By Ryan Williams
Momentum is a universal law that most of us learned about in physics class.
The scientific equation is simply mass x velocity = momentum
Think of a snowball rolling down a hill.
If you rolled up a snowball the size of your fist in your hand then pushed it down the hill, it will start out fairly slow.
Then before you know it, it starts picking up more snow and becomes bigger and bigger (higher mass)
Then it rolls faster and faster (higher velocity)
After a little time, that small snowball has become a massive force with no way of stopping it until it hits the bottom of the hill or a tree on the way down.
Momentum is often expressed as “mass in motion”
Things that are not moving, or are resting, have no momentum.
And when they start to move, the momentum is very slow and takes time to build up.
Momentum plays a part in our own lives on a practical level too.
Think about starting anything new in your life…
A new job…
A new school…
Having your first kid…
A new relationship…
All of those things started at zero.
You had no momentum.
You had to START.
Starting is the most crucial element of building momentum.
Because momentum is a universal law.
It works regardless of what it is applying itself to.
So if you start a new job, you have to develop new relationships, harness new skills, figure out new routines until you finally hit a groove and everything happens effortlessly.
If you start a new relationship, you have to figure out how the other person ticks, how to handle them during certain circumstances, their mannerisms and humor.
Then, a year down the road, things are easy because you know everything about them and have built rapport.
So think about the goals or habits or things you want to create in life for a bit.
Is it losing weight?
Or writing a book?
Or overcoming a fear?
Is it something you’ve dreaded and put off?
Or is it something you are already in the middle of and sometimes grow discouraged.
Now what are the small steps you can take in achieving those things because I am about to tell you why those are very important.
Any meaningful pursuit is going to take a considerable amount of time.
Therefore, you must learn to celebrate your small wins.
If something takes you a year to do and you only celebrated on day 365 when you completed it, you wasted 364 days not counting your wins along the way.
So set that big goal and find the smaller goals on the way that you can celebrate and keep momentum going.
Now, let’s assume you are struggling with keeping momentum or would like to start over on a pursuit that you previously failed at.
You know it is not a straight shot to the goal.
There will be bumps in the road to slow your momentum.
You need to plan for these things in advance.
Say you are trying to lose weight.
You know there are certain events along the way that will try to stop your momentum.
Whether it be social events, willpower, getting sick, whatever….
Make plans for how you will handle those possible momentum stoppers.
Sometimes life hits you with unexpected curveballs you can’t foresee, and those instances honestly require mostly resilience.
Planning for things you CAN foresee is within your circle of control.
So go ahead and figure out your response to these trip-ups ahead of time.
Protect your momentum.
Remember, momentum works regardless of how its utilized.
So negative momentum is definitely a thing.
If you have found yourself in a rut, that is typically just negative momentum playing out.
And if you are not careful, negative momentum can steamroll its way into every area of your life.
So not only do you have to stop that negative momentum, you also have to start in a new direction, which requires tremendous effort.
And I don’t say that to discourage you because it can be done.
There is a fine line between a rut and a groove.
And the only difference I have found between the two, is how much you like being there.
So if you are in a rut, figure out:
- How can I stop this negative momentum
- Once you have stopped it, or are in the process of stopping it, how can you start positive momentum
- Figure out the small wins and goals to accomplish on the way to build that momentum
- Figure out the next big goal so that you can keep that momentum even after you accomplish your first big goal
D) Is very important because you may have found yourself accomplishing a worthy goal and find yourself saying “now what?”
It happens with new retirees all the time.
So make sure you have the next big thing lined out in your head so you don’t find yourself asking “now what?”
So the TL;DR version of this article:
-You must START if you wish to build positive momentum
-Count your wins to keep momentum rolling
-Plan for bumps along the way
-Figure out what is next so you can roll your big wins into the next one
-Beware of negative momentum
“The only difference between a rut and a groove is how much you like being there”
And that is The Power of Momentum.
Use this power wisely.