Dropping a goal after a long break? How to get back into the game
The summer and vacation season are over now and this often means returning to the chaos of everyday life. We quickly get swept by all kinds of emergencies. The result is that we end up skipping some important but not so urgent things – our long-term objectives and dreams. What can we do about it? That’s what we would like to talk about today.
“Daylight saving time”
Everyone knows how the pace of our life slows down during a holiday season. For a couple of months, it’s perfectly okay to put off the work on our goals. There is something almost inevitable about it.
It is quite possible that we all have missed some weekly steps or we haven’t talked to our Buddy for a while. Apart from that, partners, clients, and pretty much everybody else is on their summer vacation. It seems as if time has slowed down as we have too.
We are no exception
It happened to us too but that was in the years before we created our “GoalBuddy” system. In that case, we pretty much ignored our goals for a month or two and it proved extremely difficult to restart the whole process.
It’s not that we can afford 3-month vacations, but the fact is that such interruptions can ruin any routine.
We have realized that even some well-established in our routine habits could easily go AWOL. One such, for example, is going to the gym 3 times a week.
Nothing wrong with this
We are big fans of “slow down to speed up”.
Or, as your grandmother would wisely say, “if you’ve been buried in work you need to take a break.”
It may sound quite counterintuitive, but we are more inclined to agree with this rather with the more popular idea of a constant workload. We just don’t think that always testing your limits is something that will result in anything good. It’s just not sustainable and on top of that, you risk burnout.
The main advantage of our system is that you can register progress with consistency, perseverance, and do it with less effort. It’s paramount to be efficient instead of non-stop busy and overworked.
After all, we need to let our mind and body rest so that we can keep going on and be as productive as possible. That’s why these periods when we get to slow down are a good thing and we shouldn’t judge ourselves too much about it.
“Back to school”
If you live in a big city, you always get to experience the feeling (at least in terms of heavier traffic).
This is when the school year begins and the overall economic activity picks up. We all get to experience this in one form or another – all of a sudden our calendar is filled up and being short on time becomes a norm. Well, you can guess that puts everything else, including our goals, on the backburner.
When you are completely overtaken by the responsibilities of everyday life things we see as “important but not urgent” get lost. The same thing happens to our dreams and long-term objectives.
How to pick up speed
Well, we assume that the summertime has been somewhat a distraction and you’ve fallen behind in your plans. But that’s okay! You are armed with the “GoalBuddy” system which empowers you with several techniques for dealing with this.
What we have in mind are exactly the four keys to achieving goals. Let’s see now how to best use them.
Tactic # 1: A 90-day meeting with the Buddy
(If you don’t have one yet then you can go through the steps all by yourself)
The idea of this meeting is to review the past quarter. You do this so that you get more confidence from what has been done so far. Revisiting the visions for key areas of life is followed by setting the objectives for the next 3 months.
The whole exercise shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours (download the templates for free here).
An investment in yourself
The CEO of a large corporation was once asked, “Isn’t it too costly to invest in the development of your employees?” He snapped back, “And imagine how much it would cost me not to do it?!”
There is a parallel here with the time we dedicate to ourselves. Let’s say you put aside just a half-day to determine the direction you want to go. These few hours will save you much more time which otherwise will be wasted in going the wrong way.
What you gain
The 90-day review could be done alone, with a Goal Buddy, or in a group (as we did this Sunday with those who passed the first level of the workshop). In any case, it will bring clarity. And clarity means strength, it gives confidence as well as the best context for your actions for the coming months.
So, don’t hesitate and open your calendar app. Choose a date in the coming days and set just a couple of hours for a 90-day meeting.
Tactic # 2: Re-establishing the weekly meeting with your Buddy
The foremost factor for success is the social element which is the foundation of our system.
It’s impossible to get back to your goals if you don’t have someone to talk to regularly.
The two of you may find yourselves a bit rusty when it comes to resuming the weekly meeting. If that’s so then do at least this: talk only on the phone at first. Even if it might be just about how your vacation was. What matters here is to start turning the wheel and soon you will find much more meaningful topics, i.e. how to help each in the goal-setting process.
What you gain
We know from our experience that this is one of the most effective ways for reaching consistency in your performance. When you are accountable to another person you will feel highly motivated to meet the expectations. The feedback you get is indispensable when you assess how to proceed forward.
Tactic # 3: Revisiting your visions
Whenever you are about to be engulfed by the whirlwinds of fast-changing events it is best to look for support in what’s most important to you in life. One can quickly recover focus if they get to prioritize aspects of life like family, health, career, and personal development. Make sure you review these visions first.
What you gain
By going over what you would like to achieve in life in the next 30 years you will generate some positive energy. Even if you haven’t outlined specific objectives or steps, the very idea that you know where you want to go will give you the necessary boost. And our mind is such that it will begin looking for any opportunity to move in the same direction.
Everything will become somehow clearer and at the same time will make much more sense. All the pieces will fall into their places and you will be able to rebuild the routine that allows.
Tactic # 4: One small step
In case you feel more comfortable with the approach of “action first, planning next” then this last one will do you much good.
The idea is to do something small but do it today. It doesn’t have to be something with far-going consequences such as drastically improving on a given vision. It might very well be something smaller that was on your mind lately.
You can kick off a series of actions with a simple small effort of yours, i.e.:
- Checking out what courses/classes are available;
- Starting an interesting book that will give you new ideas on something very important to you;
- Or, you can simply go out for a run in the park.
Ideally, it should be something simple that doesn’t require much preparation or effort.
What you gain
It’s very simple – if this step is well chosen, it can have a domino effect, a.k.a. it triggers many other actions. After a few weeks, you will have a better idea of what you are aiming at and you will be able to bring more specifics to your target goals as well.
Do you have a minute to spare?
If you do then the best advice we can give you right now is as follows:
Have a look at these four tactics and choose the one that best suits you. Then make sure you employ it as soon as possible. We can guarantee you that the way to get back to your goals is to start acting. The alternative is not pretty and the whole process of getting back on track could become long and painful. Fortunately, anything can be done with ease and a smile. After all, you are armed with an excellent goal-setting system which will ensure that everything will be just fine!