Do you remember the game snakes and ladders? You catch a break and climb closer to your goal and it’s all going well. Until you hit a snake and fall right back to the start!
When I was younger, I had a habit of following this pattern. I would do incredibly well with whatever I focussed on and as soon as I felt successful, I slipped up and ended up back where I started. My dad calls it ‘the snakes and ladders effect’.
Whilst these times are incredibly valuable experiences and build resilience, how do you stop the pattern?
I remember learning from Tony Robbins when UKFast was just beginning. He describes this ‘snakes and ladders’ pattern in terms of heat. It’s like a thermostat – the temperature rises and rises, then you hit a peak and the thermostat kicks in and the temperature falls.
It is human nature that when we do well, we celebrate. It is also easy to become complacent and rest on your laurels for a little while. You become a victim of your own success and in that time you lose momentum. The success that you’ve built begins to dip and you find yourself back where you started.
What would happen if at the peak, before you celebrate, you draw a line in the sand? From this point on you only go up; there’s simply no option to go below that line in the sand.
This way you are constantly reassessing your goals and moving forward.
I often talk about goal setting and it is important to have big goals – your Everest – that may take a long time to achieve, or you might never achieve it. It may be more about what you become on the journey rather than reaching that final goal. However, you also need smaller goals en route to Everest – your Snowdons. These are goals that you can celebrate, that build towards your ultimate goal.
Each time you complete a Snowdon, draw a line in the sand and look ahead to your next goal.
Keep this momentum and you’ll break the snakes and ladders effect in no time.