Around April or May, I had a bit of a breakdown. After years of working towards my dream of being self-employed, I found myself sitting at my computer without a clue what to do next. I had finally achieved all of the big goals I'd set for myself - moving into my own place, quitting my day job, becoming a full time blogger. Now what? I fell into a small season of depression because I hadn't thought far enough ahead to plan bigger things for my life. It took most of the summer for me to figure things out, do a bit of soul searching, and decide what I wanted to achieve next. I learned some things over that period of time that helped get me back on track, and I thought I'd share them today for anyone else struggling with what to do after achieving a big goal.
Take Some Time Off
After all of the "go go go!" to reach your dream, I think it's really beneficial to step back and take a little time off. Enjoy a few days or weeks of down time, and celebrate this big accomplishment in your life. This time off can be really good for your mind - it gives your brain some time for a refresh, helps you de-stress a bit, and allows you to really revel in the joy of what you just achieved. I'm constantly on the lookout for what I'm supposed to be doing next, so oftentimes I completely forget to stop and enjoy the moment. Little celebrations are just as important as big ones, and you really deserve to tell yourself "good job" every so often.
Start Dreaming Bigger
Once you've relaxed and refreshed, it's time to start dreaming again. And guess what? This time we're going bigger than before. There's a passage in Paul Arden's book It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be where he talks about aiming beyond what you're capable of and disregarding where your abilities end. Basically, reach for the stars and stop putting limitations on yourself. When I read this, it was like a lightbulb went off and I felt such a huge surge of motivation. We destroy so many of our own dreams just by doubting we can ever reach them. For this next goal you set for yourself, aim for something you've always wanted to do but never thought you could.
Come Up With A New Plan
Now that you've decided on your next big goal (what's yours? Mine is to open a shop full of inspiring and helpful resources for bloggers of all levels), it's time to come up with a game plan. What I like to do is draw up a mind map for my goal, come up with the different steps I need to take to achieve that goal, and then even smaller steps to achieve those. This helps me map everything out and gives me a good idea as to what I need to do first to get the ball rolling. Once you have all of your steps written out, come up with a deadline for each "mini goal". This way you're sure to make regular progress towards your goal instead of chunks of time going by wasted.
Embrace A Season Of Change
Know that with a new goal comes some changes, and possibly a new routine. A lot of people tend to fear change, but some newness in your life can actually be extremely refreshing. If your new goal has you trying new things, changing up your usual routine, or stepping way outside of your comfort zone - embrace it! People are meant to change and adapt and grow. This new chapter in your life could potentially become your next big adventure, so get excited about it and have fun!
Have you achieved any big goals lately?