One Small Step….The Power of Momentum
Have you set an intention to do something in your life but feel overwhelmed with all that is required to see that intention realized? Often it seems that you couldn’t possibly have enough time to accomplish this intention and if you’re like me, you may even find yourself mindlessly binge watching a Netflix series instead of tackling this thing that needs to get done because you don’t think you have the energy for the work ahead of you! Sound familiar?
OK, maybe you don’t indulge in a binge watching marathon at all, but you probably have your own personal way of avoiding overwhelming things that you aren’t sure how to tackle effectively. And I’m not just talking about a task like cleaning out a messy closet or losing 10 pounds. It might be something much more significant, like improving a relationship in your life, finding a job that’s aligned with your life purpose, or taking steps to change your life in a significant way.
What do you do when you are trying to avoid getting that significant task, project, or intention addressed?
At times, I have heard myself saying, “Why try to start tackling this mountain of a goal if I can’t imagine getting this completely done today, or sometime soon?” Maybe that thought is driven by some level of perfectionism. When that bubbles up, I remind myself it doesn’t have to be 100% complete, I just need to make progress today or create momentum—that’s a word that really resonates with me. When I wake up in the morning, my mind often runs down a mental checklist of all of the things that I should be getting done. As that mental exercise plays out, I find my energy draining because I know that I have so much more on my to do list than the time I have in the day. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.
To raise my energy level, I often do a few simple things that allow me to feel as though I have accomplished something small before attempting to jump into that bigger endeavor. Perhaps it’s making my bed before I go downstairs for breakfast. As I type these words that feels a bit silly, but I have to admit there are days I don’t make my bed at all because I think that there just isn’t time for that. There are just too many other things that need to get done.
P.S.—I know I’m in desperate need of perspective when I tell myself this! Making my bed takes 30 seconds. And do you know what those 30 seconds do for me? They create MOMENTUM for my day! It makes me feel good that I got something done and it makes me feel good that my bedroom looks neat and organized and prompts me to tackle the next bigger task with renewed energy. It’s not the act of making the bed that works (or whatever small thing you do), it’s the fact that any small step can create momentum that launches you into a more productive day.
What small thing could give you that positive energy boost for your day?
So many things can create momentum. Some of my favorite things include mediation, prayer, visualization, and positive affirmations. All of these can quickly shift your mindset and put you on a positive trajectory for your day. Other simple things can also work to create a shift in my perspective. Music is a huge energy shifter for me. Great songs like “Beautiful Day” by U2, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, “Dream On” by Aerosmith, or another oldie but goodie like “Ain’t No Mountain (High Enough)” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (turned up loudly with dancing involved, of course) never fail to lift me up or remind me that nothing is impossible!
What is one small thing that you might be able to do each day to start your positive momentum?
Once you get the momentum moving for a good day, what is one small thing you can do specifically to get momentum for your important intention?
Something that has worked well for me is to set the stopwatch on my iPhone and tell myself that I am setting this for 30 minutes, and for that time I am going to exclusively work on this task that I don’t really want to tackle. I give myself permission to stop working on it after the 30 minutes no matter how much or how little is done. The only requirement I give myself is that I work with laser focus for the full 30 minutes. I often feel so good about the progress I made because I focused 100% on my important intention and have a sense of accomplishment from that, that I keep going. That’s momentum and it’s critical to keep yourself moving forward!
Today, think about challenging yourself about whether you are carving out the time to focus on the thing that is most important to you right now. Give some thought to what inspires and motivates you. Start your day with those things and build on that motivation to keep momentum throughout your day. You may find that your intentional daily small steps create the momentum you need to keep climbing whatever mountain you need to climb!
Today’s blog was written by WWR Partner Coach, Donna Kettell. Donna is a certified professional coach (CPC) and a master practitioner in energy leadership (ELI-MP). Her certifications were earned through The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).