I just finished two very large projects and immediately felt myself begin to take an emotional downward spiral. “Why is this happening?” I asked myself. “These goals have been striving to complete. You should be flying high with joy.” Then I remembered the dynamics of goal completion. Once you have completed a goal, you feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment, but then – something strange happens. The absence of the pressure to complete the goal or meet the deadline or be swept away in the creative process feels – empty. The emotion almost borders on depression. It is not unusual to reflect and ask yourself such questions as, “Is that all there is?” or “What do I do now?” The reason is very simple. We are goal-setting and goal-achieving creative creatures and when we don’t have purpose, we become smaller, pulled in and less than we are built to be.
Years ago I wrote an article entitled “Keeping your Balls in the Air.” I used juggling as a metaphor for managing goal setting and keeping your motivation. You have a number of goals in process at the same time. If you are successful with one, you celebrate – and then focus on the others. If you fail, you let yourself grieve for a short period – and then refocus. In a sense, you trick your mind.
After I reread my own article, I went over the list of my future stretch goals that I’m passionate about. I picked one to pursue and immediately felt my spirits begin to lift and I’m back in the groove once again.
You might want to check to see how many balls you have in the air? You might want to include both short-term and long-term “stretch” goals. Choose five or six and put them in the order in which you want to achieve them. Remember: succeed or fail, when you have a number of goals in your future, you will always be able to ramp up your passion and your motivation.