How to stay focused when your enthusiasm starts to waver

It’s time for some real creative talk, everyone. A great idea pops into your head and you create outlines with strategies and ideas for bringing it to life. You dive in, ready to embrace #thehustle and sleep when you’re dead if it means fulfilling your passion project dreams. Maybe it’s writing a novel or recording an album or finishing an ambitious new reading list. Whatever!

Then the one thing nobody tells you about hustling happens and it’s called life. You take a moment (or two) to get caught up in the other semi-neglected aspects of your world. All of a sudden, you realize it has been a hot second since you last worked on your passion project – and maybe you don’t feel as excited about returning back to it like you did before.

If you’re feeling this kind of self-doubt clouding your creativity and focus, let’s reignite that love again with these five tips.

Go back and refine your goals

What is it about returning to your passion project that has you so on the fence? Is there simply no more interest in it or has the interest shifted in another direction? Identify what has changed and refine your passion project strategy and goals to reflect this new outcome. Remind yourself that the way you reach your dreams isn’t set in stone from the moment you first created the plan. Be open to changes – it can take you in new directions that might be better than the route you initially started with.

Talk to your support system

Never be afraid to talk it out! Support systems can include anyone from family to close friends to mentors and social media buds. If you’re struggling or need guidance on what to do next, pick the brains of those who know what you’re doing or have been down this road before and see what they advise you to do next.

Create a timeline where you get a little bit done each day

More real creative talk, since I can’t and won’t tell anyone that their passion project will magically pull itself together and be an overnight success: you need to make a daily or monthly timeline.

In this timeline, outline the monthly goals you have and everything you can do on a daily basis to reach them. If you’re like me, and have a full-time job Monday through Friday, then the bulk of your workload will probably be tackled on the weekends with smaller items addressed on the weeknights. Be realistic with your schedule and with your own expectations too. Don’t use #thehustle as a means to work yourself into the ground – trust me, it will take a serious physical toll on your health.

Instead, know yourself and your work style and do a little bit steadily each day, even if that means settling aside only 15 minutes. At the start of the day, you didn’t have what those 15 minutes helped accomplish. Remember that!

Challenge yourself to think outside of the creative box.

When enthusiasm wavers, it’s time to spark your creativity plugs again. Switch to a new Pandora radio station; look at the colors blue and green (proven by researchers to enhance performance on cognitive tasks), go for a walk, create a new Pinterest board, color in a coloring book or put together a puzzle, do yoga, and work on your passion project in a place where you wouldn’t normally spend time on it.

 Give yourself daily encouragement props!

Pursuing your dreams takes guts to do and will teach you lessons and help you grow in ways you never imagined. If you need it in a pinch, this pep talk generator has your back, plus plenty of helpful life advice to dispense out. Take a quick moment each day to reflect on all of the moments so far where you succeeded where you did not know it was possible. While the road ahead will always have its fair share of dicey moments, don’t let that weigh you down. Keep your head held high, stay confident, and remind yourself that only one you do what you do.