I’ve heard planes use the greatest amount of fuel during takeoff and their initial climb to cruising altitude.
That sounds a lot like the early stages of working toward goals.
I bet you’ve experienced that moment when you look up at your goal and feel overwhelmed. It seems too big or scary. It feels like it will never happen because of the tremendous effort you anticipate it taking.
What seemed believable and achievable during the planning stages suddenly seems extremely challenging as you take the first steps toward attaining it.
That’s the stage where many people give up.
The exhausting cycle of starting and stopping
Maybe this sounds familiar …
Instead of moving forward on the current goal, you go back to the drawing board. In that planning stage, you feel better. Everything seems attainable, once again.
But then you set out to make the next goal happen, and once more it feels like too much to do.
So you stop again.
If you’ve been there, you know this starting, stopping, and regrouping can be exhausting.
Just like the plane taking off, starting on a new goal takes a lot of energy.
How to purposefully gain momentum
Wouldn’t it be nice to get some momentum going? Like a plane achieving cruising altitude, momentum provides a sense of ease. While it’s still work, it’s not usually that pushing-against-everything-to-get-started kind of effort.
Maybe momentum seems rare and fleeting. But it doesn’t have to be so difficult to achieve.
Change the way you look at goals
Getting into the zone of goal momentum can simply be a matter of changing the way you look at your goals.
If you’re like many people, you look at where you are now, then you look at the end result you’d like to achieve. From that view, the steps it will take to get there probably seem endless.
At this point, your brain brings in its own chorus of negativity. It can’t imagine the long-term idea of achieving this sky-high goal. So, you begin having thoughts like, “Yeah right. That’s not going to happen.”
That’s why it’s important to keep your mind’s primary focus on something besides the end goal.
Whether you’re attempting to build a business, transform your body, or climb a mountain, keep the majority of your focus on the current task and the one after that. That’s all.
Remember: all you ever need to take is the next step.
If you’d like get some momentum using the goal-getting approach, here are the steps:
6 steps to goal getting
1. Decide on one main goal. (This can be as big of a goal as you’d like.)
2. Now that you have your main goal, what are the major steps you’ll need to take to achieve this goal? These will become your “supporting steps.” List them.
3. Next, choose one supporting step to work on until it’s complete.
4. Once you’ve chosen the supporting step you’d like to work on, break it down into “mini actions.” Mini actions are separate, 10 – 15 minute actions that work toward the completion of the supporting step. Plan on doing 2 – 3 mini actions each day until the supporting step is complete. (This level of action is enough to build momentum, but usually not enough to feel overwhelming.)
5. When you’ve finished all the mini actions to complete the supporting step, choose another supporting step. Again, break it down into mini actions and complete 2 – 3 of them per day until that supporting step is completed too.
6. Continue this process until you achieve all supporting steps. Once you’ve done that, you’ll find that your main goal usually takes care of itself.
By working toward your goal in this way, you can keep your focus on the immediate tasks, which minimizes the overwhelming thoughts that often come from being fixated on the main goal. And instead of stopping and starting again because it feels like too much, this method allows you to create momentum. Give it a try and see what you think!