We all need it to get us to our destination.
To maximise our chances of achieving our goals.
It’s a crucial ingredient in the personal development process.
Yet so many of us seem to be masters of the stop-start approach, never really getting out of first gear… while others, perhaps with less talent, resources, opportunity and potential, always seem to find a way to get out of first and build towards a nice cruising speed.
They are the masters of momentum.
They get it.
The relationship between momentum and results, that is.
High achievers know how to create it and more importantly, maintain it.
They’re not obsessed with personal comfort, convenience or ‘easy’.
They understand it’s significance and are experts at keeping the wheels turning.
You might have a Ferrari at your disposal but if the motor’s not running and the wheels aren’t turning… it’s taking you nowhere.
Great resource, but not if you don’t use it.
Potentially, it could be the greatest ride of your life… but no momentum equals no progress, no change.
You’re staying in the garage.
Some of us have spent years sitting in that garage, warming the motor but never engaging a gear.
So much potential under the hood… but so much fear, complacency, laziness and procrastination in the driver’s seat.
We’ve threatened much.
For far too long.
It might be said that we are the stagnation generation (emotionally and psychologically, not technologically)… constantly swimming in circles.
Or perhaps the procrastination nation.
Flying in that holding pattern.
Momentum is that irresistible force that keeps us doing what we need to do and moving in the right direction, irrespective of how we’re ‘feeling’ on a given day. The greater the momentum we create… the greater our chance of success.
And when we’re not excited, motivated or ‘in the zone’, it doesn’t really matter because we have created enough overall momentum to keep moving towards our goals anyway.
Momentum is that thing which keeps us on track even when we’re having a ‘bad day’.
It’s what keeps us in the game when others having already walked to the bench.
You need it.
I need it.
And we need to know how to create it.
A few definitions… Momentum is:
1. A measure of the motion of a body equal to the product of its mass and velocity.
Also called linear momentum.
2. Impetus of a physical object in motion.
3. Impetus of a nonphysical process, such as an idea or a course of events
4. The tendency of a person or group to repeat recent success.
If you are serious about creating life-changing, forever results… then you need to create enough momentum so that you can’t fail.
And when those hurdles/challenges/obstacles arise (and they will), you will have no choice but to stay on track… because the momentum you’ve created won’t allow you to sabotage yourself like you have so many times before.
Imagine going on a ten mile bike ride and choosing to ride the whole journey (hesitantly and fearfully) at two mph.
What’s gonna happen?
1) You’re gonna hate that trip because it’s gonna take five hours and be very painful!
2) You’ll get frustrated because it feels like you’re getting nowhere.
3) It will be impossible to ride that slow (with such little momentum).. for that long, so you’ll have to stop.
When there’s such little momentum it’s actually harder to keep going than it is to stop.
So most people stop.
And many of us are riding at two mph (right now).
4) The smallest obstacle (a little rock perhaps) will throw you off course because you haven’t created enough momentum.
But what happens when we start to increase the momentum and complete that same ride at say, twenty mph?
1) We make much greater progress.
2) We’re happier and more motivated.
3) Because of the greater momentum, it’s far easier to keep moving forward than it is to stop.
4) Once we have the momentum, we actually expend less energy for a much better result.
5) We don’t even notice the little rocks; our momentum is such that we go right over them.
When I work with people, I usually focus on two key areas:
Emotional and psychological momentum.
This is all about getting our head and heart when they need to be to create forever change.
We can do this a few ways:
1) Spend time with people who motivate, inspire, challenge and teach you.
Hanging out with high-achievers rubs off… you’ll start to think, communicate and create differently. Hanging out with Mr (or Mrs) Woe-is-me (or a whole bunch of them) will give you the opposite.
2) Make a public commitment (as you GYSTers have done) – not necessarily to thousands of people on a web-site but maybe to family and friends. Overall this creates a greater level of responsibility, accountability, excitement and expectation… and typically (but not always) creates better results.
3) Forming habits – once something has become a habit (good or bad), we do it automatically. We don’t have to constantly d-r-a-g our sorry asses up to the challenge.
High achievers have (good) habits which have been programmed in over months and years of… doing.
When a certain behaviour is a habit, then not doing what we should… isn’t a consideration.
And that’s what we want.
Why do you clean your teeth every morning?
Because the thought of not cleaning them doesn’t even occur to you right?… well that is how we need to be with other positive habits and behaviours.
4) Having a coach or an accountability partner. Someone who will call you on your BS, encourage you and kick your ass… all at the same time. This proves to be a great strategy for many people. Having someone that you respect (probably don’t choose your best friend) involved in the process is often a more effective method for creating momentum (than flying solo).
5) And of course goal setting and planning… but we probably don’t need to go over this again; you get it.
This is about having practical things in place which keep us doing.
Being enrolled in a course.
Having an exercise partner.
Signing up for an eight-week fitness boot camp.
Volunteering to do some regular work with a charity.
Having non-negotiable weekly appointments or commitments (like a GYST update).
Having non-negotiable responsibilities… stuff to do for yourself or others.
Being a part of a team working towards a common goal.
Or any practical commitment which will ensure that you keep doing what you need to do.
I’m sure that right now you could think of at least one practical way to create some momentum in your life.
But thinking it and doing it…. different.
And that’s the challenge right?
So if you’ve been the master of hesitation and procrastination, maybe it’s your time to create some life-changing momentum.
Once and for all.
Stop riding that bike at two mph and start pedalling a bit quicker.
Or maybe it’s time to put that Ferrari in first.
You’ll enjoy the wind in your hair and the momentum is a rush.