How do you maintain your goal once you’ve reached it?

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We often talk about working towards a goal. But what happens once you get there? Is it enough to stop because you’ve accomplished what you set out to? It’s a scary thought and pretty confusing for some people. Working so hard with a clear goal in mind. A time frame. A vision and the thought of “afterwards”. Then it suddenly dawns on us that there is no afterwards. So now what? We’re faced with a decision: either we stick at it for the rest of our life. Or we give up.

We will never stop telling you this: quitting is not an option. Ever. But if it does feel like you’re facing the longest road to nowhere, here are a few tips to break it down and help you along the way. Don’t panic. This goal was just the start for you.

As soon as you reach one goal, set the next

The trick is to keep setting new goals. If you stop as soon as you reach the first one it will all have been worth nothing. Never see any goal as “the end”. See it as the beginning of a new one. If it’s a desired weight, decide to shift your focus to something new. A half marathon or a new skill like pullups, muscleups or one handed pushups. Time is totally irrelevant. The point is that you are continuously working towards something.

Recognize progress and reward it

Trust us, we know how scary it can be when you realize there is no “afterwards”. When it hits us that it’s no longer a few weeks, but instead it’s now your life. It’s a daunting prospect when you think of it like this. That’s why every so often it’s good to recognize what you’ve done and reward yourself for everything you’ve achieved.

Keep pictures of you at your absolute best close at hand

Always remind yourself of how far you’ve already come. It’s a reminder that everything was worth it. Every time you look at that picture just think of what you can achieve if you keep going. The results and progress can be twice as good in the next few months.

Consistency is key but variety is essential

Worried you’ll get bored of continuous training? Mix it up a little. Add running to your week. Not just endurance but also interval training. Take on triple workouts. Swap endurance for standard. Standard for strength. Test your willpower and go vegan for month. Whatever adds variety to your routine and keeps you engaged and pumped to keep going, try it. You’ll end up enjoying it too.

Forgive yourself if you slip-up

Bottom line is, you are only human. And during your lifetime you will make mistakes. We can’t be 100% perfect at all times. And perfection shouldn’t be what you are aiming for anyway. If you do make a poor choice, do something you’re not proud of or give into temptation it’s not the end of the world. And it shouldn’t leave you feeling so bad about yourself that you throw everything away and give up. Pick yourself back up and work twice as hard to get back on track. If anything, slip-ups should be seen as motivation to become even better than you were before.

Turning a short term goal into something that lasts a lifetime takes more than diet and exercise. It comes down to your thinking, behaviours, learning and making choices. So if you have reached your first goal and unsure of how to take it from here, it’s simple: keep going. You’re already on the right track. Life has so much in store for you, now is your time to uncover it.