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Last Updated on August 11, 2021

3 Strategies to Build Momentum in Life and Find Success

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3 Strategies to Build Momentum in Life and Find Success

Momentum is essentially the force created by a moving object. You likely heard about this concept in your high school physics class, but momentum goes far beyond the laws of motion. Momentum, when applied to ideas of motivation, enables you to start thinking clearly, see that your goals are reachable, and find a sense of purpose, power, and direction. Learning how to build momentum is, therefore, one of the first steps to finding success in life.

By building momentum, you are creating a world in which you are more productive, more effective, and more efficient. Momentum helps you get over the initial hurdle of not being able to start something and then pushes you through to the end. Momentum helps build positive thinking and energy to help you progress towards your goals.

Over the years through working on a number of projects and dealing with a wide range of people, I have learned that there are three key strategies for learning how to get momentum and push forward.

1. Just Do It

Nike’s slogan is a great motto to create momentum. In fact, this is one of the best methods to build momentum in life. Whatever it is that you want to do, whether it is starting that project that you have been putting off, going to the gym to lose 10 pounds, or writing the first paragraph of your next novel, the best way to build momentum is to simply take action through one small step.

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By taking action, you start to focus your time and energy on the things that matter most. It may feel uneasy at first, but the more time and energy you put into doing it, the more comfortable you will start to become with it.

Over time, the momentum builds and feeds upon itself. The more small steps you take, the more momentum you will build, the more comfortable you will be doing that activity or task, and the more productive and effective you will be.

For example, if you know you have an important work project due next week, a small step could be to make a to-do list of all the things you’ll need to do to complete the project. This will prepare your mind to jump into the steps the following day.

Ultimately, each small step gets you closer to achieving your goal, so get out there, do it, and join the ranks of successful people doing their best to achieve their goals.

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2. Schedule It

Perhaps you can’t do it right now, but what you can do is schedule some time to do that thing that you have been putting off[1]. Even better, make it a routine in order to create momentum in life.

If you have been putting off going to the gym, schedule it in now, and stick to it. If you have trouble sticking to your schedule and not having the discipline to take action, think of your long-term goals.

Why exactly do you want to go to the gym, and how would your life look and feel if you lost the 10 pounds that you want to lose? If this is not enough, don’t be afraid to reward yourself after each action that you take.

In order to really build momentum, you need to take action every single day. One of the best ways to build momentum is to schedule 30 minutes every day where you will be dedicated to what it is that you want to achieve. Before you know it, after one week you would have been productive for 3.5 hours! It all adds up, and making it a routine will help embed it as a habit and help it become part of your life.

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3. Learn About It

When you aren’t quite prepared to take action, you can start building momentum by learning about what it is that you should be doing.

You can get started with this by checking out Lifehack’s Learn Anything Fast Handbook. Once you have the motivation to learn, you can begin to find resources on the actions you are preparing to take.

For example, if you are struggling to get to the gym, pick up a health and fitness magazine and read up on the different exercises that you can undertake at the gym. Learn about the different programs that you can complete or the different classes that you can take part in.

Perhaps you’re struggling to write the first paragraph of your next novel. Take some time out to learn about the topic that you want to be writing about. Pick up the phone and talk to someone about it, or browse a website that describes how to write a novel. Whatever it is, you can learn something about the task which will help you build momentum.

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Learning about the activity that you want to pursue creates neural pathways in your brain that helps you build the confidence and knowledge to be able to do what it is that you want to do.

The Bottom Line

If you want to achieve more in life and be more successful, productive, effective, and efficient, then you need to consider the above strategies to build momentum. Remember that once you start down a path with a single step, you have already started to build the momentum that you’ll need to propel you forward and complete your goals.

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Featured photo credit: Dayne Topkin via unsplash.com

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Brendan Baker

Brendan helps people who feel stuck doing work they don't like start to make a difference and an income doing what they love.

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Published on September 3, 2021

6 Friday Motivation Tips to Help You Stay Motivated

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6 Friday Motivation Tips to Help You Stay Motivated

You know the feeling—that “I still have another whole work day to get through” feeling? It sucks. The worst part is knowing that you have to get up, get to work, and be productive when you feel checked out, unmotivated, and would rather go back to bed. The trickiest part about it is that even though you may know intellectually that you’re not the only person who has ever felt that way, at the moment, it can feel very lonely.

If you feel the Friday funk and want to shake it off, try these six tips to lift your Friday motivation.

1. Eat a Solid Breakfast and Plan to Eat Lunch

The first thing you can do to lift your Friday motivation is to eat a solid breakfast. We have all heard the phrase, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It turns out that it wasn’t just something our parents were telling us to get us to eat before school. Studies have shown that eating breakfast can help with improved memory, recall, mood, and visual-motor functions.[1]

However, researchers have found evidence that the benefits of the micronutrient boost provided by breakfast do wear off after a while. Just like a car with a full tank of gas that runs out after a long journey, the body needs to be refueled. Therefore, planning to eat breakfast and lunch on a day when you are not feeling your best could give you that extra boost you need to get through the day. Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar, which can leave you feeling weak and tired.[2] If you are already struggling with feeling motivated, not eating is only going to make you feel more sluggish and less inspired to get anything done.

2. Prioritize What’s Urgent

I have always been a fan of the cheat sheet. No, I’m not a cheater, but I love knowing what needs to be done. No one wants to waste any precious energy trying to figure out what should be done when you are already feeling unmotivated.

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No matter who you are, there is a high probability that by Friday, on any given week, you have at least one or two items that were supposed to be completed earlier in the week but just didn’t get done. Here is my quick trick for figuring out what’s urgent.

Just ask yourself these three questions:

  • Are there any projects with deadlines that have passed already but are still due?
  • Which of those projects is the most overdue?
  • Of the overdue projects, which will take the least time to make significant progress or complete?

This should help you to easily identify at least one task that you can spend time working on diligently, knowing that you are getting something important done.

3. Tackle the Low-Hanging Fruit

Another way to refresh your Friday motivation is to tackle the low-hanging fruit. There is nothing wrong with doing the easy stuff first. Maybe you are so burned out and the urgent tasks will take too much energy. There is nothing wrong with knocking out the obvious easy things. Emails, filing, data entry, document reconciliation, follow-up calls, editing or revising written work, and research are all low-hanging fruits—these are all straightforward tasks.

Getting these easier tasks done will give you a sense of accomplishment. You can leverage this sense of accomplishment to help you tackle some harder tasks or get all the easy tasks done so the following week, you can dedicate your time to the harder projects.

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4. Give Yourself at Least Two Scheduled Breaks

Give yourself at least two scheduled breaks during the workday. Life is stressful. Feeling like you have to work when you don’t feel up to it is stressful. Let’s not compound it by forcing yourself to sit in front of the computer all day with no breaks. The days of believing that “lunch is for punks and working 80 hours a week is what you should be doing” are fading away—if not already a distant memory for some.

In fact, scientists discovered that, although “taking short breaks throughout the working day may not have as obvious an impact as taking a holiday, research has found significant benefits. Studies have found that breaks can reduce or prevent stress, help to maintain performance throughout the day and reduce the need for a long recovery at the end of the day.”[3]

Before you sit down in front of your desk for the workday, set three alarms—two 20-minute breaks and one lunch break. You aren’t proving anything to anyone by forcing yourself to be miserable in front of your computer. You deserve flexibility and compassion. Let these breaks be a radical act of self-care.

5. Listen to Some Upbeat Tunes

Another way to improve your Friday motivation is to listen to some upbeat tunes. Music is medicine. It is not a mystery that the vibrations of sound can affect our mood. Ancient communities knew this and embraced it through practices like chanting, the use of singing bowls, chimes, bells, and other sound instruments as tools for healing. Practices like Kirtan and Bhakti yoga use chanting to heal and shift energy. The Hindu and Buddhist religions use bells and chimes in many of their spiritual healing rituals. Throughout the modern world, we have adopted the use of signing bowls for energetic healing.

Most people could recall at least one moment in their lives when music or sound has helped shift their mood. Music has been shown to have a direct effect on the listener. Studies show that listening to music while you work can lead to an “increase in both mood and quality of work”.[4]

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If you are feeling super unmotivated, the solution to your problem may be throwing on your favorite album in the background while you try to get a few things done. If you can’t work while listening to music with words and you do not like classical music or traditional jazz, explore genres like Trip hop, house, ambient, Beach House, JamBand. You may also enjoy artists like Bonobo, Thievery Corporation, and Grammatik.

6. Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To

As a yogi, I’m all about being present in the moment. But sometimes, the present is a little too intense, and being super present is not going to help to improve your mood. In those moments, tapping into the power of positive anticipation can be your secret weapon because “knowing that something good is coming your way pushes you to accomplish those tasks you may not necessarily want to do.”[5]

We all love to be rewarded, especially when we are doing something we don’t want to do. Giving yourself something to look forward to is the way to guarantee that you will be rewarded for the hard work of getting through the day.

The reward doesn’t have to be immense. It can be something small like getting ice cream, going for a walk, spending time with friends, or vegging out with your phone on do not disturb for a few hours. I used to employ this trick a lot when I was in boarding school. The time between semesters in new England would feel so long especially in the winter that my friends and I would let ourselves get excited about little things like drinking lime rickeys at Brigham’s. Believe it or not, it worked.

Try it the next time you get the hit with the Friday funk. Think about something you can look forward to no matter how small, and notice how it shifts your energy.

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Final Thoughts

As the adage says, “this too shall pass.”

Friday is just a day like every other day before it will end. One thing you can count on is that time waits for no one, so despite how difficult it may feel to get through, know that the time is on your side.

No matter what, Friday will wind on. The best thing you can do to improve your Friday motivation is to make sure that your body has the micronutrients it needs to power through the day, identify what’s urgent, tackle low hanging fruit, give yourself time away from the desk, throw on your favorite tunes, and think about the fact that you have the entire weekend to look forward to.

You got this!

More Tips on How to Improve Your Friday Motivation

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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