Have you been waiting for inspiration to strike?
If so, you have it all backwards – just like I did.
I used to only write blog posts when I felt inspired. I'd wait until a certain topic came to mind or I had an experience that seemed worth sharing about.
When this happened, it felt amazing! As soon as I sat down at my keyboard, the words flowed quickly and easily. Boom! Done. I wish I could feel this inspired all the time!
Except I didn’t, so I barely ever wrote posts, despite the fact that I enjoy writing and know it’s an easy way for me to add value and reach more people.
Waiting to feel inspired is tempting, but it often leads to us producing a lot less of whatever it is we are trying to produce.
Fortunately, I’ve learned how to create inspiration and produce way more blog posts and value than I ever have in the past.
5 MINUTES TO MOMENTUM
I used to think that sitting at my laptop with a blank screen and writer's block was a waste of time, so I’d only give it a minute or two before moving on to the next task. Little did I know I was cutting out right before things got good.
It turns out that if you do anything for 5 minutes, you'll most likely find some momentum.
5 minutes! That's all it takes to get the wheels turning. Who knew?! I certainly didn’t.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
If you stick with your task beyond the 5-minute mark, something amazing happens...that elusive burst of inspiration? It follows your action.
That’s right: inspiration follows action.
If this is a new concept to you, I hope it rocks your world as much as it’s rocked mine.
Anytime you want to feel inspired, you infinitely increase those odds by just. getting. started!
TRY IT OUT
Start with a compelling “why.” You need one if you’re going to follow through with the next four steps, and it needs to be a good one, something that has significant meaning to you. What major goal does completing this task and/or feeling inspired get you closer to? What deep value of yours does it support? Find a way to directly link this task to an overarching personal or professional mission.
Plan ahead of time. Schedule the day and time you will sit down to complete your task, and make it recurring on your calendar/in your planner. Then, consider it set in stone for a substantial period of time (more on that later). Train yourself to do this task at the same time, and it will more easily become a habit.
Create a simple ritual that signifies the start of the task. For instance, I like to diffuse peppermint oil when I write blog posts. It energizes me, it’s something a little extra that feels like a treat, and I now associate the process of setting it up (and the smell) with sitting down to write.
Show up and give it a real go for at least 5 minutes (bonus points for 15!). Set a timer, and genuinely try. Those first few minutes might drag on, but if you can get yourself started, I bet you'll end up sticking with your task beyond the 5-minute mark.
Keep showing up. This is where the magic happens. Whether or not you continue to show up greatly affects how this all plays out. You don’t have to go overboard, but it’s worth it to at least give yourself a chance to build this new habit.
If it’s a daily task, commit to a week. If it’s a weekly task, start with a month. There will likely be days where you show up and still feel meh even after putting in the time. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. You’re just in the training process.
Keep in mind that taking action doesn’t guarantee instant inspiration, but it sure gets you closer. I didn’t feel insanely inspired when I was initially following through on my commitment to blog once a week. But after about a month of showing up on Mondays, I found my rhythm. The habit started to solidify. Now, my brain is ready and knows that Mondays = time to write.
ONCE THE HABIT FORMS...
You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get and stay inspired even when you feel completely uninspired to start!
Exhibit A: I didn’t want to write a blog today. I couldn’t think of a single thing to write about, so I decided to share about not having anything to write about and see where it went.
Just now, the program that I was writing in unexpectedly closed and the website is down for maintenance. I lost some of my progress and could easily stop writing for the day.
Except that strange thing happened again where I have momentum...and now I want to keep writing! Because even though I wasn’t inspired to begin with, I’ve become inspired by doing the task itself. Plus, I don’t want to bail on my commitment to myself. It’s Monday. It’s time to write.
Again, all it takes is a few minutes. This entire blog post started with me literally typing out “I don’t know what to write about” and, look! Now it’s a post!
So if you’re sitting there wondering where your motivation went, it's time to stop waiting and take some action. You’re minutes away from the momentum you desire!
P.S. Step #1 above is crucial in terms of providing you with lasting motivation to form a new habit. And yet, finding your "why" can be the most challenging step of all – especially when you aren't clear on your vision.
If you'd like support expanding your vision and finding something to motivate you that isn't self-imposed pressure, I can help with that! Let's set aside some time to upgrade your motivation fuel source and get you excited about what you want to create! Simply send me a message and we'll go from there :)