6 Things To Do When You Lose Momentum

Ouch. You know when you take a visit to your own blog and realise that it's been quite a while since you lasted published any blogs. That just happened to me. I lost momentum. I'm sure you've lost momentum at something in your life at somepoint. We all do. It's how we recover and get going again that is the important thing. So how can we get going again? I've been pondering and acting on this whilst on holiday last week, and below are 6 things to do when you lose momentum.

1. Take a look at your purpose. Why did you start doing the thing that lost momentum in the first place? Is it the right motive? I asked the question 'why am I writing online?' 'Whats my reasoning for spending time writing rather than sleeping in longer in the morning, or playing a couple of games of fifa?' When you can genuinely reflect on your motives that may shed some light as to whether you should carry on or not. Are your motives in the right place to actually sustain you for the future development of the project?

2. Take a look at the cause? What has caused the drop in momentum? Something practical that happened, an event that took place or circumstance that has caused this break in momentum? Or maybe something emotional? For me, I realised after thinking it through, that an event entirely unrelated to my blog happened, at which I was left feeling under qualified to write I felt incompetent in various areas of life so I stopped writing, and I felt exposed and didn't want to exposed myself further by the people criticising my writing. It was an emotional cause that stopped me in my tracks – what's caused your slowing or stopping of momentum?

3. Take a look at your tactics. Have you over promised and under delivered? Did you promise yourself to write a blog entry everyday and ultimately only 1 a week is viable? Did you tell yourself to apply for any job over a certain salary, only to find that there's no way you'd actually want half of the jobs, so you end up stopping applying altogether. Did you declare to the world that you would exercise for 1 hour everyday and only eat fruit and vegetables, which just didn't happen? Maybe your tactics could be altered going forward, simplify your tactics maybe strip them back to something more manageable.

4. What do other people think? It can be scary asking advice from others, but to be honest it's kind of necessary. Actually, I also find another way to ask others is to read others' thoughts. There is simply so much content online to learn from and hear from. Who are the people you trust, honour, respect and get inspiration from? Speak with them, learn from them and soak up what you can, whether through their blogs or face to face.

5. What's the impact on you emotionally? How do you feel about this loss of momentum? Annoyed? Disappointed? Angry with yourself or others? Isolated? Dejected? Maybe even relieved, or more relaxed, or maybe you feel nothing at all about it. How you feel about this loss of momentum says a lot about your thoughts and feelings towards the project or goal you are heading towards. Maybe it's not what you wanted to do anyway? Maybe it's more or less important to you than you originally thought? Similarly, how do you feel when you had momentum in the project? I love writing, whether in my journal or on this blog, I enjoyed and still do enjoy the hard work of crafting stuff together. But maybe you felt pressure when you had momentum, maybe it exhausted you, maybe it stressed you out? Is that what you really want to head back into? Keep reflecting and see what your feelings are saying.

6. Get back on the horse. For me, after a few weeks of not writing, I know that I want to keep doing it. I'm still figuring out if I actually have anything of purpose to say, but until I learn that I'm going to keep writing because I enjoy it! As I sit now writing this in a car service waiting area, I can feel the joy of writing again, and I know it's good for me to get back on the horse. Get moving once again. Stick that exercise video back on once again, get your easel out once more and just start painting something, apply for another job that looks satisfying and closer to your dream. Just get moving once again.

I'm sure there are plenty more things to think through and work through when you looking to get a project or goal moving again, leave a comment below with your thoughts and ideas to add to the list!

 

 

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Your time is Communal.

I read somewhere recently that 'your time is communal“. Fascinating idea.

Whether married, single, dating or whatever, the time you have is communal. It is actually owned by many, it is not your own. We all have people in our lives that are important to us, whether family, friends, work colleagues. And what comes with the territory of this is that they take up time, they demand time of us. This is ok, if we were to not give others our time we'd be missing out on a massive chunk of what life is all about.

So when we are trying to pursue something of our own – an idea, a new business venture, a new hobby that we do alone, a 'side project', our private devotional times with God- it can be really hard to find the time to do it. We find that days, weeks, months, years even can go by without us doing anything because we have not factored in the time to do it, we feel that we simply don't have the time.

in many ways you're right, we don't have the time, because time is communal. However, we can find some time that is not communal. Right now. I'm keen to write blogs when possible. I'd hate to do this when I first get home from work, because I want to spend time with Heather (my wife). But in the morning, nice and early I tend to wake up before she does, and this is a perfect time to write blogs, because she does not feel like I'm cheating her of her time.

When does that time come for you? Saturday mornings? 5am during the week? 11pm during the week? Sunday nights? Find a time that works best for you, and best for the others who own your time, and make your side project/devotional time/hobby/new business happen.

 

Lead A Quiet Life.

50% of my job is leading the Kerith Academy, a Bible School/Internship programme at my church. So I sit in on some of the sessions and this week one of the teachers mentioned a verse that has stuck with me since. But before I get to that…

In church we hear a lot about having the huge, awe inspiring vision and doing all you can to pursue and lead the 'larger than life' style of living. That kind of life where it's not normal, it's special, different, making a great impact on the whole world and changing it.

Then sometimes we hit verses that seem a little neglected and may challenge that idea. Kind of like Thessalonians 4:11.

make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you…“…..A quiet life….Oh.

What does Paul mean by that? A quiet life? Well, in other bits of the Bible it's used to mean a 'restful life, stopping working all the time', and 'not coming and going rushing around working so hard all the time', and even 'remaining silent and peaceful in situations'.

Seems a long way from working without ceasing to pursue your dreams, working so hard that you can barely have time to breath, and doesn't sound like the idea of standing and shouting from the rooftops to be heard.

Maybe if more of us heard this a bit more, we'd avoid those times when our biology stops us as we get ill through over work and over stress. Maybe we'd avoid burnout. Maybe we'd avoid disappointment when we don't meet our goals and targets. Maybe we'd actually feel satisfied with what we've done at the end of the working day.

Why not make it your ambition this week to try to lead a quiet life? Bet you won't hear that message on the closing night of a Christian conference!

 

Clarity in Solitude

Throughout February my church have been taking part in a month of prayer. We are having weekly prayer meetings, hearing teaching on prayer, as well as starting a 24-7 Prayer Room, a quiet, calm sanctuary for people to book times 24-7 to pray.

I was looking forward to this opportunity and this month way back in 2013 when it was being planned and discussed. And as soon as I could I booked in slots to pray with others for the ministries I lead, as well as time for Heather and I to pray together. I also booked a weekly 5am slot to pray on my own in the room.

The last 2 Tuesdays I've been at the prayer room at 5am, just for 1 hour to pray and spend time with God. And I can genuinely say it's been some of my best parts of the last two weeks. I have been trying to sum up what it has been like and the one phrase that keeps coming to my mind is 'clarity'.

A 5am 1 hour slot on your own in a prayer room (or somewhere else) is one of the best ways to get clarity in my opinion.

Both weeks I've been in that room, the times of solitude have been so peaceful. No agenda, no pretending, no fancy words, no pleasing anybody else. Just me and God. I've looked out of the window to see a still Bracknell by night. No cars, no people, only the odd bird here and there waking up. I've journaled, waited, pondered and rested.

It's in these times I have chatted with God. Deepened my relationship with Him, thanked Him, asked Him, listened to Him. Just 1 hour. So much clarity.

I'm also not writing the whole 5am-thing to big myself up. Usually I'm out of bed much later than that and it's been tough to get up early and get to that prayer room! But these two weeks, in the quiet of the early morning before sunrise, I've experienced this solitude even more, before the day kicks in and before the thoughts begin.

I write this as if it's some brand new idea. But let's be honest, you probably know that solitude is incrediblny important to your spiritual development. But why don't we do it more? That's not a question I'll seek to answer now, I just want to rave about how great solitude is, and if it gets you to spend one 1 in solitude chatting with your Creator, then that's great.

 

Stop Juggling Everything – Catch, Throw, Drop.

I’ll come back to Relationships stuff another time. Thought I’d post this whilst it’s on my mind. Actually, I might start posting all sorts of bits and pieces, with ‘Relationships’ as a side-thing dipping in and out of. We’ll see.

Anyway, the other day I was at my parents house and saw some juggling balls with words written on them. I took a picture and it got me thinking.Image

We often mention that we are ‘juggling’ things in our life, with the feeling that if we let any of this go or stop juggling then we are failures in life.

I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment“, or “It feels like I’m not stopping right now” or “I’ve barely got time to breathe” or “I’m here, there, and everywhere” etc. You get the idea.

When I saw these 3 words, it got me thinking about the various things we juggle in our lives. Our workload in our jobs, our family priorities with the children or spouses, we juggle our friendships and other relationships, as well as juggling other ‘duties’ (or things we think are duties!).

The whole concept of ‘juggling’ to me seems unnecessary and a little waste of our energies at times. I realise we often have a variety of comings and goings in our lives, and we need to arrange these accordingly. But often we juggle things that don’t need juggling. Lets remind ourselves that sometimes, we need to catch, drop or throw things… let me explain.

Catch – some things we need to catch, we need to keep hold of. We need to protect. Whether a friendship that needs investing in, whether that means taking our children out individually to invest in that relationship, or giving that friend who you haven’t spoken to in a while a call. Maybe we need to catch the initiative we are involved in at work – spending time  ensuring that is moving forward, that it is succeeding. Decide what needs to be caught, and catch it. Don’t catch other things that aren’t important. Catch the important things.

Throw – some things in our lives we need to throw. If you are leader, maybe you’re finding yourself bombarded by too many people’s issues, struggles and people all wanting their ‘piece’ of you. Remember – you can’t deal with everyone by yourself. Maybe some things need to be passed on or ‘thrown’ to somebody else (not at somebody else!). Don’t become isolated doing it on your own – throw things to others too. Maybe something you have been leading needs to be handed on to somebody else who can take it onto the new level. In church life – we are all called to be involved and play our part. Give someone else a go.

Throwing is also a movement. Its making sure something isn’t stationery. Maybe something needs improving and moving, it needs shaking up, changing, moving. By getting some things moving and shifting, it stirs it up a fresh. What’s stuck in one place in your life and needs throwing to give it some life?

By throwing some responsibility to somebody else and empowering them to lead, it can help them and you at the same time. What needs to be thrown onto somebody else?

Drop – as harsh as it sounds, sometimes dropping isn’t always bad. We often think of drop in our work lives when we ‘drop a ball’ and forget something. I don’t mean purposely doing this. But what I mean is that in some areas of our lives we need to stop doing what we are doing. Maybe there are relationships in our lives that need dropping. Friendships that are limiting you, aimless romantic relationships, working relationships that are edging in the direction of doing something morally wrong. With your exception of your family relationships, you choose your relationships. Some relationships needs ‘catching’ – taking time to develop and nurture, whereas some need dropping. Do it well. Do it carefully, do it in love. But don’t let a negative impacting relationship ruin your progression in your life, whether your relationship with God, your career progression, or simply your emotional stability!

With drop there is also the idea of ‘things’ and tasks in our lives that we need to drop. We can’t do everything. Some things we have to admit and choose not to do them. I love Shauna Niequists ‘Things I don’t do’ concept. A list of stuff I don’t do. Save yourself some serious stress and tiredness but not doing some stuff.

So what do you need to drop? What relationships do you need to drop? As horrible as it sounds, not all dropping is bad, just do it well.

Let’s stop juggling everything.

Catch what needs to be caught.

Throw what needs to be moved and thrown.

Drop the things that need dropping.