Build Momentum, Avoid Milestones

We’re one week into a new year, and I’m still feeling that “new year, new you” energy of creating new habits, self-improvement, and making things work smarter for us instead of working harder. Personally, I’m trying something new out with my goals this year. Instead of focusing on milestones, I’m working on building momentum. 

This is not an original idea, you guys. James Clear talks about it in his book Atomic Habits, Ann Handley recently wrote about it in her newsletter, and Elise Cripe shares about making progress on Instagram regularly. But like most things in life, you find the right blend of information and something clicks inside you and inspires you to take action. 

If I know anything about myself is that I need to firmly believe in something to stick with it, both in my work life and in the things I do for fun. So I was at a loss last year when I couldn’t seem to get back into the habit of running. True, my environment had changed, and I was far from the running community I had before we moved, but I couldn’t gain momentum. It felt like a series of starts and stops with running all year. That’s when the self-doubt crept in. I’ve been a runner for five years. Who am I if people don’t know that I run?

Well, really, who cares? What’s more important than the perception of being a runner is that I feel more like myself when I get a few runs in a week than I do when I don’t. Plain and simple. And that’s what I’m focusing on this year.

Instead of making goals of running 750 miles this year or reading 52 books, I’m choosing to focus on spending time doing the things that make me feel most like myself. Because the reality is those larger than life milestone goals always include things that I love doing, but I end up feeling awful about them if I fall short. By focusing on making time to do those things, I’ll build momentum and celebrate if and when the milestones come. The books will get read, the miles will pass, the projects will be finished, and I will be a happier person for it.


Quotable

“If you can move beyond the discomfort of letting go of what’s familiar, there’s greatness waiting for you.” 

Teneshia Jackson Warner, on Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield

What I’m. . .

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