In the past we have talked about how there are different sorts of obstacles at different points in goal completion. This week we are going to dig deeper into the dangers that present themselves as we get near the end of our goal. Let’s call it the finish line problem.
The finish line problem is this: as we near the completion of a task it becomes easy to get sidetracked. There are two reasons for this, the “I can take a break“ attitude, and the “what is next?” attitude. At the heart of both these attitudes is the same cause – slipping focus.
When we begin a project we require focus, dedication and concentration to make sure we stay on track. As we progress to the mid part of completing the goal we are still problem solving and concentrating on what we want to accomplish. However, when the goal comes into view, things change. Our thoughts begin to wander. We feel we do not need to concentrate as hard because we do not have as far to go. Besides, the goal is right there to remind us to work for it.
As our concentration wanders it goes one of two places. Our thoughts turn to what we have done or what we will do next. Both of these take us out of the moment and disrupt our focus. Worse than that, they can lead us to dangerous places: rests, rewards and new goals.