How to keep the momentum going when the big hoopla is all over

Okay, okay, was that a crazy enough title for a blog entry? I hope so! It’s not such a remote thing, when you realize all the hooplas we have out there.

The classic example is the New Year’s Resolution. New Year’s comes and you tell yourself you’ll lose 50 pounds, go to the gym for three hours a day eight days a week, and…let’s see…Become a vegan finally. (Apologies for using a food/weight example here…)

So the first week of January has gone well. You joined the gym. Then, you figure you couldn’t possibly go until you had the right clothes. You spend the rest of the week clothes shopping and then, you bought a pork roast.

Now wait a minute, that’s not vegan! But… You’ll do that tomorrow, right? Or February, when you realize gym membership is due and you haven’t been there once.

Hey…the hoopla is over! What happened to all that energy?

On the non-food side, you decide you are going to write a book. You start the first chapter and then…… What? You’re not writing? I hear this story a lot and you most likely have, too.

How can a person keep up the momentum and energy? How can a person start doing something and then, keep up the practice until it is habitual?

I suspect that a part of this has to do with plain old discipline. The same chutzpah that gets you out of bed every day, maybe you can harness that same energy to fuel your book-writing project.

I have observed that some people set their goals too high or their goals are too unrealistic. I am all for a whole bunch of ambition. Of course!

This is what happens when you expect to soar too high. It gets overwhelming. It’s too much, or too challenging. The task suddenly seems enormous.

I recall when I had a hard time writing (which I don’t now…) I used to break it up into chunks. Studies have shown that if you set a timer and promise yourself you’ll only write for ten or fifteen minutes, you’ll write more in that short bit of time and work more efficiently than if you force yourself to sit at your desk five hours and be productive the whole time.

Just about any task can be broken up into smaller parts. We cannot leap from the first floor to the second, can we? No, most of us couldn’t manage that (I sure couldn’t!). But when we build a stairway we can climb bit by bit till we reach the top.

When you reach that top of the stairway, now you can look back at all you have accomplished. It feels good, doesn’t it?

Now that you have succeeded, go have yet one more hoopla.

And don’t forget to tell me about it.

Feedback and comments welcome!