When I was a child, the family vacation was a long road trip to visit our relatives in Miami. There was not a quick flight from our airport to theirs. It was an eight hour drive in the family car loaded down with suitcases and snacks and, if it was Christmas, presents packed in like sardines. We traveled down the longest, most monotonous road in the United States, the Florida Turnpike. We were always excited and, literally, could not wait to get there.
My parents were brilliant. They would lift us from our beds in the middle of the night and tuck us away in the backseat (long before car seats and even seat belts — I’m dating myself now). By the time we woke, it would be morning and we would be just minutes from our destination. It’s no wonder they put themselves through the pain of staying awake all night, driving in the dark, and operating one full day of their vacation with no sleep. The payoff was the children, my two brothers and me, were silent for most of the trip. There was no bickering or poking fun and not one, “Are we there yet?” They knew children are not patient. Children want what they want when they want it, including to be magically transported from one place to another. They want to be “there” now! Sound familiar?
What about you? Where are you going? Do you want to be there now? No matter whether you are working on a new career, a new business, retirement, or just changes in the way you look and feel, working day after day, slow and steady without immediate results can be challenging. It is easy to lose sight of the destination, experience periods of low motivation, and get off track. Sometimes we even throw up our hands and ask, “What’s the point?”
Patience is a virtue, one you have to practice and nurture.
Here are a few ways for small biz to stay the course:
- Write down your goals or vision. Be sure the list is detailed, but then focus on just a few at a time. Too many goals can overwhelm us. I recommend no more than three at once.
- Have a plan for achieving those goals, including targets and deadlines. Decide when you will start and when you will complete each goal. Work backwards to know what will have to happen step by step to get you where you want to go. Put it on the calendar.
- Mark your calendar for a regular review of your goals and plan. Update them as you need to.
- Get help. Help may be a coach, consultant, an advisor, a doctor, etc. The help you get will depend on your goal. People who ask for help and are open to the advice they receive are much more likely to reach their goals.
- Celebrate milestones. Do not wait until you reach the end goal. Celebrate achievements along the way.
Steady as you go and before you know it, you are there!