"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." -- Annie Dillard, Pulitzer Prize winner
On January 1, we are pumped, inspired, and motivated to have a super new year. As the days pass, our resolve wanes. The job search becomes tiring. Those networking goals become tedious. That research into a new business idea can wait. If you miss a day or days or weeks, just start over. Use the onset of spring to reset your clock back to new beginnings.
Our goals are made up of small steps over a big period of time. Our days add up to our lives. It may not seem like you’re doing much each day, but it adds up. Similarly skipping a day might not seem like a big deal, but that adds up too. Motivation doesn’t just come like a bolt of lightning. Motivation is fed by action -- persistent activity, discipline, small steps each day.
Don’t beat yourself up over lack of results in a small period of time. Get back on track, and when you look back over a longer time period (say, a month rather than a week), you’ll have a more realistic view of your progress. Maybe you averaged one networking meeting every two weeks. That’s great! Now shoot for one every week over the next month and then two per week after that. Look at how many resumes you have sent, how many companies you have targeted, and how many leads you have generated. Can you increase that number by 10% for the next month?
Don’t give in to the temptation to quit just because you didn’t stay perfectly on track. The path to success is never linear. Expect some bumps, plateaus and ruts along the way. Just keep moving and eventually you will pass them by. Just don’t give up.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine is co-founder of SixFigureStart (www.sixfigurestart.com).