This One Thing Will Interrupt Your Fresh Start Every Time

“Come, even if you have broken your vow one thousand times, come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi

We’re four weeks into the New Year. Has it happened yet? Have you lost a bit of momentum in terms of the effort and progress you’re making toward your 2017 resolutions and goals?

If you answered, “yes.” Well, me, too!

Granted, I’ve spent most of this month ill with a wicked cold. I’m sure the reason you got off track is valid as well.

But isn’t that how life works? It gets messy: original plans go awry and things get off track; and things you hadn’t planned on happening, happen.

Sometimes, it makes you feel like life just doesn’t want to cooperate with you…ugh!

Get the goal right

You may recall from your high-school physics class the scientific definition of momentum: p = m x v (or Momentum = mass x velocity). Basically, if something is moving, it has momentum. If you borrow this and apply it your everyday life, it simply means that whatever has speed behind it will be hard to stop.

In other words, if you are persistent and consistent with taking the right actions to reach your goals, you’ll likely achieve them.

As someone who rarely gets sick, this cold has thrown me for a loop on many levels. And, it has reminded me of something you and I probably do that we shouldn’t when it comes to our goals and plans…

You and I tend to behave as if the goal is to avoid losing momentum. But, I think we’d be better served if we switched this up to be this, instead:

Have a plan for when you lose momentum!

Imagine that; imagine if you assumed losing momentum was inevitably going to happen.

Imagine if baked into your planning approach and process are the preemptive steps you’ll take when you experience a set-back – whether the prompt for that is external (like feeling unwell) or internal (like feeling scared of the pace and success you are achieving to date).

Can you imagine doing this?

For some, this idea is unfathomable. If that’s you, you’re not alone. Because on a larger, socio-cultural level, we rarely factor in the “what-if things don’t go as planned” scenario. In come circles, doing so is considered planning for failure. It’s considered adopting a mindset that isn’t optimistic or hopeful.

What I’ve learned from my life’s experiences (including, most recently this darn cold!) and from working with my clients is that when you dare to ask what could go wrong, you give yourself a chance to plan with that “what-if” in mind.

As a result, you end up adjusting your plan to incorporate the appropriate activities and outcomes that will actually set you up for the success you want – because you considered what might get in the way.

Preparing for when momentum wanes

Usually, when you create a plan you get right to work on the activities you’ve outlined. Don’t!

This really isn’t as crazy as it sounds when you think about the value of space. By delaying your implementation by even just a day, you give your plan an opportunity to “breathe,” a process that allows you to both review the plan you’ve created and to consider your answers to the questions below – questions that will help you create a plan for when your momentum gets halted:

Question #1: What could go wrong?

Answering this question is scary as heck! It not only causes you to confront some of your fears, it also puts a spotlight on some your limitations.

But man is this question powerful! You will discover so much about the strengths and weaknesses of your plan by asking and answering: (a) how will you recognize when something has gone wrong – what’s the trigger? and (b) how you will respond? Talk about benefiting from greater self-awareness!

In fact…can I ask you to pause right now and with one goal in mind write just one thing that could go wrong with you being able to achieve it? How will you recognize you’ve lost or are losing steam? How will you respond?

Question #2: What would a project manager do?

Admittedly, my bias is coming out a bit with this question. I like to view each goal as a “project.” And I encourage my clients to do the same. So if you create a plan for each project, then your “plan” is really a concatenation of those mini-plans. (Much like, “you don’t just have one vision…really...”)

As it relates to the focus of this post, the benefit of adopting a project manager mindset is that PMs (a) schedule everything, and (b) determine a frequency for those actions, as well as how often they will review their progress.

Your calendar (digital or paper-based) holds a lot of clues about your relationship with momentum – when you’re in a groove or when you’re out of sync. One way to clearly push the re-set button and boost your momentum is to take another look at the schedule you are following (or not).

Also, it helps to notice where you are in your cycle of success. When did you first notice a dip – was it after a victory or a setback?

Question #3: Are you still committed?

The relationship between you, your goals and momentum speaks volumes. So when you lose momentum, just make sure it isn’t a sign for something bigger at play – like a loss of interest or commitment.

For a whole host of reasons, it is far better to admit that you no longer want something than to force yourself to continue working toward something you really no longer desire.

Armed with these three questions, you are reminded that the goal isn’t to avoid losing momentum. Rather, it’s to have a plan for when it happens. Because without a plan, your fresh starts will be interrupted every time.

And as Rumi so eloquently affirms for us, there’s no shame in staring over. You can do it a thousand times, if necessary.

 

p.s. Would you agree that being able to about money, with ease, is a vitally important skill to cultivate – whether that’s talking with your mate about money; talking with your boss about your salary; talking with your client about your prices; talking with family members and friends about money? Would you agree it can be awkward and that you’re sometimes clumsy at it? Want to get better? If so and you want to join me for an intimate gathering to talk about money and life — over food, click here.

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