I often speak about doing one action a day to get towards your goal. This helps to keep a project moving, on the radar and feeding your inspiration. This is a useful practise as it makes a seemingly huge goal become more realistic and wears away at it, like water on a stone.
I was talking with a client recently who was doing just this - baby steps every day, during which the project was become more formed in her mind, she was making contacts, doing research, etc. However, although she was seeing progress, she wasn’t feeling quite as excited about it as she thought she would.
As we talked through how she was approaching it, we discovered that as she doing each task, her mind was thinking about too many other things. It could be on the next thing she was going to be doing (“once I get this out of the way, I’ll get on with….”). Or she was keeping an eye on her emails and answering “the quick ones”. Or researching on the net about one thing whilst having a phone conversation about something completely different.
I used to be very proud of the fact that I was a multi-tasker. It started at school when to my Mother’s annoyance, I could do my homework and also tell her the plot intricacies of the film I was watching at the same time. (The annoyance was compounded by the fact I got very good marks on the homework.) I thought this was a marvellous skill to have and indeed sometimes it is really useful. However, I think the danger comes when doing two things at once becomes the default operational behaviour. This has been compounded in the technological age, when we are being continually pinged by apps.
The danger of multi-tasking is that we aren’t concentrating fully. We can miss important bits of information; can’t remember if we told someone a meeting had been postponed; and Heaven knows how many times I have seen people almost kill themselves because they are listening to their music, checking their emails, and crossing the road in front of traffic! (I once had to physically restrain someone who was about to step off a railway platform - come on, people, you are important - take care of yourselves!)
Aside from nearly killing ourselves, we are also in danger of missing out on the experience we are having in that moment. I’ve had conversations with clients which have included comments about:
Going back to my original client, she reconnected with her goal as she learnt to focus on just that action she was doing at that moment. She acknowledged and celebrated the progress she was making after each step and before she moved on to the next thing. She rediscovered her excitement in the project, refuelled her enthusiasm and made huge leaps in getting to her goal.
So, if you feel you have lost your enthusiasm about your goal, maybe it is not what you are doing, but how you are doing it. Be fully engaged at each step, and you may find yourself excited all over again!
If this has struck a chord with you and you want to find out if coaching will support you, check out how we could work together and get in touch.