When we set a goal for the first time, or the first time in a long time, it’s pretty easy to feel motivated and stay committed to achieving that goal. We focus and put in the work required to …
When we set a goal for the first time, or the first time in a long time, it’s pretty easy to feel motivated and stay committed to achieving that goal. We focus and put in the work required to be successful. Unfortunately, it’s quite common to achieve our first win and have that quickly followed by us slowing down, and before we know it, we’ve lost all momentum and are back to square one. Stringing our wins together is very important when it comes to our long term success and keeping us continuously moving toward health.
It’s impossible to win everything all of the time and this is true of achieving our health goals. There will always be setbacks, unexpected roadblocks, and times where we just aren’t ready for the next level we desire yet. But while some losses are inevitable, many of our losses and struggles come from us just getting in our own way.
I’m sure you’ve been there before: you finally lost the first five pounds or started to make visible progress toward your goal when all of a sudden you let your foot off the gas, lose your momentum, and have to start over again. Maybe you finally start going to the gym consistently and are feeling really great, when a voice pops in your head and says you deserve an extra rest day. One extra rest day turns into two, then five, and before you know it you haven’t stepped foot in the gym in two weeks.
At this point, all momentum is gone and you have to start over from the beginning.
One of the main reasons we lose momentum and fail to string our wins together is over-celebrating. When we hit a goal or achieve our first taste of success, it’s easy to rest on that win for too long. That voice that tells us we deserve a rest day or a cheat meal gets very loud and convinces us that the celebration should continue on and on. We’ve put in so much work and we deserve it, according to the voice.
What we fail to recognize is that while celebrating our wins is extremely important, our celebration must be proportional to the stage of success we are at and must not interfere with the actions we had to take to achieve the win in the first place.
For example, instead of celebrating losing the first five pounds or consistency in the gym with a day off or a cheat meal, celebrate with something you enjoy that will help you continue moving toward your goal, like a massage to help with recovery or a new workout outfit. This will allow us to celebrate, help us reinforce behavior we want to continue with to win again, and keep our momentum going.
One of my favorite quotes from Mike Krzyzewski goes, “If what you did yesterday still looks big to you, you haven’t done much today.” To me, this means that we must always keep moving forward and must always get back to work as quickly as possible.
Take a moment to celebrate your wins, and then dive back into the action steps that got you there in the first place. Although setbacks will pop up from time to time, remember that your next win is always just around the corner.
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