What to Do When You Achieve Your Goals

September 8, 2011

So you’ve set up a goal for yourself (maybe your new year’s resolution), you’ve worked hard, and now, you’ve achieved your goal.  Great!  But…what now?  Where do you go from here?  Well, that depends.  There are basically two routes a person could take, each equally valid.  As you know, it’s all about momentum – you want to keep the self improvement rolling, because it’s harder to start again once you’ve stopped than to maintain a habit you’ve already developed.  With that in mind, here are the two strategies I recommend:

Readjust your baseline – This one is simple.  You just put a new ceiling on your goal so that you have a new target to shoot for.  For instance, I just hit my goal of 24 posts this year.  If I were to take this approach (I probably will), the next step would be to decide my new benchmark and then try to hit that.  I’ll be shooting for another 8 posts this year (2 more/month), for a total of 32 posts.

Use success as a springboard – This one is a little more difficult, but can lead you to amazing new possibilities.  Essentially, with this strategy, you leverage your achievement into something different but related.  For example, say my goal is to write a certain number of posts.  In achieving that, I’ve created content that is valuable to others.  So my new goal might be to use that content to make money, whether by affiliate links, ebooks, or some other method.  Fitness is a great example of this as well.  If you set a fitness goal, say you’re shooting for 10% body fat, achieving that goal can open you up to a whole new host of possibilities like climbing a mountain, taking up a new sport, walking or biking (rather than driving) to work, and so on.  Using the momentum of one good habit to set up another is a great way to multiply the results of your efforts exponentially.

Bottom line: When you cross something off of your “to do” list, don’t use it as a reason to slack off.  Don’t get complacent.  Be glad, congratulate yourself on your achievement, but never be satisfied.  The minute you say “good enough” is the minute you stop trying to improve.

Feedback: What goals have you achieved?  How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolution?

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