III. Sustainable Momentum – PLAN Weekly, Do Daily

By Leon Ho, Founder of Lifehack

Remember that physics class you took back in high school? You might recall a concept called ‘momentum’. Let’s simplify it for a moment. Momentum is the quantity of motion. Here, ‘quantity’ can be measured. An object with mass that’s moving has momentum. If it’s stationary, it has none.

Think of it as the domino effect. One move, or maybe a series of them — regardless of their size — can trigger this domino effect, propelling forward motion. The beauty of momentum is that it keeps things moving.

Now, imagine applying this principle to your life. Time is a relentless, ever-moving force. It keeps ticking, every second, every minute. If you’re standing still, with no momentum, what happens? Time is relentlessly charging forward, while you remain idle, ultimately getting pushed backward.

Here’s the crux: the forward motion of momentum is the engine of growth. It helps to move the needle faster and faster, ideally in a positive direction. Without sustainable momentum, you run the risk of moving backwards. And that’s not where you want to be. It keeps you from achieving your goals, and hinders you from building the future you want.

In life, just like in physics, momentum matters. And if we don’t want to fall behind, we have to keep moving.

“Slow And Steady Wins the Race”

You’ve probably heard the phrase “slow and steady wins the race.” This isn’t just an old saying, but a timeless piece of wisdom. It emphasizes the power of sustainable momentum over “one-shot wins” or quick fixes.

Sure, a one-shot win may feel fantastic. It gives you that moment of success, the applause, the joy, and satisfaction. But it begs the question: what’s next? If you can’t replicate this victory, what will you do for the rest of your career, business, and more importantly, your time?

Consider the countless “one-hit-wonders.” How often can these artists sustain their success? Now, compare them to artists who can consistently produce music people love. Who, in the long run, would you say has a more successful career?

Here’s where the beauty of momentum truly shines. It behaves like a snowball. In the words of Steve Ferrante,

“Success is like a snowball… You gotta get it moving and the more you roll it in the right direction the greater it gets.”

— Steve Ferrante

A snowball doesn’t grow large with a single roll, it needs to keep moving to become bigger and stronger.

No matter how lofty the goal, success is a result of consistent action to maintain momentum. In the end, it’s not the quick wins, but the sustainable momentum that truly matters.

The Power of Continuous Momentum

Let’s take a look at a real-life example, a story of a basketball team that brought the idea of sustainable momentum to life — Pat Riley’s 1986 Los Angeles Lakers.[1]

This team was touted as one of the most talented squads ever assembled. They started the 1985–1986 NBA season with a breathtaking 29–5 record. Many even called them “the best team in the history of basketball.” But despite their initial success, they stumbled in the playoffs and didn’t even make it to the NBA championship game.

Riley, the team’s head coach, was done with hearing about his team’s potential and talent. He was tired of the inconsistent performance — the flashes of brilliance followed by gradual fades.

He wanted his Lakers to live up to their potential consistently. So, in the summer of 1986, he designed a system called the Career Best Effort program or CBE.

This program was built on the foundation of each player’s historical performance data. Riley tracked his players’ stats all the way back to high school. He wanted to gauge their average performance, not their best day.

The key element in Riley’s CBE program was the idea of continuous improvement — he asked each player to improve their output by at least 1% over the season. But it wasn’t just about points or statistics, it was about total commitment — spiritually, mentally, and physically. It was about doing the “unsung hero” deeds, like taking a hit for a foul or diving for a loose ball.

Riley then compared each player’s current CBE to their past performances and to those of other players in the league. This constant benchmarking made the players aware of their performance relative to the competition and their own averages. It left no room for self-deception.

The Lakers implemented the CBE program in October 1986. Just eight months later, they were the NBA champions. The following year, they clinched another title, becoming the first team in two decades to win back-to-back NBA championships.

Riley’s words echo our previous discussions:

“Sustaining an effort is the most important thing for any enterprise. The way to be successful is to learn how to do things right, then do them the same way every time.”

His story is a testament to the power of continuous progress and momentum. And it demonstrates how, with consistency and small improvements over time, anyone can unlock their full potential and achieve sustainable success.

Creating Sustainable Momentum

At its core, the Time Flow System’s key philosophy – Sustainable Momentum, means embracing a steady, continual push toward your goals. It’s about planning your actions on a weekly basis to allow for flexibility, and then carrying out those actions daily, no matter how small.

This approach is not about short-lived bursts of energy or grandiose one-time wins. Instead, it’s about the power of persistent progress, the compounding effect of small tasks done well over time.

Imagine your journey toward your goal as a river. It might start as a trickle, but with every little tributary that joins in — each daily action you take — the river grows wider, stronger, and more powerful. Over time, it builds a momentum of its own, capable of carving valleys and shaping landscapes.

So how do we create sustainable momentum in our lives? The answer is twofold:: Plan and Do.

create sustainable momentum

1. Plan – Plan Weekly

Planning plays a crucial role in creating momentum. However, instead of micromanaging your day, look at the bigger picture. Plan your week. Each day is unique, unexpected things can and do happen. Planning weekly provides you the flexibility to accommodate these unpredictable changes and shifts.

Weekly planning offers several key advantages over daily planning:

  • More Flexibility: With a weekly plan, you have more hours to play with. If a meeting runs over time or an unexpected errand pops up, you can shift your focus block to another day. It allows you to balance your week without feeling overwhelmed by a jam-packed day.
  • Longer-Term View: Planning on a weekly basis also gives you a broader perspective. You can align your tasks with your overall direction. This longer-term view is not only a more realistic way of planning but also helps to ensure that every task you undertake is pushing you closer to your goals.

Simply put, to create sustainable momentum, you must first plan. And planning on a weekly basis is an effective way to keep the ball rolling. Now, let’s move onto the second part: Do.

2. Do – Do Daily

As Darren Hardy once said,

“The rhythm of daily action aligned with your goals creates the momentum that separates dreamers from super-achievers.”

The essence of sustainable momentum is rooted in consistent, daily action.

It’s the consistent action that drives real progress, no matter how small those actions might be. Instead of planning for large, unrealistic chunks of work, the “do daily” philosophy is all about taking a pragmatic approach to progress.

Consider your tasks as if they were a large puzzle. It’s the small pieces, fitted together bit by bit, that create the larger picture. Rather than tackling big chunks of work that can quickly overwhelm you and lead to procrastination, you focus on small, manageable tasks. This is what allows you to consistently make progress day after day.

The combination of planning weekly and taking small but consistent daily actions is the one-two punch that builds sustainable momentum. It’s this approach that keeps the ball rolling, snowballing your efforts into something greater, something more meaningful.

And this is what the Time Flow System is all about – moving forward, step by step, day by day, ultimately crafting the future you wish to inhabit.

Similarly, making consistent progress contributes to small, yet critical, victories. While a single small win might seem unimportant, a series of them uncovers a pattern that can draw allies, deter opponents, and lower resistance.

Within this weekly plan, use what I like to call ‘Focus Blocks.’ These are chunks of time dedicated to one task — no distractions, just a relentless focus on completing that one thing. I’ll delve deeper into how you can use Focus Blocks effectively in the ‘How to Apply the Time Flow System’ section.