Staying motivated is hard.
Starting something is easy. It is even thrilling.
As you start your new diet, the first few days are hard, but you feel such a sense of accomplishment with your new healthy eating habits. When I start a new workout regimen, I always stock up on a bunch of new gym clothes and I am excited to put them on and work out. And when I start a new project at work, I make so much progress right away.
Maintaining that momentum is hard. So hard.
After a week of dieting you have a hard day and end up eating that cookie. You sleep through your alarm and miss your workout. And when I get stuck on a task, I tend to procrastinate and distract myself with anything but the work.
Speed bumps are going to happen. And to be successful, what matters is what you do when you lose momentum. [ click to tweet! ] Successful people grind through their obstacles and stick with the plan.
Success or failure doesn’t happen overnight. Whether you win or lose is determined by the small things you do every single day. Success comes from consistency.
And we learn the most when we accomplish something hard. Ah-ha moments don’t come when things are easy. Breakthroughs are the product of hard work, effort, and pushing through when its challenging.
How many ah-ha moments have you had?
I want you to think about the last year. How many things did you learn or accomplish? What were your ah-ha moments? Really think about it and write them down (you will get more out of this article if you do!).
For me, my moments were:
- Understanding what it means to be a parent, and learning firsthand how much people love their children.
- The importance of a platform – our Kickstarter was successful in a large part because of all the work we did ahead of time to build that platform.
- Be thoughtful about how you communicate bad news. Transparency can be great, but it can also cause problems. When things weren’t going well I was super open about it. Instead of motivating the people around me, it had the opposite effect. There was a better way to communicate the state of affairs without demoralizing my team.
- I really like working with a big team. I am at my best when I am part of a larger group. I love working on my own and coding is a lot of fun, but my true strengths around strategy and leadership shine when I am part of something larger.
- You can make every meeting magical. When I got pregnant, I stopped networking. After I got back into the groove, I started my meetings back up, and some of the people I had on my calendar I wasn’t excited about meeting. I was dreading them in fact. However, I reframed my thinking and decided I would make these meetings useful. With my attitude I did exactly that and ended up learning so much.
- Strategy requires something special. I read the book Good Strategy, Bad Strategy and it made me think a lot more about what makes a business successful, and helped me rethink the way we were doing things at Popforms.
These were my big lessons from the last year. And the lessons may be interesting, but what is most interesting is that there are only 6 lessons. I learned 6 big things in the last year.
Let’s say you learned a lot more than I did, and you racked up 10 lessons. And for every year of your career you learned 10 lessons. And to make the math easy say that you had a 30-year career. That means in your whole career you would learn 300 lessons.
Your success is determined by making the most of those lessons. Are you learning enough each year? How could you learn more and make the most of your career?
Doing more, learning more, and getting more
Instead of learning things haphazardly as your complete your assignments and cross to-do’s off your task list, design your year of learning. Get deliberate about what you want to accomplish and how your spend your time. That way you can make the most of your next year. Here’s how…
- Think about where you want to go. What do you want your life to be like in 5 years? 10 years? Where do you want to live? What will your days be like? Will you go to work? Where? What will you do when you get home from work and on the weekends? Get a mental picture of yourself in the future.
- Now ask yourself, what you need to do to have that life? What are the experiences you need? What are the skills you need to build? This is going to be the start of your list of things to learn for next year.
- Start coming up with a list of all the things you want to learn in your life. What are the books you want to read? Where are the places you want to go and things you want to see? These are all good fodder for your list of things to learn.
- Plan it out. Write these things down. Carve out time on your calendar. Buy the books you want to read. Make it easy to learn these things.