Staying focused on a goal: it’s a struggle.
Anyone who has formed a goal will know that the carefully crafted plan doesn’t always go “according to plan.” With any goal, it becomes more and more difficult to stay focused when the initial rush of creating the goal has faded.
But let’s face it: when it comes to travel goals – particularly goals that will require a lot of time & savings – it’s important to remain consistent with your daily efforts.
One of the best ways to stay focused? Get excited. After all, when we’re excited by the potential of achieving something, putting in the work towards the goal doesn’t feel as much like a miserable slog.
If you’re not feeling excited about your goal, or the initial motivation has faded, it’s time to re-ignite that spark. Here are five questions to ask yourself if you feel like you’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’ towards your goal.
1. What is your motivation to travel?
This is a great place to start, especially if you don’t have a specific travel goal yet.
Start by listing out anything that comes to mind. Does the idea of going somewhere new excite you? Are you looking to push yourself outside of your comfort zone? Or perhaps you’re longing for a relaxing getaway, so you can decompress from life’s stresses.
List out all of the things you’re itching to get from your travels and use this as your jumping off point for the rest of the questions listed below.
2. Why is this goal important to you?
Here’s where you can dig in a little deeper, and pinpoint why your travel goal is important.
As I’ve written in a previous post, travel is important to me for several reasons, but there is a common thread running throughout.
Travel is so important to me because when I’m experiencing new things, that’s when I feel the most alive.
As you reflect on your answers to the first question above, see if you also notice a common thread running through your list of motivations. Once you’ve found it, write out your answer in great detail so you can reflect upon the answer later during less-inspired moments.
3. How can you find excitement in the journey?
Whenever you’re working towards a long-term goal, there are going to be a lot of boring moments. You know, the day-to-day routines of budgeting, squirreling away money and avoiding the call of impulse purchases.
That’s why it’s important to find excitement in the journey towards your goal.
There are lots of little ways you can do this. As mentioned in one of my previous posts, meal prepping is a great way to cut back on food costs. How can you make this process a little more fun? Maybe it’s by trying an exciting new recipe each week or inviting a friend over for a meal prep day.
Or you might find excitement in the journey by delving deep into your trip planning process. There are so many exciting things you can do to prep for the trip, like researching the places you’d like to go, reading books set in that area, or (going back to my favorite topic: food!) cooking recipes that originate from your destination.
4. Who will you be when you’ve accomplished this goal?
There are growing pains throughout the process of achieving any long-term goal. With that being said, when you’re looking to get excited about a goal, it’s better to focus on the potential growth rather than the pains!
What improvements will you have made in your life throughout the process of accomplishing this goal? Did you do something amazing like become conversational in a new language? Go through the totally intimidating and incredible process of overhauling your spending habits in order to get to this point?
To get to where you’re going, you’re going to achieve some pretty incredible things between the starting line and the finish. If you can remind yourself of this on the rough days, it might be a little easier to keep going.
5. How will you feel once you’ve accomplished this goal?
Here’s where you can use your imagination to do some visualizing.
Picture yourself waking up on the day your trip leaves… what sensations are running through your body? Are you filled with a sense of accomplishment and excitement?
Imagine finally reaching your destination and list all the ways in which the pay-off will be worth the hard work you’ve put in. If visualizing these things doesn’t fill you with a sense of excitement? Well, maybe you just need to go back to the drawing board and form a new goal that does fill you with a sense of energy. We’re all constantly changing and evolving, so there’s no harm in re-evaluating your goal and seeing what tweaks you can make to get excited again.
After you’ve answered these questions…
Don’t forget to put away your responses in a place where you can easily access them later.
I’m about to take my own advice by starting a journal dedicated solely to travel, and my first entry will be dedicated to answering these Q’s.
If you’d like to share your own answers, I would love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below, or send me a line via email or social media.