There are lots of things to say about how to succeed with any long-term goals—whether starting a business, choosing careers, changing careers, changing your department’s culture, becoming a lawyer, earning a degree, or even becoming a better skier or dancer. But one thing is particularly vital, relatively easy, and certainly important to keep in mind.
The advice is:
Keep up the momentum. The big MO. Simple really.
That means take steps regularly. Any positive steps.
I’ve seen it with coaching clients, class participants, and yeh, myself too lots of times. Once you start feeling stuck, you tend to keep getting more stuck, feeling more and more overwhelmed and discouraged. It becomes harder and harder to get moving again.
With apologies to Newton and his laws of motion—it’s true that objects (or people) at rest tend to stay at rest.
Fortunately, the opposite is true too: Objects (or people) in motion tend to stay in motion.
My coaching clients make their greatest progress in finding new career ideas or making great plans when they simply complete small steps each week and are held accountable for them. They stay motivated, see at least a little progress all the time, and over time realize they are getting to their career goals.
Even very small steps qualify to keep you moving ahead like meeting with a career Success Partner for 15 minutes for a check in. Or brainstorming with someone about new ways to approach your project. Or reading something inspiring that gets you moving. Or….well, it really can be almost anything as long as it moves you along.
You’ll know if it’s working because you feel relief and energized again.
Even more important, these very small steps can accomplish very big things. Even big, challenging goals must be broken down into smaller ones anyhow. Don’t get overwhelmed by how many steps there are. Just do one of them and keep on moving ahead. Focus on that, and enjoy what you are doing now.
Don’t know what the next step should be? Just follow Lang’s First Principle of Action: You may not know THE next step you must take, but you can (almost) always come up with A next step that will move you forward—physically, emotionally, financially, etc. Each time you move ahead, any remaining stuck point can be seen from a new perspective.
Make sure you don’t wait for some wide open period of time to really move ahead.
Keep on moving and you will keep feeling energized and motivated and open to opportunities that will come your way.
© 2007-2009 by Leonard Lang