Have you ever finished a major project or completed a goal that should give a feel of accomplishment, only to feel a let-down? Has all that drive that you put into the goal now dissipated, and you find yourself adrift, waiting for the next inspiration? I know the feeling. I’ve frequently found myself in ‘post-goal’ syndrome, where I SHOULD be celebrating the achievement and looking towards the next hill to climb…. but I find it difficult to move on from the previous goal….and it’s easy to drift into a sea of status-quo….where, despite moving at full steam just weeks before, it’s almost like I’m starting over from the beginning.
Once there, it’s almost as if the previous goal didn’t even happen. No matter how difficult the climb, or how great the reward, some times, it’s a let down after the goal’s been accomplished.
How can you keep up that momentum? How can you leverage all the effort and enthusiasm that you put into the previous goal to keep making progress? I’ve found that there are three things that help keep me moving forward vs getting stuck in post-goal syndrome:
1) Celebrate the achievement. Any goal, especially if it’s a long-term or hard-fought goal is worthy of celebration. You’ve stuck it out, you’ve put in all the hard work, it’s time to look back and see just what you’ve accomplished. That being said, YOU should celebrate the achievement. If you’re looking for kudos from those around you, those may come, but then again….they may not. If you’re going after a goal to impress other people….you may want to reconsider the goal. It’s YOUR goal, and YOUR celebration. Do it for you, not for someone else.
2) Take a break. If you’ve been pursuing a goal for a long time, or putting out concentrated effort to the exclusion of other things….it’s time to take a breather and RELAX for a time. You take vacation from work, right? Take a vacation from your goal pursuit. It doesn’t have to be long, and it doesn’t have to be forever….but ‘re-creation’ is an important step to allow your body and mind time to adjust to the new landscape.
3) Get started on something new. Once you’ve celebrated, and given yourself a chance to relax and re-build….it’s time to go after the NEXT goal. Some times, we fall into the trap of thinking that the goal itself is the important thing….when it’s what we BECOME by pursuing the goal that is more important. That’s why it’s vital to review your goals frequently – to make sure that you’re looking past the immediate goal to the next horizon. When you’ve accomplished one goal….that’s just the beginning. Get going, get out the door…..after that, the rest is easy.
What’s next for you?