When you’re on a roll, things feel great. You’re humming on that writing project, or exercise routine, or learning program. All is well with the world. And then… it stops. You’ve lost momentum.
In my last posts, I discussed the advantages of losing your momentum and the dark side of losing it, too. But how do you recover momentum once it’s lost? What can you do to finally move forward again—and keep moving forward?
Here are some suggestions:
- Forgive yourself. When momentum fades, you may feel badly that you’re not doing what you’ve once found so easy—and, perhaps, took pride in. This is a time to reframe your thoughts by embracing the advantages. Make sure it’s something you own, rather than something that owns you.
- Reaffirm why. I stopped blogging last year because I had too many other pressing priorities at the time. But time away reaffirmed why doing it is really important to me. Having a strong why is best place to start anything, especially something you want to build as a habit.
- Start now. I considered relaunching the blog this coming fall. After all, why start something at the beginning of summer when there are so many other fun things to do? But I had the energy now. I wasn’t willing to kick the can down the road and run the risk of not having the energy for a restart then. As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago; the second best time is now.
- But start small. At one time, I was blogging four times a week. Not now—at least—not right now. My restart goal is just one post a week, something much more manageable. Even though you may have previously spent more time at the gym, or writing, or networking, or whatever it may be, you don’t need to restart at the same level. Ramp up. Get some small wins. It won’t take long to get back to a full head of steam.
- Reprioritize. You don’t do things because you don’t have time. You don’t do them because they’re not a priority over other things. Are those other things really of higher value to you? It’s all too easy to sacrifice what’s important for lesser things. Rid yourself of lesser things.
- Team up. Find someone who can hold you accountable to your new goal. Or better yet, team up with someone to work alongside you! Having an external motivator is sometimes all we need to keep at something.
- Celebrate. It’s easy to forsake celebrating victories, especially those you’ve accomplished before, but day-over-day gains are worth celebrating. The only measure you need is to “Beat Yesterday,” as the Garmin ad so wisely suggests.
So when it restarting something that’s important to you, why delay any longer? Now’s the best time to get your groove back.
Even if you need to restart again in the future. So what? Don’t let the fear of not doing it perfectly keep you from starting today. So, get at it. I’m at it too, and cheering you on.
Comment below: What tips have you found to get your groove back?
Good stuff Leary, as usual. I’m no expert, but I have learned what works for me.
Who you play with matters – being in relationship with people that make life and work fun is critical.
What you do matters – doing what you do well and love matters greatly. If you don’t love it, it is hard to muscle up mojo.
How much fun is it – Fun isn’t just for kids, it is for all of us. If you aren’t having fun, why are you wasting your precious time on earth doing it?
A great reminder that every journey begins with the first step – the key is to open the door and take that first step. Thanks Leary.
Great piece, Larry. I especially love: “Make sure it’s something you own, rather than something that owns you.”
And Ron’s comment above, “Who you play with matters – being in relationship with people that make life and work fun is critical.”
Great post. Love all of the list and it reminds me of how easy it is to lose proper perspective on attaining goals. One that resonated with me this time was “Start Small”. I think some of why I lose my groove is that my BHAG’s are too big for me to accomplish at their face. I’m not very good at goal setting in general nor in breaking big goals into bite-sized chunks. But, I think that’s where the momentum comes from. Get some small wins that add up to the big wins.
So, if losing weight is the big goal, start with something that moves you closer to the big goal. It might be drinking 100oz of water a day as the first step (since hydration is good and fills you up) or if it’s to lose a certain number of pounds break it down into smaller chunks (instead of losing 50 lbs in the next year, it’s 4 lbs this month). Or if it’s having a quiet time every day but you’ve not had a quiet time in a long time, start with 3 min of silence today.
I’m still a LONG way from being disciplined when it comes to getting my groove back in a lot of areas. But, I’ve found that I am moving farther along the path in many areas as I take things in achievable chunks.