Are you burnt out and discouraged that you’re NOT making progress?
You’ve been working on your goals, getting started isn’t so hard anymore and you’re even building new habits. Great job!
But, now you have a new problem, your initial excitement is starting to fade. The reality that you need momentum to achieve your goal starts to set it.
Usually right before you can see real results that feeling of discouragement starts to creeps up on you. Not to mention that all this hard work has you dancing close to burn out. Yikes!
Do you feel like you’re not seeing results? Is the thought of giving up becoming more appealing? Do you wonder, “is any of this even really working?”
Maybe for you, you’re finding it difficult to stay motivated, gain momentum or follow through on your goals?
Think of setting and achieving goals like riding a roller coaster – there will be ups followed by downs. When you set a new goal you’re climbing to the top, you’re super excited, running forwards because you cannot wait to achieve your dreams.
Then as you near the top and look over the edge, exhaustion hits you and you realize “Oh shit, that’s a HUGE drop.” That feeling as your stomach drops, as you fall into that first big dip is what it’s like to lose your motivation and momentum.
At this moment you can rush towards the next incline with your second wind of excitement, or stay stuck swaying at the bottom. You can wallow in “this is too hard, I can’t do this,” or you can get up with renewed energy and be ready for your next climb.
But, how do you do that exactly? How do you gain momentum over time, instead of losing it?
You Need to Review Your Progress
There’s one major aspect of achieving your goals that you’re likely forgetting about. You need to review your progress!
By reviewing your progress, you are unleashing your hidden powers of finding your focus faster and even failing your way forward.
In other words, you’ll be able to stay motivated and build momentum. And bonus, when you know what works you can get to your next win even faster. That’s a real, win-win situation for you.
This is Part 6, of a 6-Part Series on How to Actually Achieve Your Goals.
#GoalSlayerSeries breaks down the honest unfiltered truth about what it really takes to achieve your goals. Each post explores one major mindset shift that you need to make in order to become a Goal Slayer (aka someone who achieves their goals without apology or excuse).
Let’s complete the series, by learning how reviewing your progress helps you stay focused and follow through on your goals.
Review Your Progress As You Go
When you’re busy working to achieve your goals you can get tunnel vision. You’re so intensely focused on getting to the finish line that you never stop to take a breath.
You’re frantically doing this, trying every tip and trick you’ve heard about to help you reach your goals. Be warned, this is your fast lane to burn out, and no one is motivated when they’re KO’d.
- For example, you want a successful business, so you’re advertising, you’re marketing on Facebook, you’re implementing ten different strategies that you’ve heard will work.
- Or perhaps maybe you want to be healthy and lose a bit of weight, so you’ve been committed to just one method. You’re eating a Keto diet, day in day out, every meal.
- For myself, I wanted to build my blog traffic, and I was so committed to posting in Facebook groups daily to the point of exhaustion.
No matter your style, all or nothing, as the days and weeks roll on you’re motivation is starting to wear down and you’re becoming exhausted.
And when we’re discouraged, we start to give up and fall back into old habits. Old habits are comfortable especially when you’re burnt out.
Before you hit this breaking point, you need to rest and review your progress regularly – that means on a daily, weekly, and even monthly basis. Take time to ask the right reflection and review questions.
You need to take a breath and figure out what works, and what doesn’t.
Having this built-in feedback loop helps you not only find your focus but also fail your way forward if you need to.
Find Your Focus Faster
We can spend so much of our time and energy thinking about, planning, and fretting about having to put in the work required to reach our goals. Rarely do we ever just get it done.
Instead, we circle around taking action on what matters by procrastinating, planning it out over and over, talking about doing it, finding other things to do, allowing others and other things to use up our time and energy.
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of this, I know I am!
On the downward fall, we can get spooked, and following through can be a challenge, which is why we need to know how to makes things as easy as possible for ourselves to put in the time.
You want to remove every possible barrier to action. And you do that by knowing how you focus.
- How do you get out of your head and into the game?
- Do you know what works for you? What’s your “get-started” ritual? Do you need coffee and music?
- What distracts and destroys your productivity? Does getting a text or seeing an advertisement break your concentration?
You need to know, exactly what helps and hinders you.
If you’re not paying attention and consciously noting when you’re at your best or worst it’s hard to create optimized conditions for working on your goals.
Keep a journal, diary, or note in your planner all your good days and bad days.
Did you slack on your goal yesterday? That’s okay! You can learn from that too.
Fail Your Way Forward
Reviewing your progress also helps you to change your perspective on failure! If you can learn from failure (and you should), you’re able to see it as positive, not just “that thing” that happened that you’re trying your darndest to forget.
You’re thinking about it right now, aren’t you? That time you wasted you thought that a certain course would change your business? Just to realize you were off chasing another shiny object. Oh, wait that was me.
Failure is a good thing, mistakes are a good thing. Stop denying them and start owning them. Learn to laugh about it.
Every no, every mistake, every oh shit, every that didn’t work, every why did I just do that or waste months doing this, or that was a waste of time brings you one step closer to the solution.
“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
You don’t set goals, get started and succeed all in one go. You act intently, make mistakes, make some progress, review how it went, and start again from a better vantage point.
Don’t leave valuable (and sometimes expensive) learning experiences in the past, carry them forward to help you.
Are you learning from your failures?
Forget Fear of Missing Out
Another side-effect of working on your goals intensely is FOMO (fear of missing out).
You’re strapped into the rollercoaster, and you see that incline and all of the sudden you start to wonder, “you know what that mary-go-round looks pretty appealing right now.” Or maybe you’d rather be in the lazy pool, less stress!
Especially when you’re exhausted, everything you’ve given upstarts calling you back.
No matter what your goal is you’re missing out on something to achieve it. Maybe that’s putting aside your TV time for work on goals time, or not eating junk food so you can be healthier. A sacrifice is always demanded.
But, when you’re reviewing your progress you’re also reminding yourself WHY you’ve set your goal. You’re able to see how your commitment is starting to pay off, even in tiniest of ways.
I remember when I decided to escape the 9-5, finances were the first thing I needed to get under control, so I stopped spending on things like daily Starbucks, buying clothing, and just splurging in general. But, when I was tired, feeling unmotivated I’d want to go out and eat.
However, when I take a moment to pause before exhaustion hit, to look at my accounts and see that I wasn’t in the red, that I’d saved some money, and for once my credit card bill wasn’t insane, that gave me the motivation to stay committed.
When you see that win and those results you would have otherwise not noticed, you’re able to forget your fear of missing out. And instead, double down on getting even more results because you’re also seeing what works best.
If you’re trying to eat healthily, you know to keep yourself feed and rested so you’re not hangry, and craving those donuts.
How can you forget FOMO?
How to Review Your Progress
We can spend a lot of time reviewing our goals and looking at how far we still are from our destination. But, do you spend just as much time reviewing yourself and what you’ve done?
Our goal isn’t changing, but our ability to achieve it does if you’re paying attention that is. Reviewing your progress is your performance-enhancing drug! It’s your cheat sheet, your self-made shortcut to success.
So, how do you review your progress?
There’s a time for formal reviews like reviewing your year and it’s a great idea to put down on paper how you’ve also been doing over the last month and quarter.
But you can do reviews on the fly anytime you’re feeling that downward dip feeling. When the mundanity of taking action starts to set in, that’s your signal that it’s time to spice things up a bit. To improve your performance, with a quick tune-up.
You’d be surprised as to what you can discover about yourself by just asking and answering a few simple questions.
Review Questions to Remember
Review your progress by asking reflection questions like:
- Are you a night owl or a morning person?
- What time do you work best or worst?
- How do you get motivated?
- What inspires you?
- What drains you, and what drives you?
- What’s your get started ritual?
- What are your distraction triggers?
- How do you get the best results?
- What are you doing that’s a waste of time?
- What helps or hinders your focus?
You may discover that you need to change your environment, that you’re more productive at certain times of the day, or that when you skip breakfast you’re not in the mood for your goals.
Be an anthropologist, investigate your habits, lifestyle, and routines. And then try something new if it’s not working.
Despite what you may feel like doing, burning yourself out being tunnel-visioned about your goals is NOT doing you any favors. If you’re tired and drained you need to rest and restore, and pace yourself.
It’s not a rush or a race, you need to go at your own pace – which you discover by knowing what works for you.
But you can’t make this adjustment to help you focus and follow-through, without reviewing your progress.
This weekend grab your journal or planner and do some reflecting. It gives you a chance to refresh, restore and revive your motivations.
Reviewing your progress also renews your confidence that you can actually do this, and that it’s working.
Don’t leave this motivation out, remember to take time for this one thing you’re missing.
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Rest and review. The real R&R for goal slayers.
Get started, rest & review, repeat.
Start again, rest & review, repeat.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
That’s how you reach your goals!
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How do you focus best to follow through?
Last Updated on February 15, 2021