The end is only just the beginning

IMG_1496_1You’ve reached the goal that you’ve set for yourself. At last you’ve made it! But then you can often feel deflated when the initial euphoria of getting there wears off. All the effort and energy, the focus and putting aside of other things and then it’s done. Earlier this year I started walking the Thames Path, at the end of November I got to the end (or the beginning if walking the other way). So here are some thoughts on using successful completion for more than an excuse for one too many beers and to vanish those post achievement blues.

The Next Challenge

Top of the list is always to have the next challenge or adventure in mind. The best goals are the ones you enjoyed working towards rather than just being monotonous slogs (though there is always a bit of that). So if you enjoyed the getting there then have in mind another similar challenge – it could be a step up in difficulty – or it could be the next in the series for a bigger goal. For example rather than doing a longer or more challenging walk such as the Pennine Way I’ll be tackling the Ridgeway as I gradually criss-cross England by completing a series of walks.

More of The Same

This idea, of an achievement being one of many, works well if you’re clear about some of your bigger aims. This will be grounded on understanding your values and how you really want to spend your time. For me walking through England is enjoyable in its own right, good exercise, an opportunity to better understand the geography of my country, and quality time with my wife. Equally if you’re a budding writing the first complete novella is step towards a bookshelf of great novels.

Something Different

You might ask having completed something why would you want to do more of the same? By having completed a goal you’ve proven to yourself that is was important to do it; you set aside value energy and time to do it. If it wasn’t important then why did you do it? There are many who start but don’t finish. It’s fine to abandon things if after giving it a good go you find it wasn’t for you. Giving up because it was tough isn’t good enough though. However, there may come a time when you’ve reached the end. It may because of declining physicality – the case of top sportsmen retiring – or if there’s a more compelling interest taking hold. When it’s time to draw a series of achievements to a close, when the last trail has been walked or the last novel signed off then you still need to think about what’s next.

Finding What’s Next

Finding what’s next may require experimentation and having a go. So if you’re coming to the end of something you enjoyed but you know it’s time for something new then get creative and don’t be to fearful for finding the next phase of creative living should be fun.

What’s Your Next Goal?

So what have you just completed and what will you be doing next?

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