As John Maxwell writes, “Momentum is a leader’s best friend”. Positive momentum makes everything easier. Negative momentum makes everything more difficult.
So when we are faced with slowing momentum or even negative momentum, we need to focus some energy to get things moving again. Here are some ideas that I use:
1. Find a small win. Take advantage of some small wins to get yourself moving in the right direction. It helps you pick up speed.
2. Review your bigger goal, and set interim milestones to achieve. Define an objective that you can achieve now, this week. Then set one for next week. Then the week after. Achieve those goals every week and you will find your momentum building towards the bigger goal.
3. Find new support or resources. If you are working within a team, swap some members with another team. Add talent or ideas to rejuvenate the team’s passion by finding a new spark in additional team members or other types of support.
4. Increase your learning effort. Getting stuck can sometimes be triggered by not having enough knowledge, or by being reluctant to act on the knowledge you have. Which is affecting you? Figure it out and then move past this stumbling block.
5. Find and reflect on the positives. Momentum slows when your team is challenged and you feel like you are not making progress. Make it a regular habit to celebrate the achievements. It can be the fuel that keeps your team moving.
One of the main reasons we struggle to keep going is because we procrastinate. This is a topic that we’ve covered here on The Methodology Blog many times. In a piece from a few years ago, Robby Slaughter explains why we procrastinate and how to stop:
Concentration is hard. Discipline is a limited resource. We often put things off because it’s more comforting to do something we know how to do than something we don’t know how to do. And tasks that are fun—even tasks that are productive, but easy—are those we tend to do first.
In some respects, procrastination is about momentum. It’s easier to keep doing things than it is to start doing something new. And if the new thing is a big, scary, difficult thing, we might put it off.
To summarize: we procrastinate because it’s easier than working
This challenge affects every part of our lives, not just work. A piece from the Escape Fitness website gives four options to keep momentum going:
DOCUMENT YOUR PROGRESS.
If you make a habit of looking back over these records, you’ll be able to see exactly what direction you’re heading in at any given point.
CREATE A VISION BOARD.
Inspiration can come from a visual perspective, through both reading and looking at a vision bulletin board every day.
CHALLENGE YOURSELF AND DRIVE MOMENTUM.
When things get easy or familiar, the drive and momentum to carry on at your full potential disappears because you’re better than that.
FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO INSPIRE YOU.
People that you look up to will always encourage you to do your best in every respect, whether they know about your goals or not. Read up on your heroes; find out what inspires them and learn from their mistakes.
Momentum is your friend. When you can harness the energy, everything becomes easier. And if you need one more push, here are some quotes for your inspiration!
“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” – Roy T. Bennett
“Energy rightly applied and directed will accomplish anything.” – Nellie Bly
“To give your positive or negative attention to something is a way of giving energy. The most damaging form of behavior is withholding your attention.” – Masaru Emoto
“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” – Aristotle