At the start of each year, many people find a renewed sense of inspiration for creating new goals. It’s a popular time of year for considering what we would love to achieve or to contemplate and start new projects. For some, it is also a time to revisit the pursuit of results that have eluded them in previous years.
Unfortunately, however, by the time February or March rolls around, the goals of many are starting to lose momentum, or have been lost or forgotten. This lack in achieving a set goal can lead to negative outcomes; a loss of overall self-esteem, a lack of confidence in one’s abilities, and sometimes apathy and resignation.
So, how do we keep the momentum going on the goals we set?
While there is not just one answer to this question, one very important factor to consider is how well we have prepared for and dealt with the challenges that have come up in response to setting the goals.
A common pitfall that I have seen is that people often set goals with a flurry of enthusiasm and positivity; and as long as things are running smoothly, momentum is maintained.
However, over time the inevitable challenges of reaching the goal set in. Whether due to external challenges, like time constraint, or internal challenges, such as fears that arise, people often become discouraged. Together with life’s other demands, this can lead to levels of dedication slipping away.
When setting a goal, challenges are sure to arise. In any area of life or business, when we set a goal that is beyond our current state of achievement, challenges are inherent in the setting of the goal and we are creating a platform for growth.
If a goal is about growing, we may not yet be a match for attaining that goal and a transformation is required to achieve the desired outcome. Challenges that arise are designed to help us to become a match. If we don’t take this factor into consideration, then the inevitable challenges will catch us by surprise and can derail our efforts.
How well we are aware of, prepared for and adept in handling the challenges that are inherent with the setting and achieving of any meaningful goal will be one of the most important elements in realising it.
During a recent seminar I delivered on vision and goals, one participant shared how she had become aware of the challenges in reaching her goals. In not realising that these challenges were part of the process of goal achievement, she had created a stream of negative thoughts and her motivation towards her goal had reduced.
She shared that by realising that the challenges she faced were actually perfect for her current situation, she had a renewed sense of insight into what she set out to achieve. She experienced renewed enthusiasm, clarity of purpose and direction.
If the goals you set at the beginning of the year are stagnating, all isn’t lost. Have a look at what specific challenges are getting in the way, and find out how they are designed to help you grow. Investigate how you can solve those challenges or benefit from them.
The understanding that challenges are a necessary – even desirable – aspect of goal setting, mixed with effective strategies to handle them, can make all the difference in a realising a goal or dream. Creativity, courage and intelligence come with realising every meaningful goal. When we realise one, the growth of these attributes is as useful and gratifying as the achieving of the goal itself.