From time to time, on a long enough journey or project, we all may lose sight of the end goal, lose motivation or momentum, or develop a sense of directionlessness or stalled inertia.
Sometimes we just procrastinate.
No matter how we experience it, or what we call it, the observed result is we waste our time doing things that aren’t moving the ball forward, or we just waffle unproductively.
On my own projects, I’ve sometimes observed myself doing this for weeks at a time, eventually noticing I’m doing it, and yet, unable to bring myself to take another productive step forward on the path to my goal.
Here is what I noticed
As I went day by day with a big goal in mind, and continued not to take meaningful action toward it, I looked more and more closely at my behavior, my thoughts, and what I’d said I wanted to do.
I paid attention to what I was thinking during the times I noticed myself procrastinating.
I knew what I said I wanted to do.
Here is what I realized
- I noticed I just wasn’t interested in doing what I said I wanted to do.
- If it was important and I wasn’t doing it, then that thing most certainly isn’t what I really want.
- I needed to redefine my goal.
We must revisit our intentions and our goals over and over again until they truly reflect our greatest aspirations and inspirations.
6 things can connect you with your inspiration
- Vision statement (What inspires you?)
- Affirmations (What do you believe on your best days and times?)
- Project list (What do you want to do?)
- Work list, Action list, or project plan (what did you say you need to do?)
- Perform a retrospective.
- Meet with your team on what you’re doing together, and what benefits this mission will confer on you and other beneficiaries.
This is the beauty of affirmations (policies), project initiation documents, and project plans
Each reconnects us to our first intentions, or to the things we said we need to do to succeed in our mission.
In the unhurried thinking of planning, we often see things more clearly and distinctly than when we’ve been in motion for a while and maybe lost sight of our goal.
It’s helpful to return to the planning documents and refresh ourselves with the original intentions.
It’s also often helpful to make some updates to our planning documents when we’re reviewing them. Usually, the time and action of execution have better informed us of the ideal outcome or actions necessary to reach our goal. Periodically updating our plans, and our planning documents, leaves them in an improved state for the next time we need to revisit them.
Practices to regain momentum
- Notice when you have lost interest or are no longer inspired by your initiative.
- Notice when you’re procrastinating.
- Locate your vision statement and revise or rewrite it.
- Locate your affirmation and other policy documents. Eliminate, revise or rewrite any that no longer serve you and your most important goals.
- Locate your project lists. Celebrate those completed, cancel those that no longer serve you, and add any that have taken precedence. Acknowledge and honor the past, present, and future. Acknowledge and honor the future you are creating.
- Locate work plans for your primary project and revise them.
- Bring your team together, celebrate recent victories and share stories of the future you are creating together. Invite their perspectives on the future they are creating.
- Go forth together and conquer!
Answer these questions in writing, and put the result in your PowerBoard:
- What was most useful for you here?
- What one thing can you take forward and put to use immediately?
- You’ve become more adept at noticing when you’re not inspired, have lost interest, or are procrastinating.
- You’ve reviewed and affirmed or revised your:
- Vision statement
- Project list
- Work list, Action list, or project plan
- You’ve met with your team and
- Performed a retrospective.
- Reflected on what you’re doing together, and what benefits this mission will confer on you and other beneficiaries.
- You’ve added another idea, practice, or technique to your PowerBoard that you can put to use immediately.
Next: Keep Going
For More Information
- How To Become An Unstoppable Force Of Forward Motion
- Reflection questions are inspired by The Coaching Habit.
- The Purest Form of Motivation – How to be Motivated (Intrinsically)