The Power of Momentum
The Power of Momentum: Now, you might be wondering why is it so important that I
get my first highest priority thing done first?
Why can't I put it off to a bit later once my day is going
and I'm caffeinated and I've got my phone calls out of the way? This is why. What
we're talking about is the power of momentum.
Momentum is an
incredibly powerful force on planet earth, and it works just as well in nature
as it does in your own life.
The Power of Momentum: Under Pressure
What momentum really
does for people is it creates what I call a positive pressure in your life.
For example, let's put these priority tasks and all these
things to the side for a minute and talk about something very basic in life.
I've used this example personally. I know other people that have as well. Ritual of flossing. You want to become somebody who flosses every
single day. It's a tiny little
habit. It doesn't take all that much
time to complete.
So many people struggle remembering to do it every
day. Maybe they do it a couple times a
week, they do it on a Monday and a Thursday and then they forget the rest of
Then they go in for their dental checkup and that's when
they wish they'd done it more frequently.
Well, I remember
putting the power of momentum into play for this very simple ritual of
All I did was for the course of three days, I forced myself
to floss. I set reminders, I had a
little thing on my phone, I had a number of different strategies in place to
make sure that I forced myself, no matter what, before going to bed, for three straight
days, I was going to floss no matter what.
We can all do that to a degree, especially when it comes to
flossing. How hard is that to really
follow through on something like that?
Here's what I
At the end of the third day, it had already become something
that I was proud of. It had become
something that I realized, wow, this is really not all that difficult. An extra minute in my evening ritual, and I'm
incorporating a success habit, a health habit, that I want to have anyways,
that I simply forget to do a lot of the time.
By the end of the third day, it was starting to become part
of my momentum.
When the fourth evening hit, this little pressure sort of
hit my brain, even though it was no longer in my reminder set in my calendar
anymore, this pressure kind of activated in my brain saying, you've already got
three days going here. Let's make it a
I did not want to
break the streak.
And that's what I'm talking about with positive
pressure. You can start building a
momentum in your life for all the positive habits that you want to create,
simply by forcing yourself to execute on it for a small number of times.
This could be something like going to the gym or going for a
run every day. Sometimes it's even just
starting your run. I'm going to run to
the first stop sign and see what happens.
Very often, just getting there, you say, well, I've already gotten this
far. Let's see how far I can go now.
There are plenty of examples of this that happen in your
life all the time, and it's simply the power of momentum taking you over. Over and over and over again.
This is exactly why
priorities are so important.
When you execute priority number one and you complete it,
you've set yourself up for a momentum of productivity so that the rest of the
items on your task list, on your priority list, are going to be far easier to
complete because you are now in an energy or flow of momentum that you
deliberately created, knowing exactly how this would impact your life.
Here is exactly what I'm going to suggest you do right now
if you want to put this into play, and actually if you want to experience the
power of momentum in your life, over and above the exercises we've talked about
Pick a small habit.
Something you can implement starting today. You could use my dental floss example. It could be anything that doesn't require a
whole lot of thought or effort. It's
simply something you have to remember to do.
Implement it today,
implement it tomorrow and implement it on the third day. See what happens on the fourth day. Just run this experiment for yourself and see
how that positive pressure kicks in.
See the fact that you will want to execute this new habit on
the fourth day, simply because you don't want to break the streak.
It’s a good thing to put a timeline together and have definite dates and
time-sensitive goals. But remember that
life happens, and often it even gets in
the way. There is an ancient Greek saying that goes: “If you want to make the
gods laugh, tell them your plans.” Having milestones and plotting points along
the timeline is good, but don’t hold yourself to it so rigidly that you cannot
adapt to the occasional curve ball.
feels to you like you have too many goals or
if the ones you do have are fighting each other, then find the essence of each
one. That will help you determine what’s
most important to you right now. Then work on one goal at a time. By
concentrating on which one means the most to you right now, you’ll put those
goals into perspective, until they don’t seem like so much anymore.
The Power of Momentum and More Brain Hacks