So, What’s Next?

The past two and a half weeks have been a thrill, and now the summer Olympics are done for another four years. Everywhere you turn, reporters are asking athletes, “So, what’s next?”

When so much of your time, energy and thinking has been focused on a particular objective, and suddenly the objective has been reached, the lack of the activity done to get there creates a huge void – mentally, emotionally, and even physically – whether in corporate or sport life. If you're not prepared for it, the void can create confusion, self-doubt, and even fear at not having an answer to "What am I going to do now?"

To keep moving forward after a great achievement:

  1. Accept the initial void
    We move from a high level of focus and excitement one day to having nothing to do the next. Anticipate the come-down off the high of your accomplishment, and give yourself permission for a bit of down time (not forever, but for a little while). You don't have to immediately fill that gap, and it can be more effective to take time to take stock of what's happened (see the next point) while you decide what's next.
  2. Learn from the occasion
    By self-critiquing your performance, you can evaluate what went well in the process and is duplicable. You can also see what you might have done better, and, if relevant to your next challenge, keep that in mind to improve going forward.
  3. Take time to consider your next objective and why
    We're so used to looking forward to the next thing. So much happens so fast, it's a common response to look for the next goal and start taking action right away. In my coaching work, I encourage my clients to think about why they want to achieve a long-term goal. Knowing the reason behind it makes sticking through the tough days easier and provides motivation when you just don't “feel like it.” Reaching a goal takes work; knowing why you're doing that work and being convinced it is worth it is invaluable. Once you have decided your next long-term goal and the reasons for doing it, then, look at how to make that long term objective relatable on a day to day basis. This approach will help you stay fresh and, more importantly, you'll more easily spot the small distractions so you can avoid them.

Keep going!

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