Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 2 - Build Momentum

What does it mean to build momentum in life? Well for starters, momentum is not compatible with being stuck. So if you feel stuck, you may need to get some momentum going to pull yourself out. So often we feel stuck in our lives and it's a horrible feeling; like we have to remain in a job we don't like or that we'll always look/feel a certain way... but we want more! So, how do we start? Getting unstuck is scary because not only will you likely have to leave something familiar behind, but you're also most likely stepping into something unknown. It can be a big risk!
Here is the key. Start small.

I had a professor in grad school who talked to us about this topic. He gave an example... Let's say someone wants to start running in the mornings but has never done it before and is having trouble getting started. (I'm on a running kick right now)! Day 1 rolls around and all they have to do is wake up and actually get out of bed. They don't even have to run that day; they just have to get out of bed and put on their running shoes. Done - Day 1 complete. Day 2 comes. Today the person gets out of bed, puts on their running shoes and goes outside. Done - Day 2 complete. Day 3 is when the person actually takes their first jog around the block. By the time the week ends, the major hurdle is over. Little by little the individual is getting used to the discipline of waking up early and is now running short distances around the block. As the distance increases in the following days and weeks, running every morning becomes a habit. 

Here's another example. Have you heard of Dave Ramsey? He is a sort of financial guru, if you will. He has written a number of bestselling books on personal finances and getting out of debt. He offers seven baby steps to getting your finances in order and Step 2 is to pay off debt, however he doesn't recommend paying it off in the way you might imagine he would. He calls his method the debt snowball and essentially he suggests that you pay off your smallest debts first, not your largest. He states this on his website:  

The point of the debt snowball is simply this: You need some quick wins in order to stay pumped up about getting out of debt! Paying off debt is not always about math. It’s about motivation. Personal finance is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. When you start knocking off the easier debts, you will see results and you will stay motivated to dump your debt. 

Are you feeling stuck in some area of your life? What are small ways you can begin to build momentum to create lasting results?

See you tomorrow!

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