Harnessing Momentum: 2 Tools for Creating and Keeping It
“Momentum” is one of my favorite concepts. It pervades all areas of success and is always a missing or misguided ingredient when struggle is present. Who hasn’t had a period in their present or history when their lives were moving at the speed of light? All of you athletes can hopefully point to a time when you were training well, sleeping well, weights were going up, times were coming down, people were tapping, and of course old injuries were behaving themselves while new ones were busy finding other playmates.
Whether it’s in the athletic world, business world, or any other, having momentum on your side is a glorious feeling. It begs the obvious question then, are there ways to climb out of a lack of momentum or increase it when it’s present?
Here are two keys to developing, keeping, and maximizing this amazing power in all areas of your life:
BE VIGILANT OF YOUR BEGINNINGS
This isn’t a case of knowing your history, but more importantly cuing into the natural starting times in your life. I coach a lot of athletes as well as maintaining my own fairly intense training schedule and what I’ve seen both in myself and my clients is a simple truth.
Those people who train on Mondays and/or in the early morning hours will work out more often and more consistently than those people who don’t.
Why is this? Is there something magical about Mondays? Kind of.
What happens is those people who start their week with a workout ingrain into their brains that training is a priority. So much so that training is going to happen before there’s any chance of Murphy’s Law or their own schedules getting in the way of it and potentially slowing down the athletic momentum of the week.
Second to the Monday athletes are the early morning athletes. These people are also setting up their day to be successful and momentum-filled by getting their bodies moving in a healthy fashion - again, before any outside forces in the day could interfere. They are also setting precedence with the thinking apparatus, “Training is important, that’s why I dragged my butt out of a nice warm bed.” Let’s be honest, there’s really not a whole heck of a lot to do at six in the morning besides sleep, train, and read Breaking Muscle anyway.
If you’re having trouble generating momentum in any area of your life from athletics to an academic or business endeavor, begin your week and each day by touching that area. If it’s a sport, train or play it. If it’s a business, work in it. If it’s a language, study it for an hour. Train your brain to recognize that this activity is important enough to take precedence in your schedule and watch the momentum follow.
ENJOY THE PROCESS, USE THE PROCESS
Enjoying the process may sound natural enough, but realize there exist counselors who specialize in working with people who have recently won the lottery – all change is scary, even the good stuff.
When momentum has you moving fast, remember to stop and smile from time to time. Grounding yourself by spending time in nature and/or with family will make any and all transitions that much easier to assimilate into your life, whether they are good or bad.
If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut sometimes the best thing to do is stop, take a deep breath, and let nature work with you. Received your third injury in as many weeks? Maybe now is not the time to “push through” but it’s really a time to focus on getting your system healthy. It might also be time to take two weeks off and catch up on Harry Potter and realize all athletes, from the greatest of the great down to us weekend warriors, have good months and bad months. They have months when the rim is five feet wide and months where they can’t hit a layup. Months when picking up paperclips cause injury and months when they’re impossible to knock down.
If the world has turned your round peg square, relax and know momentum is always right there waiting for the timing to be right.
Athletics should be a lifelong part of your human experience. Set yourself up for success by planning your weeks and days with sport, movement, and play as the kick off point and watch momentum saddle up behind you ready to blow some wind at your back. If your momentum is eluding you, remember, it’s never far away.