As I've begun this journey into the website/art/creative world, I am learning a great deal about the importance of keeping momentum. It's hard. Especially when there is so much around you, so many ideas and people who have already done so many things with success. Who am I to have any influence in this noisy pool of talent? This question leaks into my head all the time. It feeds my doubts and makes me think. Whats the point..? Who am I to...? Why should I...? Am I good enough...? When these questions fill my head I just have to tell myself to stop listening them. I have listened to these doubts for so many years, and it never got me anywhere, so it's time I try something different. It's time I just keep my head up and see what happens. I have started, which is the hardest part, and now I need to just keep going.
Here are a few things that I've found to be so helpful as I've begun this journey. They've been so important and have really helped keep my momentum in these early stages:
1. Make space. Both physically and mentally. There is so much that gets bottled up in our heads. So many ideas (thank you Pinterest) and people doing amazing things that it's easy to get confused about where you are and what you want. So though inspiration is a great thing, you have to learn to guard yourself from it sometimes...especially in the beginning when you're just getting started. Focus on what you want, your goals and your ideas. We must also make physical space to think and work. Clear off your desk completely. Organize papers, put things away and just make space. This is so important to help you stay focused throughout the day. You need room to move around and clearly think about what you are doing.
2. Get outside. Easy for me to say, now that I'm living in California (sorry Chicago-I still love you!). But really, if you can allow yourself to go for a walk or a run at some point during the day, do it. If you have a day job at an office, get out during your lunch break, or even for a 10 minute mosey. Fresh air does wonders. It recharges you and clears your head. My routine has been work until noon, have a snack, then get outside to walk. Then I feel fresh and clear for the afternoon.
3. Stay focused. Really, really focused. Once you've identified what you want to tackle, your notebook is your new best friend. Carry it with you everywhere. Make lists each day of what you want to achieve. The list should not be very long. It should be short with 3-5 things you want to focus on. It is so easy to get caught up in so many different things which can ultimately weaken your ability to dig deep into anything worthwhile. You think you are getting things done, when in fact you are subconsciously avoiding the one thing you actually want to do (this is a daily battle for me). Do frequent brain dumps to get everything in your head down on paper. Morning pages are also a wonderful exercise to do first thing. Once you've cleared out all the clutter in your head, focus on your priority list only.
4. Stop thinking so much. Some days I think and try so hard that I scare myself away. I lose focus of what I want and see what other people are doing and start questioning myself and my work. I get too deep into my own head and confuse myself. Sometimes we just need to shut up and stop thinking...just do our thing and enjoy it! Don't think about the nitty gritty details yet. For now, in these early stages, just make things, enjoy the process and let go. We don't need all the answers now.
5. Stay true to you. In all these uncomfortable beginning moments, it's easy to separate ourself from who we really are. As we are trying so hard to get our roots growing, we sometimes spread ourselves in so many different directions that we lose track of ourselves. Especially when we are working multiple jobs or trying new techniques. We need to check in with ourselves often in a gentle, patient way. Are you happy today? Do you feel like yourself? Are you doing the things that make you feel fulfilled? Don't want to overthink it, but its important to check in daily and just give ourselves a kind reminder that we are doing our best and we will get there (wherever "there" is), one day.
In case you need a daily reminder of how to keep up your momentum, enjoy this free printable!