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How to Sustain Your Enthusiasm

By David Ackert on January, 2 2014

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David Ackert

Look at that—it's already Friday. By now, your New Year's Day hangover business-man-ready-at-race-starting-lineshould have abated and your enthusiasm for 2014 reached its peak. By this time next week, it will start to feel strange to wish someone a Happy New Year and your resolutions will show their first signs of erosion... unless, of course, you can sustain the dopamine boost most of us experience around this time of year. Neuroscience tells us that this performance-enhancing sense of focus, renewal, and drive comes from our motivation to pursue something. When we commit to a goal, our subconscious mind filters out the stimulus that is not our goal, which in turn motivates our performance in pursuing that goal (you can read more about the phenomenon in this white paper). So, the key to maintaining your enthusiasm is a consistent focus on the things you hope to achieve. Here are a few techniques that will keep your eye on the ball even as day-to-day distractions compete for your attention.

  1. Set up visual reminders of your goal. Place a relevant photo on your desk or a sticky note on your monitor so your goal stays top-of-mind.
  2. Schedule monthly goal-review sessions. Put this in your calendar so you have a regular check-in with yourself to assess your progress.
  3. Enroll an accountability partner. Work with a professional marketer at your firm, an outside coach, or a colleague who shares your ambition and engages you in regular discussion about the advancement of your goal.
  4. Share your goal with a mentor. Choose someone you respect so that whenever they ask about your goal, you are motivated to report progress lest you disappoint them.

The beginning of the year is a time for reflection, so think back on your past behavior patterns. Have you duped yourself into thinking that “this year it will be different”? You probably have the same amount of self-discipline you had last year, so introduce a new component into the equation this time. Think how much better 2014 will be if you can sustain your enthusiasm all year long.


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