Stories I only tell my friends: The Power Of Belief-System

February 9, 2013

A Simple Guide to Creating Momentum in Your Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — mylittleblackpen @ 8:38 am

Momentum is elusive. You can feel it, lose it, gain it and gather it. It can shift from your favourite hockey team to their opponent in a split second. But what is it? In science, if something is moving, it is said to have momentum. But why does all the texting, shopping, driving, working, TV watching, eating, exercising, washing, and cleaning we do, leave most of us with zero momentum. Maybe, it’s because we’re moving, but we’re not getting anywhere.

Momentum is more than just moving. Momentum is a mental shift. It’s a gratifying sense of progression that gives your life stamina, inspiration, joy and oomph! When it’s working, elusive or not, momentum can be an amazing and abundant force for change in your life. How do we get the momentum we need for change that lasts, that inspires and that infuses every day with purpose? We begin today.

Create Spaces

Momentum needs spaces in which to gather. If all your cupboards and table tops, desks and closets are jammed full of stuff, your mind will be too. You don’t have to declutter your entire life right now. Just begin with one drawer, one box, one easy to manage space creator at a time. Clear off a table and leave it empty. Get rid of the old clothes shoved in the back of your closet, create space for a chair in the garden or by a window, clean out your car. Try to create more space, little by little, everyday. Maybe once a week clear out, toss or put away something big. Empty spaces give you room to breath, think and create momentum.

Move Differently

Get to know what momentum really feels like by moving differently. Stretch your body, your imagination, your routines and your habits. Get up at sunrise, if you don’t already. Drive down a street you’ve never been on before. Better yet, walk. Use a pencil instead of a pen. Order something meatless if you always have meat. Stretch before you get out of bed. Drop into a yoga studio for a free trial class. Walk if you always run. Train your brain, body and heart to open up and move differently.

Gather Ease

Momentum thrives on ease, not friction. On space, not stuff. On appreciation, not consumption. Look for ways to create ease. Take a walk, laugh, read. Let the house get dusty. Avoid the mall. Try not to buy anything for a day or even a week. Find some old treasure in the basement that could be used in a new way. Pack a lunch, have a picnic, play ball. In ease, momentum can flow.

Push Yourself

Whether at work, home or out in your world, doing your best creates momentum. It elevates your connection to those around you, deepens your sense of pride in yourself, and helps you to let go circumstances or people you can’t control. So, hold the door, let a car go ahead of you, smile at strangers, polish your work, step up your pace, clean it, cook it, design it, write it, better. Pushing yourself to do your very best, to practice simple acts of kindness, honesty or enthusiasm is the foundation of momentum building.

Soul Search

Your momentum can be defined by you, created by you and nurtured by you. Practice conscious living – think about what you believe in and who you want to be. Then start looking – really looking at your ways. What you eat, the words you use, how you treat others, where you shop, how you talk about yourself. Ask questions, do some research and begin to gather the pieces that sing, that vibrate, that give you shivers. Gradually, you’ll begin acting, thinking, choosing and living more like yourself – that creates momentum like you wouldn’t believe!

And do believe! Momentum may be elusive, but it’s real. It’s so real you can almost taste it! So, begin today. Begin to create some space, move a little differently, gather ease, push yourself little by little, and seek out your own, soulful way of doing your best. Watch how life begins to change as you gather momentum.

Life Is About Momentum, Not Motions

“Going through the motions…” It is a phrase we hear maybe too often. It seems to mean we are just moving through activities without much thought or meaning. It may be like sleepwalking through a job or zoning out at home.

Going through the motions is not a positive indication of living a life fully and completely.

The other side of this is sometimes we are in constant motion, and we feel motion equals momentum. It does not. Continuous motion can create an illusion of momentum. The danger is we may be just running in place, turning up the speed rather than digging in to gain traction.

While going through the motions is drudgery, continuous motion wears us out.

Neither one delivers meaningful actions or, more importantly, meaningful results.

What to do then? It is unique for each individual, especially since we are all distinctive in our personality and circumstances. No matter, there is always a choice in what we can do within our context.

Here are a few thoughts on how to sort through what to do if we are experiencing this motion sickness.

Thought 1:  Move on.

Although this can be challenging to do at times, if drudgery is our daily experience, then we need to find a different opportunity. This should not be done whimsically or haphazardly, but thoughtfully. Jumping to just jump is just another form of unproductive motion. Dig deep within to determine what your calling is and then plan out your next step. Make your step a positive motion forward.

Thought 2: Stop moving for 15 minutes in the morning and in the afternoon.

There is continuous motion all around – phones ringing, texts arriving, and activities growing. It is the increasing volume as a day unfolds. We need to breakaway and find a quiet spot for 15 minutes in the morning and in the afternoon to get away and capture some silence. Taking two quarter breaks during our two halves of the day bring some rest and renewal. It gives us a chance to catch our breath, re-gain our center before continuing with the work to be done.

Thought 3: Identify the mile markers in your motions.

If we feel the continuous motion yet don’t feel the progress, then we need to place some mile markers to indicate a positive direction forward. As we drive down most roads, we can see our progress, if we take the time to notice. We see the green mile markers along the way. We should do the same in our life. They should be a mix of small and significant ones. When we reach some, we need to do a little victory dance and celebrate our movement forward.

Life is too short to waste our motions or lack purposeful forward movement. When all motion stops, our life should represent all that was possible.

There is momentum to life, but it requires traction to roll with meaning.

Ten Ways to Maintain Momentum in Your Planning Process & Life

Completing, or just  even creating a strategic plan is on your to-do list, right? But is it slipping lower and lower down the list? I know that feeling. And don’t worry, you’re not alone!  Completing your strategic plan and maintaining momentum with implementing it is arguably one of the most important things you have to do.

Creating momentum in your life, just like in business, takes increasing the things that move you forward on decreasing those that hold you back. Sounds like a snap, but we all know that living the life we desire is not always easy to achieve. We have habits and cycles to overcome. But by creating momentum, we can move past those and toward the life we want. Momentum, by its nature, requires a lot of upfront push to get the ball rolling.

Here are ten tips to jumpstart the momentum in your life and strategic plan.

Create Your Picture of Success and Make it a Reality

It’s true—if you can’t see your vision of success, you’ll never get there. As you begin working through your planning process, ask yourself the following questions:

  • So what does success look like for you day to day?
  • How do you want to spend your time?
  • How do you want to define success for yourself this year?
  • Write your vision down and post it somewhere you will see it every day.

Pick a BHAG

You ask what a BHAG is? In case you missed it in previous chapters, it’s a big, hairy audacious goal you want to achieve this year that will help you step into your vision of success. So what is your BHAG? Write it down along with the one thing you can do today to make it happen. Here is an example of the power of a written goal: A study was conducted among a graduating class at Harvard to see how many had concrete goals around how much money they wanted to make. Only 3 percent had written their goals down. Ten years later, that same 3 percent were making more than the other 97% combined. Now that is power! Before another minute goes by, put some thought into your BHAG and get it down on paper.

Eliminate Your Energy Drains and Recharge Yourself

Energy drains are those things that drag you down. And when you’re dragged down, you’re probably not putting too much effort into your planning process, now are you? Recharge your energy with anything that inspires you and puts you in a good mood, like an organized desk, an afternoon off to enjoy family or good weather (or both together for that matter), or lunch with a colleague. Spend time doing the things that give you energy and stick a post-it note next to each drain you identify with an idea for getting rid of it. You’ll find you have more spring in your step and can focus a little more clearly on those action items that will help you reach those strategic priorities.

Conquer Your Fears—Concentrate and Be Brave

The greatest source of procrastination is often a deep-seeded fear—fear of success, change, failure, ridicule, or even just the unknown. Take a daily step to remove your fears by asking yourself every day, “What would I do today if I was really brave?” Consider Brian Tracy’s book, “Eat That Frog,” which provides the 21 most effective methods for conquering procrastination and getting more done in less time. Success comes by identifying that single most important task, or frog, that needs to be accomplished, concentrating on it to do it well and finishing it completely. As Tracy points out, “Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.” So go ahead, be brave and eat that frog!

Take Control of Your Finances

Do you feel like you’re on a treadmill, working more to pay for ever increasing bills? It seems like although the more we work, we don’t always have increased revenue. Instead, trim the fat and spend a little less here and there. You’ll soon free up some budget dollars that you can utilize on securing needed resources that will help you in managing a successful strategic plan. Or, if there’s enough savings, start an employee incentive program if you don’t have one already. Start by running a P&L report to see exactly how you are spending your money. Then adjust your budget, making sure what you purchase is in line with your business. Obviously a business with a big focus on sales would incur more expenses for client lunches than one without. Consider decreasing every category (except maybe your rent and payroll) by 10%? Use the money saved to fuel your dreams instead of feeding the treadmill.

Create a Braintrust

Identify a handful of people in your life who you trust to help you move your life forward. Consider pulling from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, experiences, and opinions. Mentors are a great source of guidance, often being the most critical and providing you the best insights. Call on them together or individually to help you move past any roadblocks and keep the momentum going. Even if there are no pending issues or questions that need immediate attention, continue to meet with them and maybe spend some time focusing on those tabled items that always come up in discussion but haven’t been addressed. Or meet without an agenda. You might have an enlightened conversation giving new thought and energy to your plan.

Find the Time

One of the biggest challenges to having the life we want is finding the time to do all we want to do whether it’s at the office or at home. But let’s admit it, each affect the other. Track how you spend your time for a week. At the end, tally up the time spent on each thing – such as meetings, paying bills, preparing reports, checking e-mail, running errands, etc. Look at each category. What things can you do to cut time in each area? Maybe if you struggle with preparing meeting agendas or keeping up the books, pass the task off to someone who is better suited for the job. Or set up your spam filter or organize your inbox to make it easier to sift through the e-mails. Be creative and you’ll soon free up time that will allow you to focus on what’s most important, like your planning and execution process.

Highlight Small Wins

Overlooking the short-term successes because you’re looking at the mid-term or long-term horizon is an easy trap to fall into.  Because strategic management is a process and an organizational journey, help your staff members stay motivated by acknowledging their progress along the way.  The obvious time to highlight progress is when you’re reviewing your plan during your monthly or quarterly strategy reviews.  Call out the small wins by specifically identifying what was accomplished, why it’s important tp the strategic direction, and how the success was achieved.  Additionally, point out small wins as they occur so everyone can feel the continued momentum.

Let Things Evolve

When the flywheel of momentum starts to turn, pay attention to clues, connections and opportunities that are presented. Be aware of environmental shifts and market changes that will affect your organization. With a little agility, allow your future to unfold and change in ways you might not have been able to imagine when you started your planning process. Remember, your strategic plan is a work in progress. Have a goal in mind but be flexible on the process of getting there. It will make the process much easier.

Be Committed

No matter what your organizational goals are, or how difficult they’ll be to achieve, creating momentum to reach them starts with commitment. Be committed to the strategic management process by starting with at least one of the ideas above and you’ll begin to move closer to your dreams. Then take on the next idea, and then maybe another one. Borrow some encouragement from that famous shoe slogan, and just do it! You’ll be happier in the end and will be glad you did it.

The Power of Momentum

“The most important thing you can do to achieve your goals is to make sure that as soon as you set them, you immediately begin to create momentum.”  -Tony Robbins

Have you ever hesitated to take action and ended up stuck in a rut not knowing what to do? There are some common reasons why this happens.  Sometimes we are waiting for some kind of sign to indicate that it’s okay to move forward. We might be waiting until we feel more confident because we don’t really feel up to the challenge. Or, we could be thinking that if we just wait awhile those obstacles will disappear and our goals will be easier to achieve.

Okay, I admit that in some cases it’s entirely possible that one of these strategies is legitimate, or at least it feels like it is. But how often do we use those reasons as excuses to avoid leaving our comfort zone? Let’s face it, if we are looking to justify procrastination there is no shortage of reasonable sounding excuses. If the ones I’ve mentioned don’t resonate with you check out 7 Common Procrastination Excuses by Sid Savara.

Procrastination is the equivalent of going nowhere!

The longer we wait to take action, the harder it is to get started. Circumstances will never be perfect and waiting until they are is the same as going nowhere. The truth is, it will probably never get any easier to move forward and every moment that we hold back will just make things worse.

“Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.”   -Wayne Gretzky

When we avoid taking action it’s often because we have created resistance in our own mind. We have convinced ourselves that what we want to do is exceedingly difficult. But is that really true or is it just an avoidance technique?

Create momentum, create confidence

Momentum is one of those rare, self-perpetuation phenomenon. That’s what makes it so powerful. The perfect example of momentum is a snowball rolling down a snow covered bank. What happens? It grows and picks up speed along the way, right? But how can your use this power to achieve your goals and start living the life of your dreams?

Instead of getting bogged down by excuses, we need to create some momentum as soon as possible. And really, this is not something that is all that difficult to do. That giant, fast moving snowball started out small and slow. The reason it grew was because it kept moving. We don’t always need to launch into action like a rocket, but we do need to start moving and to keep moving so we can build some momentum.

Taking consistent action toward your goals is the best way to build momentum. That means that taking action will get easier and easier as you go along. Eventually the actions you take will require much less effort.  You’ll begin to enjoy your activities because you’ll feel more empowered and confident and you’ll have momentum on your side.

3 Ways to build momentum

1) Commit to taking the necessary action steps first. That’s what you really need to focus on. One of the things that can prevent us from reaching our goals is making only a very limited commitment to taking the actions that will get us there. Early on, action needs to be our main concern. Obviously, we want to keep our goal in sight, but the majority of our attention should go toward taking consistent and purposeful action. That’s how we build momentum!

2) Break the process down into baby steps. Taking small, consistent steps toward a goal is generally much more effective than large, sporadic actions. Plus, it’s easier to get ourselves to act on smaller tasks. Even tiny actions will eventually begin to build momentum and produce results, as long as we are consistent.  Making it your primary mission to move forward consistently will make it much easier to overcome obstacles because with each step your confidence will grow.

3) Don’t shift your focus toward results too early.  Many a goal has been abandoned because people take an action, wait to see what the results are, and quit when they don’t see the results they expected.  Don’t get so obsessed with results that you allow yourself to get discouraged.  In other words, focus only on keeping the ball rolling, even if you’re not yet seeing the results you want just yet. If you get discouraged and quit, you’re guaranteed not to see results. Focus on building momentum.

Use momentum to overcome procrastination

Taking action leaves procrastination in the dust. If you do something every day that moves you toward your goals, you’ll be too busy to think about making excuses. Dale Carnegie made this point nicely when he said:

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

You really can accomplish your dreams

Are you finally ready to achieve those important goals? You know the ones I mean, those goals that you know will transform the quality of your life. Maybe all you need is a proven plan and a little motivation.

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The Importance of Momentum

“That’s huge to get that momentum going,” said Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos. “I talk about it, but I really believe it and it’s huge — once you get the momentum on your side, I think it’s a huge advantage. No matter who you are, I think it’s much tougher to be stopped when you’ve got that mo going for you.”

Tebow made that statement in a postgame interview shortly after his team won their third game of the season under his fledgling leadership.

Momentum in Physics

Momentum is an essential concept in physics. The total momentum of a closed system is conserved and does not change value. This allows one to consistently predict an outcome.

When an object is moving, it has a certain amount of momentum. If an object is standing still, it has no momentum. To calculate the momentum of a moving object, multiply the mass of the object by its velocity.

Momentum is also a vector. That means that momentum is a quantity that has a size and a direction; that direction can be either positive or negative.

Momentum in Life

Momentum is one of the most underrated components of success. The reason is simple: With momentum, it is difficult to stop.

I run every day, mostly because I run every day. It’s just the way it is; I have built my momentum. It wouldn’t feel right for me to suddenly stop that behavior. If I didn’t run with consistency — or even worse, if I didn’t run or exercise at all — I would have built up negative momentum that would make it even harder to get started.

In life, unlike physics, there are other factors, however, that can help us. For example, because of the law of conservation within your system, as your mass goes down, you may have the added benefit of increasing your motivation for success.

Building your Momentum

The most important step is to just get started. That means overcoming your lack of movement with action, however small. Thinking, planning, wishing, hoping, dreaming, wanting and so forth will not build momentum. Momentum requires movement.

Take small steps at first, if necessary. Have short-term goals, because then you will get earlier rewards from earlier successes. An orthodontist friend of mine once told me that if he didn’t focus on small, short-term goals, such as moving the teeth a millimeter or two between appointments, with the average total treatment time approaching two years, he would never have been able to do his work.

Consider increasing difficulty slowly and steadily, but do not stop moving forward.

A frequent mistake is to set unrealistically large goals in the beginning. Even if you do get off to a good start and are moving in the right direction, your goal still feels so far away, and because of that you might be more likely to give up. So get started, do the necessary work and stay consistent: this will establish your momentum.

Once you have momentum, you will get into the stage of keeping on keeping on, and with the momentum you have established and are continually reinforcing, it will get easier to keep going.

To paraphrase a Woody Allen line, “Momentum is like a shark: if it doesn’t move forward, it dies.”

Once you start to experience the benefits of momentum, like oxygen for the shark, motivation is less of a problem. It becomes easier to keep doing the work because you are starting to see the positive results that will come from it.

Continued positive reinforcement will give you the confidence and motivation to persist as you move into your new lifestyle.

Living Your Momentum

The Denver Broncos played the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football last week. As I watched the pregame predictions, every one of the sportscasters picked the Jets to win. They were all wrong, the Broncos won. They had momentum!

When Tim Tebow was at the University of Florida and the Gators were in the national championship game with Oklahoma in 2008, with the score tied 7-7 at halftime, he gave this talk, “thirty minutes for the rest of your life,” to the team to build up their “mo”:

If you have a strong desire for what it is that you want, just start where you are and go after it. This is not just about health and fitness — it applies to any of our goals in life.

Momentum has only one requirement: A beginning. A start. A moment. One moment for the rest of your life!

A LittleBlackPen

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