Sooner or later, a task we work on will reach successful completion.  That is the goal, and yes, sometimes (hopefully often) we do achieve goals.  There is value in resting in that success for a time.  However, time marches on, and we need to plan for our next goal or goals.

Damage Assessment

We often have a push near the end of a goal that earns us that successful completion.  It is useful to assess the damage done in that final push.  We may be tired and need a little time to recover.  On the other hand, we might have burned ourselves out, achieving that goal.  Likewise, this is the best time to measure whether the cost was worth the achievement.  These thoughts are essential in determining whether we build on this victory or decide to move on to something different.

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The Momentum Is There

We often talk about the momentum we build in moving towards a goal.  This impact is seen in losing the wind in our sails once we hit a goal that we pushed hard to achieve.  I liken this to Christmas morning right after gifts are all open.  There was a push (and anticipation) for weeks built up to that moment that just passed.  That often leaves us with a “now what” feeling.  It is not so much negative sentiment as it is a vacuum left where we have momentum without direction.  An excellent physical example is a drag racer that crosses the finish line and pops the parachute.

A Gentle Transition or Total Pivot

The momentum, drive, or general energy that got us across the finish line can be exhausted.  We just barely got across the finish line.  The momentum died at that moment.  In those cases, we should rest and spend a little more time evaluating where to go next.  However, the cases where we have momentum provide us energy after a successful completion that can be used for our next objective.

We need to assess where to go next while being aware that we have excess energy to jumpstart our next endeavor.  Therefore, we will be further along the road to our next goal if we work with that momentum.  Likewise, it will take an effort to redirect the momentum if we go in a completely different direction.

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is a founder and principle of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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