In many ways, the easy part is dreaming about what you’d like to do in the future. Lying on a beach whilst on holiday, or taking time for yourself on top of a mountain in the summer months, you may have had time to let your mind wander to what could be. Once back home and in the swing of things, the harder part is getting a plan in place and keeping moving towards your goal.
How do you keep on track and keep motivated? I think the answer lies in celebrating your achievements.
When was the last time you stood back and thought about what you have achieved? Think about the last seven days – what did you achieve, both personally and professionally? This week I’ve received some fantastic testimonials; it’s great to see how much I’ve helped people. Also, I’ve been cat sitting and I’m pleased that I’ve encouraged the older cat to eat her food! Maybe you have had your own small successes already this week? How did you motivate yourself to achieve them? How did you keep motivated when the going got tough?
As I say, I think celebrating those wins – big or small – is the key in keeping yourself motivated. The first thing you need to do is to recognise when you have made progress. Take regular time out to think back over the previous week or month and note what you have achieved. Then celebrate when you reach any of your goals – and I do mean ANY of your goals. This will help you to keep going and motivate yourself for your next success. If need be, break down the bigger goals into smaller steps then recognise and celebrate each step forward as you progress.
Frequently, if things are not going so well it’s easy to beat yourself up, but contrarily, you probably don’t give yourself enough pats on the back for your wins.
Also, as an accountant (or if your work involves helping others), you can be so busy helping clients to achieve their goals that you forget to follow your own dreams.
Goals keep you motivated
First you need a plan of action which includes a list of your goals. Until you have your list you won’t know whether you have achieved your goals and when you can party. This will keep you motivated as you tick them off, one by one.
In my book, ‘Your Business Your Numbers’, I explain why goals are so important.
Provide you with focus
Give you the ability to set clear actions
Cause you to stretch and grow
Provide you with a long term vision
Does any of this seem familiar?
Step 1 – List your goals
Think about the goals you want to set in the next 3 months. These don’t need to be big goals but make them meaningful to you. You can have a mixture of career and personal goals if you like. List them, then move on to the next step.
Step 2 – What do you need to do to achieve your goals?
Go through each of the goals you have listed in Step 1.
Write the goal down
Have faith that you can reach the goal
Visualise the goal as clearly as you can
Commit to achieving the goal
Make yourself accountable
Review your goals regularly and celebrate!
Step 3 – How can you celebrate?
The way you celebrate should be relative to the size of goal you have achieved. Think of a mix of small and large celebrations to keep you motivated. Here are a few that come to my mind:
Buy a nice new plant for the garden
Watch a newly released film – I’ve watched both Top Gun Maverick and The Railway Children Return recently. Great!
Take a walk in the park
Have a game of tennis or golf
Arrange a get-together with your friends
Go to the theatre – I finally went to the Tina Turner Story – arranged in 2020!
What would be your reward to yourself? Make it something that motivates you to achieve.
Maybe sometimes you feel that things may go wrong so you don’t want to tempt fate by celebrating. I say go for it and celebrate!
By having these various trips to the cinema and theatre, I’ve treated myself and given myself a complete change! Doing this gave me a feeling of renewal and motivated me to tackle my goals with renewed vigour when I returned to the office!
A celebration doesn’t have to be something spectacular; it can be very simple indeed. But it’s important to do something to show that you value yourself and your achievements – so blow your own horn!