Yes, it may work in the short-term. But how long will it be until you’re forced to change course because it’s impossible to sustain the current pace or continue down the current path?

People may rave about some new product or technique. They may even have experienced great results themselves. But the question to ask yourself before embracing it is, Is it sustainable?

After the initial enthusiasm wanes, will you be able to stick with it for the long run. Or will you be looking for something new in the not too distant future?

Is the new eating plan or exercise program something you’ll be able do for years to come? Or is it only a matter of time before you’ll have to move on? Is the new business initiative or incentive structure going to be in trouble a few years down the road? Or is it something that could work well for decades?

Now, there will be times when you know that what you’re doing now is clearly NOT sustainable. Sometimes this may be required to achieve a specific goal in the short-term. Other times it may be a gradual shift, with things that were once sustainable becoming less so. Either way, the key is to identify it as such, and to set up clear parameters for how much longer this pace or path will last.

Because if it’s not sustainable, by definition, you’ll have to abandon it at some point anyway. But if you’re not cognizant of it’s unstainability, you could sink a lot of time and energy—and even hope—into something that won’t get you to where you want to go. Not to mention that you can easily wear yourself thin in the process.

“Is it sustainable?” That’s a question always worth asking.