Momentum - The Power Behind Actions

Maintaining the zest for anything is not always easy. Energy, motivation, or simple interest can become idle and cause you to slow down or stop. When this happens getting back to the same level can be more draining than inspiring.


This can be anything. It can be a job, a romance, an idea, going to the gym, building a friendship, etc. When you start something new for the first time, like a new job, usually there is a fresh excitement that makes everything about it somewhat interesting. It is a bit easier to get up in the morning, to power through the first few days, and to accept the small things when we are in this mindset.

However, as time ticks on and other parts of our lives take priority, this energy and excitement can begin to dwindle. The excitement is gone, the hours seem too long, and the small things get on our nerves. It can become more and more difficult to get to that level of excitement and zest that we once had.

Do you ever notice when something already is apart of your routine, either consciously or not, it is much easier to do? If you are used to going to the gym everyday, it is easy to make time for a quick workout. This is because you are holding it in your mindset, and maintaining the momentum.

Momentum is about maintaining energy. It is much easier to do than gathering the energy needed to do a certain activity. Think of it like a car. There is much less energy expended when the car is maintaining a certain speed. Once the speed declines, at some point it becomes idle and then stalls. It requires much more energy to get back to the previous speed.

Most of us are not aware that we are maintaining momentum for something or have let it go idle. When we feel like something is going well and it seems easy to do something, we have build up positive momentum. However, when the momentum goes idle it feels more difficult to begin things. It feels heavier and harder to do.

Please be aware that momentum can be positive for us, or negative. We need to focus on building the positive momentum in our lives, but often build momentum in our lives for the things that don't serve us well. 

Sometimes it is a good thing to let the momentum go idle and die. If you are holding a certain negative thought in your mind constantly, you are maintaining the momentum and that can be detrimental. It makes it much easier to act on this type of momentum and these actions will have more power to them because they are made within the momentum. On the other hand, this is also true for things that we want or need to happen. When you take action within the momentum your actions are more powerful. This is because all of that built up energy is now behind your action making them stronger.

If we can be aware of what in our lives we have built momentum to and what we have let become idle, we can be more conscious of how powerful those actions will be and how much energy we will need to maintain them. If there is something in life that you are not excited about, build up some momentum so that it takes less energy and focus. If you are trying to not do something, like smoking for example, change the momentum. When we think of something all the time, or have a history of doing something often, we have most likely built up a strong momentum. In this case, slowing down the momentum can seem impossible, but is what we need.

How to Build Momentum
Building momentum is fairly easy once you are out of "idle" mode. It's like turning the ignition and trying to jump start a car that is stalled on the side of the road. It requires energy. It is much easier to build momentum to things you enjoy, and much more difficult for the things you dread. Sometimes the things we dread however, must be done. Start out by trying to think of something related to the activity that you enjoy. This helps to jump start our momentum. Something can be anything. Be creative. If it's going to the gym and you hate the gym, then think of a reward for yourself once you've gone. However, the most effective way is to think of something you enjoy "while" doing it. Maybe invite a friend that you like to go with you. Try to make the activity fun in some way while you are doing it.

The next think to help build momentum is to focus on making it as easy as possible for you to do the activity. If it is working out, then buy some workout clothes, put them out in plain view, put them on right after work and make it easy to take the next step of actually doing it. This can be done for anything. If you want to build momentum for  being creative, then put out the tools you will need for this to happen. Surround yourself with things that will inspire you and make it accessible to take the next step once you are inspired.

Lastly, keep the activity top of mind. This is very important. Over time this will not be necessary because it will be apart of your routine and something you automatically do because you have built the momentum. Keeping momentum top of mind means that you actively visualize yourself doing the activity, doing it well or being inspired. Whatever it is, visualize it before hand. Visualize tomorrow right before bed. Visualize the entire day or be specific. Try to set up triggers that help you stay on track. A trigger might be something that you know you do everyday. Try to visualize doing one right after the other, so that your mind will trigger you to do the activity when the time comes.


How to Decrease Momentum
Sometimes decreasing momentum is what we need to do. Especially if it is something that has become detrimental or negative for us to continue. In this case, the momentum may be strong and slowing it down may feel like stopping a speeding train that has lost control. The most natural way to decrease momentum is to stop thinking about whatever it is. This might sound easy, but even telling yourself to "not" do something can only increase the thought and therefore the momentum.

Begin by removing the triggers in your life. Get rid of the items that remind you, and make it difficult to do such things. This helps to slow down the momentum some, however even without triggers or items around you, the momentum may be built up in your mind.

Try doing something new or different to refocus your mind and attention. Read a new book. Watch a movie. Find a new hobby. Most of all, try to build up momentum in other areas of your life. By increasing your focus elsewhere and building positive momentum, naturally momentum will begin to decrease in other areas. Be mindful and deliberate of those areas.

One thing that most people don't realize about decreasing momentum is it is not usually something that can be decreased immediately. When people tell you there is a quick fix for something, they may not be considering how much momentum has been built up behind a certain action. If you try to halt a speeding train too quickly, it might crash, the cargo might break inside or the train behind it might not be prepared to stop and hit from behind. Decrease momentum carefully and positively.

Most importantly, when you have build up some momentum or have let it go idle, make sure it is for the positive and be aware of how that feels. Keep it top of mind and allow the momentum to grow so that the things that need to go idle, will do so peacefully. Amazing things can happen when you take actions with positive momentum behind you.

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