So often we daydream and think of some far-off goal that we would like to achieve. "I want to play the guitar in a band," "I want to run a marathon", "I want to be better at my job," etc. It's not difficult at that point to break it down into short-term goals… practice some chords in the evening, run on the weekends, or arrive an hour earlier at work. You get in a groove and suddenly you're on the way to reaching that long-term goal.
However, there are so many other goals where that groove is tougher to find once you get started. You begin to feel overwhelmed as you think about the long journey ahead.
This is where medium-term goals and a reward system can really make a difference. A good medium-term goal can keep the "fire" burning. For the examples above you might set a medium-term goal to play 5 of your favorite songs very well, or to run a half marathon, or create one new idea that will help your co-workers. Some may take longer than others, but bridging the gap between short and long doesn't make the journey seem so "out there!"
You still might get bored and not feel the same enthusiasm as you did early on, and that is why it's important to have a reward system. So, if you have your long-term and short-term goals, and you've just come up with your medium-term goal, it's time to reward yourself for progress. An example: if you achieve 90% of your weekly goals, take yourself out to dinner. If you achieve the weekly goals a total of eight times, buy yourself a new toy. If you achieve a medium-term goal, buy something for your house. For achieving a long-term goal, take a trip!
I know… where is the money coming from???? You don't have to go into debt to reward yourself… but I think the little extra money you shell out to stay motivated will be worth it in the long run. You'll gain more than just playing in a band, running a marathon, or being better at your job; you'll gain all that comes with it! Your life will have become enriched along the way and your self-esteem will skyrocket because you've reached something you've always dreamt about!
Never give up… keep fighting for your dreams!
Article created on: 11/3/2004