Everyone needs to take a break now and then. We’re human after all (sorry to break it to you!). It’s how we get back into the swing of things that makes all the difference between whether it’s just a momentary pause or a period where momentum is lost.
If you’ve taken a break, whether it was your decision or something that was imposed upon you, here are a few tips for getting back in the business saddle after a break.
Before we jump into talking about ways to get momentum back after a break, let’s talk about the importance of rest. Certainly, we don’t need a PhD to know that rest is important to the optimal functioning of your body.
You have better mental clarity, a more satisfied and fulfilling outlook on life, and a host of physical benefits from a healthy immune system to lower risk of heart disease. It’s also when your body heals from any trauma, both physical or mental.
When you rest, you also recharge your creative batteries. The longer we can go with a “what if it’s possible” attitude, the better! And as purpose-driven entrepreneurs, it’s imperative to have the ability to keep going with that outlook so we can solve problems in unique ways and touch the people who are truly meant to be connected with us.
Related Reading: 5 Keys to Neuroplasticity to Focus on Brain Health
Now for the million dollar question: How do you get started again once you’ve been away for a little while? It doesn’t matter if you called the break or something outside of you made you take a break, it can be challenging to get that momentum going again.
I was unfortunate enough to have to take a pause on my work outs due to a health issue. I say unfortunate because it feels like I just got into a good rhythm with my Peloton rides. Isn’t that how it always goes? We just get into a good spot and something causes you to shift out of that routine.
The good news is that you got into that routine once before and can do it again. Think back to what you did that helped you form that habit in the first place.
Perhaps you’re into the Miracle Morning or you have a morning routine that helps you set the focus for your day. Maybe it’s reading an inspirational book that makes you feel like “I can do this”. Whatever it is, find pieces of your routine that inspire you to get into action and help you to keep going.
When you want to find your rhythm again and get back into a good groove after a break, start small. It’s tempting to want to immediately add all the habits and rituals you once used.
Unfortunately, that’s when most people fall off the wagon again because it’s hard to keep up at the same intensity where you once were, especially if you took an extended break and are out of the habit or practice. You know what they say about too much of a good thing!
Pick a small goal and work towards getting back to where you were before your break. Meaningful, consistent actions are much more valuable than occasionally doing a lot of things. Once you get a good handle on that, up the intensity. Add in another element of your routine or extend your working time to the next level.
Related Reading: 5 Ways to Set & Maintain Habits with Ease
For the things that are hard to start again after a break (like a big project that seems overwhelmingly mountainous), find someone or something to re-engage your energy around that topic. Coaches, work partners, and accountability buddies are great for this type of task!
I offer strategy calls for people to help them get the momentum again and it’s always a great way to supercharge energy around re-starting a project. Just being able to talk out everything with someone and put some plans into place gets the motor running again.
For example, I did this with a client to plan out podcast topics and she told me that she loves doing these sessions because not only is she back in action, she can let the momentum of that carry over to inspire other projects. It’s like cleaning one drawer. Often, that’s all you need to get the ball rolling and before you know it, the whole kitchen is reorganized.
We all have an Achilles’ heel that makes it harder to get started after a break. Personally, I find it easier to help clients than get started on a project in my own business. I let that come first and take up my time so “I can’t possibly get momentum on one of my projects after I’ve taken a break. There’s just no time!”
(Note: Read that with a hefty dose of sarcasm! I’m sure you know what I’m talking about!)
For you, it could be avoiding your projects by doing client work, letting family needs override your need to work on your business, or allowing others’ desires to dictate how you spend your time.
But know what your “downfall” or “trigger” is and put a plan in place to help you stay focussed. Don’t let yourself get away with this trap of “productive avoidance.”
Related Reading: Integrate Your Brain with Structure and Freedom
Similar to knowing what your Achilles’ heel is and identifying the tendencies you have, you must be mindful of your actions. Changing behaviors is tricky sometimes, especially if you got used to one way of doing things while on a break. Now, you have to come back to your business saddle where there are new/different things to focus on.
That’s where going back to small routines helps. If you don’t have it, it makes it hard to do all of these other things you want to do plus what you have to do for business to get back on track.
Remember: just do a little bit. Start where you are, do what you can to get back to it and be aware of your actions while you’re reforming habits and routines.
Related Reading: Finish What You Start: 3 Ways to Get it Done
Back when I had that health issue that pulled me out of healthy routines for my life and business, I could have kept saying, “I can’t really push myself that hard, so I’m not going to get on my bike at all.” I could have let how I couldn’t perform at the same level prevent me from building back the energy and stamina.
Instead, I started small and did shorter rides. I didn’t push myself to get a personal record or think it was a waste because I wasn’t going to PR on those rides. I just got on the bike. Sometimes, that’s all we can do is get back on the wagon. Slowly, we’ll build momentum and get into a groove again. But it all starts by just starting.
Hopefully these tips will help you if you’ve taken a break. Rest up and when you’re ready, come back and do just a little bit. Then, a bit more the next day. I believe in you!
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