Erica Peitler is an intrepidNOW columnist, and is an accomplished leadership performance coach and high-impact facilitator. She works with Fortune 500 companies as well as CEOs from progressive small to mid-sized and privately held organizations. Her groundbreaking book is Leadership Rigor!
A new year always bring with it the energy of fresh starts, a chance to set new expectations and a blank page to write down our new goals! Yes an official “do-over” and chance to start all over again! Not exactly!
When you step back and think about it, many of us seem to treat a new year as if most things actually start and finish within a 12-month period of time and they don’t.
Our lives are beautifully complex and we have a myriad of goals, expectations and starts already in progress. We are involved in stages, phases and cycles of our lives more so than we are discreet projects we can achieve and check off on a list.
Let’s not get distracted by the small things this year because it is so easy to do. If you can quickly check it off a list, I might suggest you are focusing on the wrong things (leadership performance coach perspective here ☺)
So here is a potential way to look at 2016 with a fresh perspective:
What is your next step in creating your forward progress on the critical initiatives you already have underway?
Forward progress on the critical priorities in our life is what really matters most when you think about it. Starting something new can be exciting yet likely short lived, at least for 77% of us by the end of January according to recent research on resolutions. Forward progress is already underway and can be accelerated with a focused and disciplined reminder about the very next milestone!
Milestones in my view are a bit different than just tracking measurements and keeping score. A measurement is where you are at a particular moment in time. A milestone suggests having a breakthrough accomplishment on your initiative and therefore psychologically achieving a new perspective on your progress, which I like to call creating momentum! Momentum is a powerful energy as it suggests forward progress with a type of speed or pace.
We are heading towards our goal and now the question is are we satisfied with the speed of our forward progress? Well clearly sometimes persistence and patience is the answer depending on the goal and we also know that sometimes it is not. Be rigorous in knowing the difference!
I know for me getting stuck at a plateau is a common occurrence on major initiatives and before you know it time is flying by and you seem forever stuck (yes that scale in the bathroom comes to mind). Having a forward progress mindset is that continuous reminder for you to power through and look for your next milestone and yes, breakthrough!
So ask yourself these (3) questions as you focus on creating your forward progress on the initiatives that matter most to you this year:
1. What one specific action can I take right now to accelerate my momentum and create the energy of forward progress toward my next milestone?
2. What powerful thought do I need to hold in my mind right now so I can bring forth the energy I need to move forward toward my next milestone and breakthrough?
3. How will I celebrate and reward myself for reaching this next milestone as part of my continuous journey forward?
January and the start of a new year are great reminders to refocus and reboot the energy we are already placing on the initiatives that matter most to us. This year try going easy on the new starts and focus on your forward progress toward your next milestone and achieving that next breakthrough!
Life is most definitely a journey, enjoy it!
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