Recently, in a meeting, my Executive Intern said to me, “I read your blog and your facebook posts and I become motivated but then it seems that I go back to my old way”. And you know what happened, A NEW BLOG WAS WRITTEN! 🙂 She raises a great point! It is very easy to become motivated to start a new venture, project, goal, etc; however, maintaining that motivation to complete that ‘thing’ is an altogether different matter! I considered myself, pondered my incomplete projects and my non-realized goals! I inquired as to what happened that prevented me from staying the course towards completion of something for which I was initially very passionate and motivated. Of course, I made many attempts to justify this one and explain that one; however, the results were the same-incomplete goals. What was even more fascinating was that it didn’t matter the year, the project, or what was happening in my life at the time; it was a lack of maintained focus due to what I describe as unsuspecting distractions.
Distractions can be destructive! I believe that distractions come in two forms: suspecting and unsuspecting! The Suspecting Distraction is easier to deal with most times because it will feel like an interruption. Examples of suspecting distractions are: constant interruptions when writing: assistant has a couple of quick questions, interns need help on a project, and the phone won’t stop ringing. These are very obvious distractions that often can be dealt with immediately with a little adjusting. For example, closing the office door, putting up a DO NOT DISTURB SIGN, redirecting the calls to voice mail and/or silencing the ringer will prevent the interruptions.
However, the Unsuspecting Distractions are not so easy to detect because they appear to be legitimate and justifiable interruptions. Examples of the unsuspecting distraction are: unplanned budget cuts, a sudden RIF (reduction in force), sudden job loss in your household, having to take a leave of absence to care for a family member who suddenly became ill. Who wouldn’t understand you letting go of what you have planned to address these urgent matters? Yep! That, my friend, is why they are dangerous! An unsuspecting distraction partners with your sub-conscious to justify and accept the defeat of an unrealized goal. Together, this partnership develops an effective communication strategy to your conscious mind to let go of your goals because these ‘matters’ are more important right now. Before you realize it, time has passed, in many cases years, and you are no further along than you were at the initial motivation! If you are not careful, you can even develop bitterness towards the unsuspecting distraction that you allowed to take your motivation and get you off course.
I encourage you to be active in your life! Recognize what you are doing and allowing to be done to you at all times! Fight through the unsuspecting distraction(s), deal with the matters at hand, if necessary, adjust your timeline for reaching your goals, and stay motivated until you reach your goal(s). This perseverance, this relentlessness, this tenaciousness towards meeting your goals will birth something far greater on the inside of you than the realization of the goal itself! Do not allow those sneaky unsuspecting distractions to cause and keep you off the course for success, thus placing you in an inactive state of non-success! Push out that resolve that says I can and I will be successful at reaching this goal!
So, in LoLo fashion, I have identified a few quick tips that have assisted me in maintaining my motivation towards my goals:
1. Make sure that your goals are realistic, measurable, & attainable. EX: I will exercise no less than (NLT) 3xs per week for NLT 20 minutes
2. Write your goals down and how you plan to achieve them. EX: I will walk the stairs during my lunch break on M, W, & F.
3. Review your progress towards meeting your goals NLT on a weekly basis (there should be some daily task that is associated with your goals)
3. Celebrate your milestones and don’t dwell in those times that you did not reach a milestones; this is the difference between conviction and condemnation. Conviction motivates you to improve and condemnation motivates you to dwell in failure.
4. Keep on Keeping On!
You will achieve what you believe if you give time, attention, and hard work! I wish you the best in maintaining your motivation and reaching your goals! ~LoLo~