Power of Momentum

power of momentum picI’ve posted on momentum a couple times before, but I always think it’s important to be reminded of the power of momentum.  It always seems to be a topic of conversation in sports.  One team has the momentum and they seem unstoppable.  A basketball player has momentum and it feels like he can’t miss a shot.  There have been many studies done on the role of momentum in sports, and while often times the results are inconclusive, it definitely has a psychological effect on athletes worldwide.  So how does it play into fitness?

Momentum – Which Way Are You Going?

The leader of my previous company had a popular phrase that will likely always stick with me.  He would say, “You’re either green and growing, or you’re ripe and rotting.” What he meant was that you are always either getting better at what you do, or you’re getting worse.  You’re either on a path to success, or you’re losing ground.  It was absolutely true in that business and it’s true in fitness I think too.  It’s all about which way your momentum is going.

When your momentum is positive and you’re “green and growing” it feels like nothing can stop you.  You’re nailing your workouts and it doesn’t feel like a chore to push play.  You also stick to your nutrition plan and don’t really see a need to deviate from what’s working for you.  This kind of momentum feels great.  You’re making progress, and small progress, added up consistently over time leads to great results.  That’s how I lost 34 lbs over the course of a year.  I carried my momentum with me all year and was laser focused on my goals.  It wasn’t necessarily “easy” but it was worth it.

On the flip-side of that coin, when your momentum is going downhill and you’re “ripe and rotting” that can be a hard thing to stop.  You’re missing workouts, gaining weight, eating junk, etc.  Your motivation is lost and you’re getting progressively less healthy.  That can be a frustrating place to be.  It’s not necessarily that you want to be getting out of shape, it feels like it just sort of happens.   And that’s a hard cycle to break.

Tips For Regaining Momentum

I think you know what it looks like to have positive or negative momentum.  The key is that you have one or the other, there’s no standing still.  You can’t just coast, at least not for long.  So if you’re in the second camp, and your momentum is not heading in the right direction, what can you do to get back into things and get on course?  That’s a tough question and it’s one I get frequently.  It can really be tough to get back into the swing of things, that’s for sure.  But there are a few things you can do to help yourself:

1. Forget the past.  
I can’t stress this one enough.  You have to forget the past!  So you ate a ton of junk food last week and gained a couple pounds, who cares??  That was in the past.  Today is a new day, this is a new week, the only thing you can control is what you do right now.  So don’t let something that already happened lead to a bad decision today.  I see it all too often and it’s really unfortunate.  Sometimes you have to have a short memory.

2. Set a new goal.
Those of you on my team know this about me, I’m all about setting goals.  You have to have something you’re shooting for.  Otherwise how can you ever know when you’re successful?  One of the most motivating things you can do is to have a goal and write it down.  Start out small and don’t bite off too much.  Set a goal that you want to reach for the next month, and then write that down in a place you can see it.  When you’re tempted to miss a workout or eat junk, look at your goal and remember why it’s important to you.

3. Tell someone!
This is critical too.  After you’ve set your goal, tell somebody about it!  Tell someone who wants to see you succeed.  That could be a spouse, parent, child, or me.  I love hearing people’s goals and helping hold them accountable to reach them.  When you tell someone else who cares about you, that makes the goal all the more real.  Have that person check in with you and make sure you’re on track.  Sometimes it’s easy to let yourself down, but it’s a lot harder to let someone else down.

Those are three easy things you can do to regain positive momentum.  If you know you’re going the wrong way right now, you can turn things around and these should help.

So which way is your momentum heading right now?  Are you full of positive momentum and making progress towards your goals?  If that’s you, keep it up!  Or are you feeling down because your momentum is taking you in the wrong direction?  If that’s you, follow those three steps and reverse your momentum!  The important thing to remember is that you can change your momentum.  You can get back on the right track, and when you harness momentum to work in your favor, it has powerful results.  You don’t reach your goals all in one day.  It takes longer than a week to lose 50 lbs.  It took me a year to lose 34 lbs and the only way I did that was through making small, incremental steps in the right direction compounded over time.  There’s no reason you can’t do that too!

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  1. […] you positive momentum.  When you get on a roll it can be really hard to stop.  I wrote about the Power of Momentum this past week which is a good read.  The quote I love is that “you’re either green […]

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