Posted on September 23, 2017
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Momentum. It’s an important word, one that I use a lot with my clients . . . I mean, a real lot.
The dictionary definition of the word is:
strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events
In his #LinkedIn article, How to Know if it’s Working, Dan Waldschmidt, said it perfectly:
“The hardest part of getting to where you want to be is building momentum in that direction— building momentum and then keeping the momentum.”
Think of it. In order to do anything really well, to achieve any goal, you have to . . .
Build a head of steam.
Get in a zone.
Be on fire.
Get on a roll.
. . . and the only way to do that is by doing it over and over and over again. Consistently. Repeatedly. Momentum.
Start, stop, start, stop, start, stop . . . just doesn’t work.
Picture yourself in your car. You press down on the accelerator a little. Then the brake. The accelerator. The brake. Accelerator. Brake.
At that rate, it would take you hours to go just one block.
On the other hand, press down on the accelerator steadily, and your car keeps moving forward.
The same could be said for anything in life, really.
As you would expect, I meet many people who are always trying to lose weight. They start a diet. They stop. They try another one. They stop. Then another. Then stop. They start to exercise. Then stop. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. And the only thing they lose is time.
If you go from one short-term relationship to another—start one, stop one, start one, stop one—you’ll never build any momentum, which is the time where you develop the skills to be in a long-term, loving and committed partnership.
If you have a drinking problem and go to a few AA meetings, then stop, drink, go back to AA meetings, stop, drink, stop, drink—you’ll never build momentum, which is the time where you develop the skills necessary for lifetime sobriety or achieve the confidence needed to know you can.
The fact is, when people do this, they pick up momentum in the wrong direction, as their behaviors become deeply rooted lifelong habits that are more difficult to change.
On the other hand, the sooner you stop the start-stop action, the quicker you’ll build momentum towards your goals of weight loss, sobriety, a committed relationship and, therefore, have many more years to enjoy those achievements and all their benefits.
Initiating change is a tough business. To give yourself at least a fighting chance, building momentum—and sustaining it— is fundamental to getting a change of habit or course of action to stick.
Once you have momentum, it is much easier to keep things going because momentum is a force that far outweighs any kernel of self-doubt that may creep in.
Start. Keep pushing. Don’t stop.
Momentum is what drives success. It takes time, and you only get there if you stay the course.