hardships. How will accomplishing this goal improve your impact upon others? What blessings will you be able to offer with the extra time you save? The better health you attain? The financial freedom you achieve?
a(a + b)(a + b + c) > a + b + c.
Use momentum to multiply success. When you accomplish a small goal or objective, use the little win to propel you onward toward a bigger achievement. With each step, you can press yourself further. Don’t neglect celebration, but employ it as a driving force to keep moving.
Where are you on the road to your dreams today? Let’s take up this challenge to drive onward another day. Relate your struggles and triumphs, and together we’ll press toward success this year. I look forward to sharing the road with you.