Gaining momentum and maintaining it is key to all success, so let’s go!
I have said it so many times before but everything starts with one small step. That first step is the start of momentum. If you make sure that you have great processes in place and start creating great habits, those first few steps will make all the difference in your life. My intention is to be there along the way to make sure you get going and then never lock back because your future is ahead of you!
Why is it so hard to get started..?
All of us have the same feelings every now and then. The feeling of just not finding the inspiration to get going. The challenge we face is that our bodies are programmed in a certain way and want us to stay in homeostasis. Homeostasis basically means status quo. So as external or internal things are happening to us, our whole organism just wants to keep us “the way it has always been”. This is also the reason why we “get lazy”. We are basically programmed to get the result we want but at the minimum “cost”.
Homeostasis is also the reason why it is hard to get back to exercise after a longer break. Even if we used to exercise every day without thinking about it (as it was a habit), all of a sudden it is now hard to even get started. It doesn’t have to be linked to exercise though, it is linked to our whole existence!
Stuck in front of the TV even if you have things you should be doing? It is the same thing happening, your whole organism is wired to do the bare minimum but still getting the result. This also means that if it is not important enough to you, you will procrastinate and potentially never get it done!
By knowing that this is happening in our bodies all the time, we can take back control.
The consequences of letting homeostasis run our lives can be devastating to our existence. If we let it run our lives, our way of living will become more and more constrained. If we do less and less because of our comfort zone (homeostasis is keeping us there), it will shrink! The implications of letting this happening is that your life will have less and less variation, randomness and experiences.
If we don’t have more and new experiences continuously, we are not truly living. We are then confined to our comfort zones and routines and one will never live a fulfilled life in those conditions. I want you and your life to be a life-long adventure with never-ending learning and growth. Because as long as we make progress in our lives, we are truly living.
Now you know why it is so easy to feel “comfortable”, because that is what our whole body wants us to be! Remember this will not stimulate your mind, nor make you happier or healthier. The only thing it will do is to try to preserve you by using the minimum amount of effort. In the long run, it is devastating as we will be confined in our small zones of comfort.
Unfortunately, our phones are not helping us the least as they give us instant stimuli all the time. Because of this, we feel even less compelled to actually do something to get the dopamine kicks. A few years back (before cell phones) at least we were motivated to take action because we enjoy the dopamine kicks. Now, we don’t have to move from the “comfort” of our sofas to get them. Just use your phone and you will get them.
The problem is that you will become addicted to that stimuli. Yes if you are walking around your own home with your phone in your hand, you are addicted and if you don’t get that stimuli it will affect your whole existence negatively. All dopamine kicks are great, as long as we are not addicted and need them every four seconds (as with phone addiction) because then we have a problem. We are no longer in control of our lives, our lives are dictated by dopamine kicks coming from our phones.
I am pretty sure this is one of the main reasons why we have so many kids with ADD and ADHD these days, with the amount of diagnoses going through the roof over the last decade. Attention disorders are everywhere and it has not happened by chance. We need constant stimuli and if we don’t get it, anxiety, aggression and then depression is unfortunately a likely path for many… I hate this and don’t wish this upon anyone and that is one of the reasons I always talk of being aware of our thoughts and actions as well as living a harmonic and healthy life. If you have not read my post on the topic of mobile phones and why you should turn off your notifications, you can find it here.
Now, we have been talking about why it is so easy to be “lazy” but also the importance of breaking out of it and making things happen in your life. I want you to experience everything you want to experience in life because I truly think life is about experiences. To be fully alive is to be living life full of energy, in a positive and grateful state of mind whilst contributing to the world and getting as many different experiences as possible. Our whole life is basically a long journey of constant growth and expansion. If we don’t grow and learn continuously we will soon find ourselves confined on our comfort zones and run by homeostasis.
I don’t want that happening to you, so let’s start gaining momentum!
The best way to start gaining momentum
Awareness of what happens in our bodies and minds is the first step towards gaining control over our lives. You now know why it is so easy to become “lazy” and comfortable and why it is so important to stay in control.
Personally I find the best way to starting gaining momentum is through exercise. You need to find a good enough WHY as to start exercising consistently. I have been exercising my whole life and I never intend to stop. By creating a habit of daily exercising and pushing yourself, your are training your brain at the same time. Every time you push yourself when exercising, you are gaining mental strength which will always be useful. I am not saying that you should run a marathon tomorrow, but think about the consequences of being in better shape physically.
Some of the benefits of exercising are:
- Fitter body – you look better
- Healthier body – you get sick less often
- Better confidence – you can do/accomplish much more
- More energy – you have more time as you are not tired all the time
- Less stressed – you will handle stress better
- Better temper – you will not get angry/frustrated as easily
- You will want to start eating better – you feel and see the consequences of exercise and want more
- Stronger mindset – you will reach more of your goals faster
- You can do anything – your physical shape will never stop you from doing anything!
These are just a few of the benefits I get from exercising and to me they are all great motivators and stepping stones for start gaining momentum. What you need to do is find one reason, strong enough to get you started and then keeping you going. I cannot answer that question for you but it has to be meaningful to you so that every time you are feeling lazy, you think about your reason and you are off to do your exercise. If you look at my list above I am sure you will find a couple of reasons to motivate you. If you have not yes read my post on Burning Desire, I would recommend you to do so.
When you now know why, just take one small step today to make sure you get the momentum going! Big or small doesn’t matter as long as you make it happen and ideally you set a little agenda with a structure to make sure it happens consistently until you have created the habit.
Remember that all the small steps will add up and over a bit of time, make a massive impact on your life on so many levels.
Success breeds success (kicks of dopamine) so once you start gaining momentum it will happen more or less automatically because you will just want more of it. So make sure to set small goals and celebrate when you reach them!
Use the tools we have spoken about so many times before, like your own vision board and how to set and reach your goals and dreams. You should have goals within most of the areas where you want to accomplish things in life, so that you always know where you are going! So for exercise in particular, signing up for a race is a great way to get going and keeping that momentum. If you decide to make a charity out of it, even better as you will know so clearly WHY you are doing it and pushing yourself. The reward and motivation will be even greater. Why not ask a friend to join you, you will both do good and get fit at the same time as you are spending time together!
Keeping the momentum
The best thing about momentum is that it is so easy to keep as you make constant progress. You will just want to accomplish more and more! To be honest, the tricky part is just to get going, so when you have managed that and after a few weeks it has become a habit!
The only thing I would say that can help you keeping that momentum is to never lose your why. If your why is always clear and meaningful to you, you will always make progress. Make sure that you set goals, tick them off and then continuously raise the bar until it is automatic for you (To Measure Is To Know!). Have you ever heard about an Olympian athlete who had no goals, never practiced but still was a great success? I for sure have not. They know what they want, break it down to smaller pieces and make sure they make constant progress and that’s how the game is won.
It’s the same for all of us regardless of level. By making sure we are making progress, we feel good about ourselves (dopamine) and we will continue to make progress. If you don’t or can’t measure your progress it will be a lot harder to stay motivated when the going gets though. So if you have set your goals but not used the SMARTER technique, have a look here.
By having meaningful and clear goals and where you celebrate your wins as they happen, you will make sure you are always going to be a success!
Actions to take
- Know WHY you want it – Read my post Burning Desire
- Create great habits – Read my post How to break a bad habit and create an amazing one!
- Make it fun – bring or challenge a friend!
- Write down your progress in your daily journal – read my post on how to start Journaling
- Get motivated and stay motivated – read my post on Motivational Tools
For things to change in your life, you have to change. Prior to that, nothing will change and you will get the same result you have always gotten!