The thing with doing, well, anything, is that you will have times of momentum and times of stagnation. There will be periods where ideas and productivity are flowing almost unchecked, moving along with a kinetic energy and seems to have a will of its own. Then often, all that forward progress seems to come to a stop. It’s like someone snuck up on you and pulled the power plug when you weren’t looking. How many times have we all set our sights on some goal and started off in the direction of that goal, only to find ourselves suddenly a bit behind. That small bit slowly becomes bigger, and before we know it, the goal seems like it is once more unachievable.
I’ve found two things to be true in situations like this:
First, even if you start out with a ton of energy, are meeting your deadlines, and seem to be on track and on schedule, something will happen to cause you to stumble. A part of the process may take longer to do than you thought. You may oversleep on a day you were going to get up early and get something done. Sometimes you just won’t be in the mood or will get distracted by something else. But for sure, at some point along the way you will slow down. It is at this point, the doubt starts to creep in. All those dreams of reaching your intended goal, and the focus and energy you started out with begin to be attacked from bits of creeping doubt. You might think you bit off too much, or you might even start to adjust your expectations. If you can’t reach the bar you set originally, wouldn’t it just be easier to lower the bar? But before you lower that bar, or even walk away from it completely, here’s the second thing I’ve found true:
Just. Start. Again. Ok, I was going to write Just Do It, but I thought the Nike line may throw some people. Regardless, the sentiment is really the same. When you stumble, slow down, miss a step, or otherwise fall off your horse, the best way to still achieve the goal you set in the first place is to simple get up, dust yourself off, and continue on. Get forward momentum going again, no matter how slow. You will pick up speed, but more importantly, you will see that your original goal is still there, and you can still reach for it.
So when you stumble and fall, don’t treat it like something that came out of the blue. Welcome it. It was going to happen. No. Big. Deal. Then get yourself going again, in whatever way you can. If you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, you will get there. The stops and starts are just part of the journey.