Creating momentum in your life takes increasing the things that move you forward and decreasing those that hold you back. Sounds like a snap, but I know, just like you do, that living a life that we desire is not always easy to achieve. We have habits and repeat cycles to overcome. But by creating momentum, we can move past those and move toward the life we want.
Momentum, by its nature, requires a lot of upfront push to get the ball rolling. Here are ten tips to jumpstart the momentum in your life:
Create your picture of success and make it a reality. It’s true – if you can’t see your vision of success, you’ll never get there. So what does success look like for you day to day? How do you want to spend your time? How do you want to define success for yourself this year. Write your vision down and post it somewhere you will see it everyday.
Know what you love and do what you love. You know what they say, either fix the problem or quite complaining about it. If you hate your job, get a new one. Go to school and learn a new profession. Start that business you’ve always dreamed of. Pick up that crazy hobby you’ve been thinking about. Sound too scary? Facing too many roadblocks (time, money, naysayers)? Why not tackle one of them. Explore your options, and then take action. There is no time like the present!
Pick a BHAG. What is that big, hairy, audacious goal you want to achieve this year that will help you step into your vision of success? Write it down along with the one thing you can do today to make it happen. Here is an example of the power of a written goal: A study was conducted among a graduating class at Harvard to see how many had concrete goals around how much money they wanted to make. Only 3% had written their goals down. Ten years later, that 3% were making more than the other 97% combined! Now that is power!
Eliminate your energy drains and recharge yourself. Energy drains are those things that drag you down. Things that recharge your energy can be anything that inspires you and puts you in a good mood, like a room in your house, a place to relax, an activity, or a person. Spend more time doing the things that give you energy and stick a post-it next to each drain with an idea for getting rid of it.
Remove your fears. The greatest source of procrastination is often a deep-seeded fear – fear of success, change, failure, ridicule, the unknown. Take a daily step to remove your fears by asking yourself every day, “What would I do today, if I were not afraid?”
Take control of your finances. Do you feel like you are on a treadmill, working more to pay for ever increasing bills? It seems like the more we work, the more we spend to do the things we don’t have time to do while we are working (housekeeper, take-out food, dry cleaner, etc.). Spend a little less here and a little less there and stop hemorrhaging money. Make sure what you purchase is in line with your values. Run a QuickBooks report to see exactly what you are spending your money on. What if you decreased every category (except maybe your mortgage and other loan payments) by 10%? Use your money to fuel your dreams instead of feeding the treadmill.
Create a braintrust. Identify a handful of people in your life who can help you move your life forward. Consider pulling from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, experience and opinions. Sometimes those who are most critical provide the best insights. Call on them together or individually to help you move past any roadblocks and keep the momentum going.
Find the time. One of the biggest challenges to having the life we want is finding the time to do all we want to do. Track how you spend your time for a week. At the end, tally up the time spent on each thing – such as sleeping, eating, shopping, checking email, etc. Look at each category. What things can you do to cut time in each area? Be creative and find the time to do what you love to do, instead of what you have to do.
Let things evolve. When the flywheel of momentum starts to turn, pay attention to clues, connections, and opportunities that are presented to you. Allow your future to unfold and change in ways you might not have been able to imagine when you started dreaming.
Commit to your dreams. Creating momentum starts with commitment. Commit to doing one of the ideas above that will move you closer to your dreams.
We all know that life is short. So, shouldn’t we all live the best life we possibly can?
Absolutely! Because remember – how we spend our days, is how we spend our lives.
Erica Olsen is the vice president of marketing for OnStrategy, which helps growth-oriented organizations develop and execute their strategies. Erica is also the author of the newly released Strategic Planning For Dummies. Carol McClelland is the owner of Transition Dynamics (www.transitiondynamics.com) and author of Your Dream Career For Dummies.