“Consistency is the key to achieving and maintaining momentum.” – Darren Hardy, The Compound Effect
Want to know the remedy for procrastination, laziness or any other negative trait you can possibly think of?
It’s momentum my friends. It’s doing one little ounce of something to get you steered in another direction.
Think about a quarterback. You’re watching a football game and a freshman takes the field under center. He’s on the road in a hostile environment and his nerves can be easily shaken.
What does the coach do for him in this situation? He starts the game by having his quarterback make dump passes and screens and simplifies the play calls a bit to get him in the swing of things and help build his QB’s confidence.
This is what momentum is. Momentum is the difference between success and failure. It’s that important. And really, it’s that simple.
Take a life example. You’ve had a long day at work. You’re tired, you’re hungry and all you want to do is relax. But you know you haven’t been very active today and you need to get a workout in.
Most likely at this point you’ll tell yourself to skip the workout but what if you do something different? What if you tell yourself that today I’m building momentum? Today I will at least do something.
So instead of going home to relax you promise yourself you’ll work out hard for at least 15 minutes and then you can go home. What does this do for you?
Well, maybe once you’re at the gym and you’ve got your heart rate up you decide you can go another 15 minutes. Or maybe you just pack up your things and go home.
Regardless, you’re building up the habit of exercise and making the gym a priority. You’re building momentum.
Should you take the opposite route by staying home and relaxing, you’re building momentum that carries you into a negative direction. One day of not working out turns into two, turns into a week, turns into a month.
We are creatures of habit and habit is the driver of momentum. We like routines and that’s why we all find change hard to deal with.
No one likes change, especially when we’re comfortable. But being uncomfortable at times gives us the best opportunity to make us better.
When you begin taking on a new habit it can be very challenging at first. Take losing weight for example.
Let’s say you have a goal of losing 25 pounds. On Monday you decide it’s a new week and it’s time for a change so you start a strict diet and exercise program. This strategy is now leaving you hungry and tired throughout the day.
You’re losing weight but it’s doubtful you can sustain this long-term enough to reach your goal and then ultimately keep the weight off for a lifetime. What’s the likelihood of you sticking to the program? Not very good.
But what if instead Monday comes around and you decide you will start exercising 3 days a week and reduce your calories each day by 500? This is a much simpler approach.
By this time next month you have created some healthy habits. You’ve learned a lot about what your body is capable of so you decide to now begin exercising 4 days a week. All the while still reducing your calorie intake by 500 to continue your weight loss.
The next month you’re seeing results and so is everyone else who’s around you. You’ve built momentum and decide now is the time to start exercising 5 days a week and you’re still reducing your calories.
It’s not because you don’t really want something but it’s because the wheels on the momentum bus are very hard to turn. However, once you get the bus moving it’ll feel like your gliding along.
So, what’s the formula to gaining momentum to help your pursuit:
Good Daily Habits + Consistency = Momentum
I’m going to leave you with a worksheet I obtained from Darren Hardy’s book, “The Compound Effect.” He calls it the “Weekly Rhythm Register” but call it whatever you wish.
If you’re the competitive type as I am you’ll love it because you’ll be competing with yourself from week-to-week.
The idea is to set a goal of how many times you will complete a certain behavior from day-to-day. At the end of each week you’ll compare how many times you actually completed the action vs. what your goal is.
Download the spreadsheet below.