So you feel like Rocky on top of the steps, pumping your fists into the air and jumping up and down. Goal accomplished. Cue the credits. Job well done! But as the glory fades, as you begin to descend those steps, sometimes you’re left with a huge question: ‘Now What?!?”
Who are you? How did you get here? Maybe you’ve just met your goal of 2 miles. Maybe a marathon. Maybe you’re at your goal weight. No matter what the scenario, your vision of where to go next is no longer clear. What happens now? You probably feel like you are beginning again, and in a way you are. But don’t discount what you’ve already accomplished. Keep a mental (or a tangible) timeline of what you’ve done. All of that was necessary for you to be here today. It’s just simply time to re-center and regroup. How do you go about setting a new goal?
First, check in with how you feel.
Be honest about how you feel with your accomplishments and create a clear perspective regarding the choices you have moving forward. Are you overwhelmed with decisions? Or are you staring at a blank slate? Are you excited, nervous, confident? Are you frustrated? Once you identify what it is you want to move past, it becomes your next goal. Only by understanding that you must maintain where you are and understand how you feel about it can you move forward.
Second, assess your options.
No one is without options. No one is without choice. We simply feel lost in the journey sometimes. One of the answers I hear most often from my clients is, “I don’t know.” Truth is, you do know. It just feels like too much work to dig up the answer. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed with decisions, or at a loss with where to go, write out all the possible directions you have available. A marathon? Yoga certification? Vegan diet? Even write down the ones that don’t interest you. There is valuable information to be drawn from your interests, so write down options even if they don’t seem feasible or feel unrealistic.
Third, exercise choice.
All too often we allow our decisions to be made through inaction. Remember that it’s still a choice to let the chips fall where they may, or to wait long enough for the opportunity to pass. Don’t let this happen to you. You’ve worked hard to meet your goal. Take advantage of the progress you made so you can keep up…not catch up. When you eliminate some choices it will clear your head about where to go next by creating space to focus only on possibility. Mark off any item on your list from above that you don’t feel pulled toward.
So, now you only have opportunity on your list. Which is progress from the uncertainty you began with. Create a new list containing only opportunity. Now, pick out those items that seem unrealistic, but oddly exciting. Why do they excite you? How would that direction create happiness? Keep this realization in mind because before now it was an unconscious desire. Now that it’s conscious, work with it, ask for it and expect it to show up moving forward.
Fourth, create a new script.
Action infers accomplishment. Accomplishment is only attainable when you know what you’re working toward. Otherwise, it’s just a blind stab in the dark. Think about the variables that need to occur to move you forward. What vision do you have for the future? How will you measure whether a path is acceptable for optimum growth and happiness? Once you are clear on the answers to these questions, you can begin to move forward with your opportunity list.
Arrange your opportunities in order of most attractive to least. Which ones attract you most? Who can you talk to for more information? What research is needed? What questions do you have? As you get answers, gauge whether it fits into your vision. If it doesn’t, mark it off and move on to your next opportunity.
Stepping forward will feel awkward at first. Beginning new is always a daunting task of unknowns. But you’ve already been there once. That is how you got where you stand today. Begin again. Shift your perspective back into a state of curiosity and feeling. Remain open to suggestions, outside help and gentle nudges. It doesn’t have to be a lonely path of discovery. You can ask for help. Your answers are closer than you think they are.
What is YOUR first step forward from here?
Momentum Coaching‘s mission is for each of us to energize the moment we’re in. As owner and professional coach, Katie Mattson energizes her clients to stretch their boundaries, deepen their awareness and indulge in life. She coaches individuals and small groups around topics such as: building confidence, career and life transitions, shifting perspective and stepping into new experiences.