A lot of things in life can disrupt our forward momentum and put our progress on pause. Recently, one such event–the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown–had many people feeling like life was on hold. More personal events can sidetrack our course and bring things to a screeching halt as well. Whether it’s the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship or the cumulative angst from an unfulfilling career, countless scenarios exist that would knock even the most eager achievers into the slow lane.

Whatever the cause of your personal hiatus from the hustle and bustle of life, there comes a time when things must resume and progress must be made. Here are a few tips to regain your momentum after a long period of inaction.


Set your course

A ship at sea with no destination is doomed to end up where the tide takes it. Don’t let that ship be your life. Write down, specifically and in detail, exactly where it is you want to go. What changes do you want to see in yourself and in your circumstances a month from now? What about a year? Five years? Ten? Successful people all have something in common: they plan ahead, they set their sights on what they want and they make consistent progress toward that goal.


Track your progress

Every day, do something–anything–that makes incremental progress toward your goal. Record this progress in a journal, on your calendar or even electronically via computer or app. Having a record of your ongoing achievement will help you maintain your momentum toward your goal.n the evening–ideally an hour or two before bed–when the phone goes on the charger and away from your attention.


Don’t break the chain

Famed comedian Jerry Seinfeld once described his method for success: every day, he commits himself to writing for a certain length of time or to meet a certain quota. Once that target is met, he puts a big red “X” on the calendar over that day. Over the course of consecutive days, those big red “X’s” begin to form a chain. Every day, Jerry wakes up with the same goal in mind: do not break the chain. Even on the weekends, Jerry writes to be sure that he doesn’t disrupt the momentum he’s accrued.

Whether it’s every day, every week or every weekend, forming productive habits is the key to building positive momentum. Prioritize making those habits stick and the outcomes you desire will come to you in time. In the words of Benjamin Franklin: “Be not afraid of growing too slowly. Be afraid only of standing still.”

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