Why Slowing Down Offers the Most Effective Goal-Achievement Strategy

A slower pace helps you achieve your goals and dreams without stopping or quitting

We live in a fast-paced world where quickly achieving goals is perceived as a virtue. We are taught to strive with unwavering determination and consistency to reach our goals. Slowing down is considered unacceptable or a weakness, yet it provides a better goal-achievement strategy.

Slowing the pace at which you pursue your dreams can mean the difference between achieving them and giving up on them. Moving too quickly for too long may lead to using a stop-start strategy or stopping and never starting again, which is not a great way to reach your goals.

Coming to a standstill, rather than simply slowing down, can have far-reaching effects. Of course, quitting prevents you from achieving your goal, but stopping and starting slows your progress more than you might realize. Ultimately, both impact how you feel about yourself and your life and how others feel about you.

Slowing down your efforts to achieve your goal prevents you from quitting the race or stopping to catch your breath. Going slowly is still a forward movement and eventually allows you to realize your dream. Think of the tortoise and hare story; the tortoise was slow but steady—and won the race.

5 Negative Ramifications of Stopping Forward Movement Toward a Dream

When you try to achieve a goal too quickly or push yourself too hard, you will likely feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or burned out. When you experience those emotional states, the chances that you will quit or stop forward progress for some time increase. You may plan to start moving toward your dream again, but stopping often leads to quitting, even if that is not your intention.

Also, when you stop your movement toward a dream, you open yourself up to experiencing a host of negative ramifications. Here are five of the most common ones:

1. Loss of momentum.

Each time you choose to stop moving toward your goal, it becomes harder to get going again. Many people never find the motivation to restart and fail to realize their dreams.

The powerful force of momentum keeps you motivated and drives you toward success. When you stop moving forward, you lose the inertia that propels you toward your goals. You also risk becoming complacent.

However, if you keep moving forward at a slower pace, you are still moving toward your dream. It’s easier to pick up the pace if you are still in motion.

2. Abandonment of your vision and dreams.

If you stop taking action to realize your dream for any length of time—or quit on your goal—you will likely regret this decision later. Sometimes, abandoning your vision and dreams changes the entire course of your life. As a result, you might feel unhappy, unfulfilled, or frustrated a lot of the time.

If your values and vision change and you choose new aligned goals, you won’t abandon the old ones. If your values and vision remain the same, you’d be better off slowing your progress toward your goals than stopping or quitting. You are much more likely to achieve your goal and feel fulfilled and satisfied with your accomplishments.

3. Losing sight of our purpose and direction.

You abandon your vision and dreams when you stop moving toward your goals. This opens you to the risk of losing your purpose and direction, which can lead to feeling aimless, uncertain, unfulfilled, and dissatisfied with your life.

By contrast, slowing down allows you to reassess your goals, make necessary adjustments, and continue on a path aligned with what’s important to you. You still have your “true north” to guide you.

4. Detrimental effects on your personal development and growth.

Stopping your forward movement toward a goal inevitably leads to feelings of frustration and disappointment in yourself. In fact, your self-esteem and self-confidence will plummet.

Quitting can cause you to believe you are a failure, which makes it difficult to get moving again or start over. You may develop the belief that you are incapable of finishing what you start, which then impacts your ability to achieve future goals.

Also, while halting your progress denies you the opportunity to learn, grow, and evolve, slowing down allows you to reflect on your experiences, acknowledge your achievements, and cultivate resilience. It will enable you to build trust in your ability to see your dream through to fruition. That helps you achieve your future goals.

5. Negative impact on relationships and professional endeavors.

When you don’t follow through on your commitments, such as to achieve a goal, you lose trust in yourself. However, other people also trust you less. Stopping or quitting can also lower your credibility and harm your reputation with others.

As a result, you may find your relationships damaged. When others don’t see you as trustworthy and credible, they might not want to collaborate with you.

On the other hand, if you slow down, you may not meet different people’s timelines but will accomplish your goal. Plus, you’ll learn and find new ways to succeed. Others will appreciate your consistent action and integrity.

5 Benefits of Slowing Down the Pursuit of Your Goals

A growing body of research and personal anecdotes suggest slowing down is beneficial to achieving goals in the long run. Choosing a slower pace, rather than coming to a complete stop when obstacles arise, actually propels you forward to achieve your goal.

Here are five key benefits to slowing down as you strive to achieve your goals.

1. The ability to reassess and reevaluate your goals and strategies.

When constantly in motion and feeling pressured to move forward fast, you may overlook important details or fail to see the bigger picture. When you slow your pace, you can reflect on your progress and better understand what is working and what isn’t. This self-reflection allows you to make necessary adjustments and pivot strategically. Such reevaluation and recalibration increase your chances of success.

2. Maintain a sense of balance and well-being.

Constantly pushing yourself to the limit can lead to burnout, fatigue, and decreased motivation. By taking breaks and slowing your pace, you allow yourself to recharge physically and mentally.

There’s more to success than rushing headlong toward a goal. You also need to care for your body and have time to rejuvenate your mind and soul. And work is not the only important aspect of life; it’s essential to maintain your relationships with friends and family as well as yourself.

When you can do the things as you move consistently toward your dreams, you experience true life balance and well-being.

3. Improved focus, creativity, and overall performance.

As mentioned, rushing to achieve your goals can lead to missed opportunities and mistakes. The pressure to reach your destination faster can also cause you to feel overwhelmed and stressed. These states of mind do not help you focus, devise creative solutions, or perform at your best.

Slowing down enables you to tackle challenges with renewed energy and enthusiasm. And the more manageable pace allows you to focus better, be more creative, and improve your productivity.

4. Deeper connections and relationships.

You may neglect important personal relationships and professional connections when you constantly push yourself to realize your dream. When you finally reach your goal or choose to slow down, the damage may be irreparable.

By taking the time to slow down to pursue your dream and engage with others meaningfully, you build stronger bonds with people. You also cultivate a support system to help you navigate obstacles and setbacks as you progress toward your goals.

5. The ability to savor the journey and appreciate the process.

Your rush to reach the finish line can cause you to overlook the amazing journey to your dream and the growth you experience along the way. If you never acknowledge your progress and achievements, you’ll become frustrated and discouraged.

Slowing down allows you to be more present in the moment, celebrate your small wins, and learn from your mistakes and successes. Doing so enhances your overall experience and instills a sense of gratitude and resilience. You realize that you can get through the inevitable challenges and are making progress.

How to Pace Yourself on the Path to Goal Achievement

Most of us are not taught to slow down. So, how do you pace yourself as you move toward realizing your dreams and achieving your goals?

First, reconnect with yourself. Determine how you feel about your progress and the experience of going for your dream. Then, you can make adjustments as needed and appreciate your small victories. This will help you stay motivated in the long run and enjoy the process.

Second, pay attention to your physical body. It will let you know if you need to slow down and recharge, but you must take the time to notice. Engage in self-care, like sleeping more, meditating, going for a massage, and exercising. Give yourself time to eat a healthy diet. Ignoring your body’s signals can lead to burnout, decreased productivity, and bad health, which may cause you to quit your dream.

Third, set realistic and achievable goals. Doing so allows you the time to succeed. And breaking your goals into smaller tasks with goals that allow ample time to complete them. This reduces the pressure and allows you to adopt a sustainable pace.

Fourth, embrace the process. Achieving goals is not always a linear journey. There are ups and downs, detours, potholes, and missed turns along the way. When you acknowledge this, you stay more motivated and resilient—and don’t become discouraged by setbacks. You are also more likely to celebrate your progress, learn from your mistakes, and trust that every step, no matter how small, brings you closer to your dream.

Finally, move forward no matter what. Sometimes, life gets in the way of achieving your dreams. At those times, don’t stop. Just take smaller steps forward rather than no steps at all. Do whatever you can consistently.

Adopt a pace you can maintain, and, like the turtle, you’ll achieve your goal.

Have you quit on a goal or dream because you tried to move forward too quickly? Tell me in a comment below. And, please share this post with someone who might benefit from reading it.

What if you could learn to develop new habits and mindsets that help you move toward your goals and realize your dreams? That would change your life, would it not? If you want to be someone who take the actions necessary to create what matters to you, click here and schedule a quick meeting with me. Let’s see if we are a good fit to work together and what type of coaching would best help you get the results you desire. I can serve as your transformational coach or Certified High Performance Coach.


Photo courtesy of dannywanders.

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