Perhaps the most challenging, and often very difficult, part of the success journey is maintaining momentum.
Many times as we trudge along the success journey, we encounter setbacks that make us falter or even stumble and fall. When this happens, we start losing faith in our ability to complete the journey and ultimately we fizzle out.
Before starting out on any journey, we must resolve to complete it, irrespective of the setbacks which will invariably crop up along the way. The journey to success is not without obstacles. Our ability to circumvent or level out these obstacles will help us maintain momentum and steadily and consistently keep us on the go.
Whenever we are starting a new project or a program such as a weight-loss program, we start out with a lot of gusto and enthusiasm. We know what our goals are and, off the blocks, we start off on cloud nine, with our motivation running on steroids. However, this initial burst of positive energy is useless unless we find a way of sustaining it to the end. It is important to both start and finish strong. The transition between the initial burst and the point at which our goal is achieved is called momentum. This essential, albeit sometimes elusive, ingredient helps us to stay on course, even when distractions and setbacks threaten to knock us out.
According to the American Heart Foundation, "success comes from progressive movement toward your goal." Small steps taken in the direction of your goal yield big dividends to those who adamantly refuse to give up. To maintain momentum, avoid trying to do everything at once - this is virtually impossible, unless you are that fabled creature called superman! Rather, break down your journey into small, manageable concepts and then start fitting these together, one by one, day by day. When the last concept falls into place, you will look back and see miles and miles of ground you have covered. Now you can sit back and savor the sweet smell of success.
It is said that if you are going through hell, don't stop! Likewise, no matter how painstakingly slow the journey gets, always keep moving. At times there will be less obstacles along the way, making your progress faster. Other times the obstacles will be too many that you can only manage to hobble along. Whatever happens, and in whatever measure, always ensure that you are progressively moving towards your goal.
Just as it is important to have a plan of action when formulating goals or when laying down your vision, it is also important to have a plan on how you will maintain momentum as you move towards your goal. Momentum does not come automatically; it is cultivated. There are times when everything in you will demand that you step back, take a break, or just forget it. To maintain momentum, you will have to learn to say no to these voices and summon the energy you need to move on. At the end of the day, what matters is not how much progress you made, but whether you made progress at all. Any progress, however minuscule, made towards the attainment of your goals must be applauded.
To sustain action, for that's what momentum is all about, we must learn to always have our eyes fixed on the goal. By doing this, we minimize the possibility of stumbling over obstacles or getting distracted. The moment you take your eyes off your goal, you will detour and head straight into failure territory. When this happens, no amount of progress will help you since you will be heading in the wrong direction. As you move forward, always keep your goal in sight - it's the only way you will know you are headed home.
The biggest enemy to progress is procrastination and time wastage. Momentum demands that we do what must be done; when we are supposed to do it; and within the time allocated for it. It has no room for time wasters or procrastination since the moment we engage in such, we lose it, falter and fall back. Since momentum has to do with onward progressive movement, we must guard against activities, people and situations that have the potential of making us lose momentum. For instance, while a meeting with friends may be a very attractive proposition, you might have to forego it if the timing and location conflicts with your day's crucial tasks.
Apart from using time effectively, we need to be very organized in order to maintain our momentum. When we are organized, it is easier to accomplish more within a short time. Good organizational skills maximize on efficiency by helping us concentrate our energies and time on core tasks. When time and energy are brought to bear on a specific task, the results are both exceptional and precise. Therefore, to have completed tasks that are 'fluff-free", the value of good organizational skills cannot be overemphasized.
To maintain onward progress, we must avoid people, activities, places and situations that will make us risk losing momentum. The road to lost hope and despair is lined with lost momentum. Momentum helps us maintain vibrancy and strength even when we are under serious threat of derailment. No matter what you do, no matter where you are at in your success journey, ensure that you are constantly moving in the direction of your goal. You may slacken at times, even stumble and fall, but always keep moving forward. You started strong, you can finish strong.