Weekly Review: Goal revitalization time

By Leo Babauta

Earlier this month, I challenged you, the readers, to join me in setting and achieving a single goal in the Zen Habits March Challenge. Step 1 of this Challenge was to create a plan, and Step 2 was to report your progress. Step 3 was to evaluate your progress.

We’re now almost three weeks into the Challenge, and it’s about that time when many people start facing obstacles or flagging motivation. Every habit change or goal quest usually come in a few different stages. First stage is the first few days, when it can be difficult to change your habit, but you usually have enthusiasm in those first few days, so it’s possible to overcome this initial inertia. Second stage is getting past the first week, which can also be difficult, but once you do this, it usually gets a little easier, and you have some momentum carrying you along. But the third stage comes at around the second or third week (usually around 14-21 days, although it can vary). This is a critical stage — it’s make it or break it time. This is when we face some kind of obstacle — a birthday party or Thanksgiving, for example, if we are trying to stay away from unhealthy food. Or we may face a crisis in motivation for some reason or other.

If you are going through this, it can be overcome. And here’s the bright side: if you can overcome this crisis (and you can!), your chances of success are huge. You will come through this critical stage nearly at the end of your month-long challenge, and once you get past a month, it gets much easier.

How do you get through the third-week crisis? Revitalize yourself! That’s right — infuse some life into your goal program. Here are some ideas on how to do that:

Now that I’ve said this, I’m going to make a confession: I’ve had to take another break in my triathlon training due to illness. Actually, I never completely got over my last illness, and the bout this past week has been worse than ever. And it nearly kills me not to exercise, now that I’m so used to it. But my resolve hasn’t wavered — I will be back on the road this week, cycling and running (and swimming in the pool). I just took a little break.

Now, in the comments, all you March Challengers, please report your progress! And let me know if your enthusiasm has been down or if you’ve faced any obstacles. Revitalization time!