You know how it is. You start out with anticipation, expectation and a strong sense of urgency. You have a goal, or a series of goals, and you just can’t wait to see your plans and schemes come to full fruition.
And then, suddenly, you stumble. You hit a roadblock, a detour or you just plain run out of steam. Now what?
Any goal worth pursuing is sure to be loaded with surprises and setbacks. Not only should you expect them, you should welcome them. Any goal that proceeds without a hitch or two is probably too puny to be worthwhile. Failure builds strength and will more than likely produce a stronger result in the long run. Knowing there will be challenges in the pursuit of your goal should be inspiring, but if you need a little more encouragement to build momentum, there are ways to keep up your enthusiasm.
- Document your goals in a tangible way. Make a list of incremental steps leading up to your goal and be sure to check off each accomplishment along the way. If you can see your steady efforts and results you will be more inclined to move on to subsequent items on your list.
- Establish a strong support system. Friends, colleagues or co-conspirators will help balance out the emotional roller coaster that generally comes along with any effort. They will hold your feet to the fire when you may be tempted to backslide.
- Don’t wait until you’ve reached your ultimate goal to reward yourself. Acknowledge the fact that you are expanding your horizons in worthwhile ways and reward the landmarks along the way. An occasional pat on the back, even if it’s just from yourself, will let you know your heart is still in the game.
- Review your progress at regular intervals and adjust as needed. Sometimes it can seem as if your efforts are in vain. If you stop to recap and see just how far you’ve already come, you’ll have a renewed appreciation for the efforts you’ve made so far.
- Just as your personal reward system is important, so is a level of punishment. Don’t let yourself off the hook when you fail. Learn to be accountable to yourself as well as to your outside support system.
- Don’t stop learning. Every goal can grow and expand with your personal knowledge base. The more you know, the further you will go in establishing goals and the further you will go in achieving those goals. Knowledge can be an incredible enthusiasm builder.
- Don’t let your original goal become a limitation. You never know where life can take you. Be enthusiastic, but don’t become rigid. Forks in the road can take you to new horizons. Stay open to change and embrace the unexpected.
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. Keeping the enthusiasm at peak levels can be a goal in and of itself. Keep your eyes wide and your heart and mind open to every opportunity and every new idea.