I’ve fallen off the horse. And if you’ve followed along my journey over the past few months, you’re probably thinking, Yup. As in massive radio silence on the blog, in my newsletters, throughout social media.
Some part of this absence was from sickness, another part busyness with classes, and other parts personal insecurity. You can call it self doubt, anxieties, or any number of negative emotions. They all boil down to this — loss of direction. Rather than dwelling on the excuses, let’s focus on getting out of this funk.
If you’ve fallen off the horse, this one’s for you. If you’re still on the horse (go, you!) but know someone who isn’t, consider sharing this article with ‘em. This may be just what they need.
Although there’s no silver bullet to regaining momentum, here are a few ways I’m starting over:
1. Master a routine.
Whether this means returning to the one you left or redefining the order of your day, find one routine you can stick to. If you’re unsure which to set first, maybe start with one for the part of the day you have the least control over or have the least energy to spare. Routines help get things done with minimal required energy. So you win with a system in place where all hell tends to break loose.
For me, this means mornings. I’m the most lethargic and unmotivated when the sun rises. By solidifying my morning routine (which I’ve referred to as a start routine in an older post), the battle can only be won in my favor.
If you feel you need more routines scattered throughout the day, definitely set them where needed. But remember, the purpose of setting a routine is for sustainability. Rather than overwhelming yourself, choose to take one step at a time. Feel good about one before planting another. Habit-building takes at least three weeks to become a norm. So if you fail the first few weeks, fail forward. Dust yourself off, make the necessary adjustments, try again.
Meditations putting you to sleep? Switch it out for something more mentally active like morning pages. Finding your energy patterns shift from evenings to mornings? Apply a night routine (or end routine) instead of a morning one. No rule says you have to follow a fixed formula. Listen to your body and soul. Do what they need.
2. Commit to creative consistency.
For us multipassionates, we may have had several projects going on at once before we disappeared from the face of the planet. Trying to jump back into it all can turn to madness, especially if you haven’t been in the game for over a month. Like me!
So rather than getting frustrated with how slowly you’re progressing, return to one project and find a normal frequency of working on that one. Yes, you’ll eventually get back to the others, BUT focus on the one first. Once you’ve found a rhythm with the first project, add on the next one, and continue building from there.
My focus right now is my community (hence, why you’re seeing this brand-spanking-new post). The frequency may not be the same as it used to, but I’m making a commitment to consistently create content again.
3. Seek accountability.
Link up with one person (are we seeing a pattern here? 😉) in your support system who shares your values, knows your work, and understands your situation. This person can be a biz buddy, a longtime best friend, or a fellow creative. If you’re unsure who to call, think of the people who are invested in you because they care about you. Not because you have something to give in return or because they like your work but because of you. This is the kind of person you need in your life right now, in your time of momentum building.
The reason is that s / he is likely more willing to see you succeed for the sake of your well-being than in gaining recognition from your success. S / he is someone you can rely on to respond to help texts in the middle of the night, even if it’s “I misplaced my phone!” with the device firmly in your hand as you send the message.
This person will be your sounding board and stability. HOWEVER (and yes, this is a big one), do not put all your hopes on this one person. After all, we’re all human. Just because s / he doesn’t answer your call on the first ring does not mean s / he has failed you. We’re all making sense of life, but s / he is helping you sort out your two feet.
Remember: throughout this process, you WILL stumble. Momentum does not grow with one spiffy roll of snow. We must climb up the hill with our little snowball before we crest the peak and launch it down the other side.
When you feel discouraged from falling again and again, think on Nelson Mandela’s words:
“I never lose. I either win or learn.”
Be patient with, kind to, and understanding of yourself. We’re growing. We’re finding our way. As you master your routine, commit to creative consistency, and seek accountability, know we’re in this together. You got this, creative warrior.
What steps do you take to regain momentum after a dry spell? Share in the comments below, lovely!