(This is part one of two about the law of momentum. The second part can be found here.)
There’s one factor that all professional athletes, CEOs, successful entrepreneurs, and probloggers possesses. It has no smell or taste. You can’t see it or touch it. But when you’ve got it, you’re on your way to the levels of success you aim for. First let’s go back to high school.
Do you remember your physics class? I don’t much either even though I took AP Physics my senior year in high school. What a mistake! I still to this day don’t know why I took it. There wasn’t even a cute girl in class! What cute girl wants to take AP Physics? I digress…
I do remember a law in physics that says objects at rest tend to stay at rest. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force.
So a couch potato stays a couch potato. While others go out, take action every day and bust their butt will achieve more. Makes sense. What separates the acheivers from the couch potato? Momentum. It’s something every successful person or business possesses. Momentum is a powerful force that can lead you to all your goals.
Get That Big Momentum Train Moving
It’s hard to get that momentum started. You know how hard it is to start something and see results. A new blog, a business, a fitness plan, or losing weight.
It’s like a bit steam locomotive. When it’s at a standstill even a small piece of wood will keep it from moving. It takes a lot of steam to get the wheels moving slowly. Once it starts moving it gets into a rhythm. It slowly builds speed over time. Soon it’s up to 60 mph or more. By then it’ll run right through almost anything.
A Personal Experience With Momentum
I’ll share a story with you of my personal experience with momentum and how it turned me from couch potato, who couldn’t fit into my regular pants, to running two half marathons, and having those same pants fit comfortably in four months.
From October 2010 till February 2011, I was like the Terminator when it came to running.
It wasn’t always that way. Up to that point I had neglected my health. I felt it in my energy and in my clothes. I packed on weight. It was early October. Then it came to me how I could get into shape. I would run a half marathon.
Why that distance? Cause I knew it was a challenge but reachable. My first run I ran about 30 minutes before I got physically tired and mentally bored. Just had to take it one day at a time. I kept in focus of the bigger goal. I knew why I was doing this. I ran or lifted weights six days a week. I’d get up at 7am if I needed to get my workout in, which isn’t like me.
I didn’t know but momentum was starting to build up.
I had obstacles. One was the weather. It was getting colder. I live in Florida where the weather is great (Did you know last winter the only state that didn’t get snow was Florida? Yes even Hawaii had snow in the mountains. Ready to move here?). However some mornings it got freaking cold. Below 30 degrees cold. Tempting weather to stay warm in bed!!
Despite the cold weather, I just wore more layers, invested in a pair of running gloves and did my running. I trained without fail.
Before I got winded after an easy 3 mile run, three months later a 10 mile run was easy. I had momentum on my side.
Race Day in December
I had to get up at 5am just to prepare. The most exciting part that morning was standing at the starting line with all these other crazy people who got up early on that cold December morning to run…for fun. I was in good company.
I won’t go into mile-by-mile replay but I will say I saw a guy running in a gingerbread costume at about mile 3 and I had to pass him. No way was I going to let a guy in a costume beat me!! I never saw him again. Maybe someone ate him.
That last mile was all mental. I started to get cramps in my legs. Here I had trained for three months, in the cold weather, early mornings, lost about 15 pounds, was in the best shape I’ve ever, and here some cramps are going to derail me?? No way was I going to be doing any walking. Not..an..option.
I really think my last mile was the fastest. I was determined. I wasn’t going to fail now. One quote that I remembered was “Pain is temporary. Quitting is forever.” No doubt if I quit I would regret it as long as I lived. Run Benny run!
I found every last bit of energy and motivation in me and sprinted that last mile. I finished in 2:04 which I was so happy about! I didn’t have a time goal. Just a goal to not walk. I was so proud of myself.
Keeping the Momentum Going
After that half marathon I didn’t slow down. I had momentum on my side. I was ready for another one! There was another one just six weeks away. It was for breast cancer and was one of the biggest in the south. It ran towards and along the beach. Sounded awesome.
More training. More early morning wake up calls. More healthy eating. I wanted to finish in under 2 hours.
I was amazed at some of my training runs. In order to run a faster time I had to run faster when training. So simple I know. I couldn’t believe the pace I was running at compared to when I was first starting out. It felt effortless. Momentum baby. Momentum.
Race day was beautiful. Very cold in the morning but plenty of port-a-lets. (Very important on race day!) Huge turnout. The course ran along a highway that went towards the beach, on the beach, through neighborhoods and back on the highway.
The crowds that day were amazing. I’m feeling good. I’m drinking water and Gatorade at every station. Then we hit the beach around mile 6 and my legs started to feel tired. Oh man!! In training, running six miles was like a warmup to me. I had no idea why my legs thought they were done for the day. I kept moving. With every half mile they felt heavier and heavier. No matter what, I didn’t want to walk!
Towards the beginning we ran over a steep overpass. Well, we had to run back over it. This time with tired legs. I had no idea how fast I was running but it didn’t feel like my feet were moving that fast. I saw the incline that was coming up. At the beginning it was easy. This was going to be a test.
What got me through it? The line of volunteers at the top screaming and cheering as loud as they can. There was music playing but I don’t remember that at all. Just remember the cheering. You think I’m going to walk when someone’s saying “Go go! You can do!!” No way and I kept on running.
I crossed the finish line at 1:58, which was under my goal of 2 hours. I have NO IDEA how I ran faster than the first time considering my legs got tired so early on. I must have been running at my goal pace even though it didn’t feel like it. It felt like I was running in slow motion.
Four months from couch to finishing two half marathons when I had never even run one. That’s one thing I can be proud of forever.
Momentum is Worth the Hard Work
Certainly momentum wasn’t the only factor to my success. I set a goal. I knew why I was doing this. I changed my habits. But without momentum I wouldn’t have been able to achieve so much.
When you start any endeavor, it’s going to be an uphill climb at first. Let’s take blogging for example.
When you start a blog, it takes a lot of work to reach the level that you would define as successful. In the beginning, there’s lots of writing, finding your writing voice, growing your community, commenting on other blogs, SEO, finding images, crafting a headline, networking, using social media, guest posting and doing every thing you can go get readers to your blog and to come back. It’s a lot of work!
When you have momentum and seeing the results of your hard work pay off, it all comes to you. In an webinar I attended last week called “Momentum for Your Online Business”, Corrbet Barr said one indicator of momentum is when things get easier. People will seek you out for advice and interviews. You could probably write once or twice a week and still grow. Other bloggers will want to do business deals with you. Affiliates will want to sell your product. It still takes work to keep it moving forward but nothing like at the beginning.
What can you do to build momentum?
The truth is, it’s going to take some time. No way I was going to run 13.1 miles, the way I wanted to, in a month. However once you get into the ‘zone’ magically things will happen.
– Thinking consistency. Slow and steady wins the race. The turtle always beats the hare. Think about anything you’ve had success with. I bet you did it consistently over a period a time. A little every day instead of trying to do too much too soon.
– Develop a routine for daily habits. Decide what new habits or behaviors correlate with whatever you want to have success in.
For example during training, I did my run first thing in the morning. I’d get up, make breakfast right away, rest for an hour and then ran. It became a routine for me. It contributed to my success.
Before? Wake up, computer, breakfast, computer, TV, computer, time to work. No wonder I was fat and lazy!
– Know why you’re doing it. Having superficial reasons will derail you so fast. That’s why New Year’s resolutions suck. You fail more often than not. If you have a deeper reason, you’ll keep going no matter what obstacles you face. I certainly wouldn’t have run in below freezing temperatures if my “why power” wasn’t so strong.
Find what area in your life you want to have profound success. Use the advice and find what behaviors in your life you have to change. Get momentum on your side and your life won’t look the same.
Think about something successful you’ve accomplished. Anything in life. Did momentum play a factor?
What are you working hard on now to one day have momentum on your side?