Earlier this year, I took an excellent SEO course. It provided great resources, along with tools and recommendations to set me up for success. For some reason, I didn't follow through. The course material is still sitting in my inbox, waiting for action. And my website is far from optimized!
Stalling on essential work happens to everyone. When inspiration first strikes, a new business venture, marketing idea, or educational program seems like a perfect fit. Then, once the excitement wears off, we begin to wonder how to uphold the commitment and search for ways to get that magic back. The most exciting endeavors can feel like just another to-do list item when we run out of steam.
Do you have unfinished projects in your life? They’re frustrating and draining, enough to make you doubt your capabilities. In my experience, stalled projects frequently have little to do with the quality of your ideas or the time in your schedule. Rather, the key is to understand why your work has come to a halt so you can overcome these obstacles.
Here are a few strategies to return to an incomplete project:
The first step of moving the incomplete effort forward is to go back to your original motivation. What prompted you to start the project in the first place? Explore what felt exciting and inspiring about the idea - and whether that's still the case.
That process may come with quite a bit of guilt and self-blame, particularly if you invested time and money. Don't beat yourself up – your beautiful idea is still there and waiting to be rediscovered. If there is still enough incentive to keep going, you owe it to yourself to see how far you can take it.
Broad goals can be inspiring, but they can also leave us feeling overwhelmed. The best goals are bite-sized and focused. When trying to reconnect with a project, establish what it would take to get the ball rolling again. Don’t worry about making things perfect, just focus on the next small thing you can do. Choose something straightforward that can be completed quickly, so there are no excuses. At the same time, getting stuck provides helpful information – something stands in your way and has to change.
Have you ever shared a New Year’s resolution with a friend? Or told a colleague about the new hobby or class you were going to take up during your free time? Studies have documented that accountability is a big factor in getting things done.
We rely on our family and friends to be our support system - why not rely on them to hold us accountable as well? When resuming a project, tell someone what you plan on doing. Not only will you feel more responsible, but having a sounding board can help you determine if your plans are realistic. A trusted accountability partner will help you realize and accept your own limitations, while helping you stay on track to meet your goals.
Stalled projects don’t have to be retired projects. Perfectionism, biting off more than you can chew, and losing touch with your initial inspiration can all stifle your original motivation. If the idea is valid, you can find a way to see it through to the end.
Want some help reigniting your motivation to finish all those great projects?