If you have ever taken on a challenge that was spurred through a passion, got excited to take on that challenge, started to take on that challenge, got distracted, went and did something else for a while, forgot to get back to your challenge, had time pass, remembered the challenge, returned to that challenge, then….
At this point, if you have ever experienced what I just described, you will know the feeling that comes next all too well.
That sluggish feeling of having to get going again.
Just ask anybody who used to go the gym regularly, stopped going for a few months and kept promising to get back to the gym.
When we break the momentum that we’ve built up on a project it seems to take many times the amount of energy to get that wheel spinning again.
That is why I feel it is important to address the topic of momentum, how to create it and how to avoid losing it, which will help you avoid ‘losing it.’
A friend and teacher of mine shared an acronym, which I find really helpful in remembering how to get moving when I feel like stopping.
The acronym is I.A.M.M.
Think of saying I AMMmmm where the m’s invoke the feeling of something yummy and desirable and you will get how to pronounce this.
To make this easy for you to understand more clearly let’s borrow from a metaphor we are all familiar with, a space shuttle (or rocket) launch.
The “I” stands for Ignition.
“3, 2, 1, ignition.“
I can hear the digital voice counting down in my head and see the engines come to life in violent chemical reaction as the engines light up.
Imagine the amount of energy it must be taking to simply get that 4.4 MILLION POUNDS* of rocket, engines and fuel off the ground!
Can you feel it?
The power, heat and intense energy as the rocket slowly lifts off the ground, inch by inch.
The “A” stands for Acceleration.
The next stage of the launch is acceleration. The rocket becomes a controlled bomb as the engines, boosters; tank et al increases in thrust and begins to gain speed.
Once again you can just imagine the incredible amount of power needed to get that big hunk of metal and fuel up off the ground and up to a speed of 28,000 kilometers per hour, the approximate speed the shuttle needs to orbit the earth at 400 kilometers above the earth’s surface.
As the rocket rises, the resistance from the air itself goes down allowing the rockets to go faster and faster with less effort.
NOW imagine that the people in charge of the launch decide to get distracted by the game someone just put up on one of the screens and the entire launch headquarters forgets about the launch, the thrusters stop, and the whole thing comes crashing down to earth.
Even though all members of the crew survived, just imagine the energy that is going to be required to get another shuttle up in the air.
It would be an overwhelming task for most people to consider when it comes to rockets, but a huge number of people do just that every day.
They give up during an acceleration phase either because it is too difficult or simply a created distraction to assure that we never get to the next step, Momentum.
This is why New Year’s resolutions have such a poor success rate; people can’t hold their vision and get to Momentum, later we will learn how, but first…
The first ‘M’ is for Momentum.
By this point, so much energy has been spent the shuttle can actually eject the main fuel tank and eventually the booster engines until only the shuttle itself is in space using its own power to get up to the desired orbital speed.
Notice the hard lifting has now completed and it is time to focus on dialing in the course and feather-touching the thrusters.
My friend then said, “At this point it’s almost as if you could fart and change direction. Quite a different experience than lift off.”
All bodily processes aside I took it to mean that by committing through the Ignition and Acceleration phases you are rewarded with needing to expend a great deal less of energy to go farther faster.
This would equate to the value in helping your people build up their momentum so they can expend any future energies in course correction and creativity.
The last ‘M’ is for Motivation.
Ultimately momentum is only as good as you maintain it, for that you will need to connect to your Motivation.
High Performance Coach Brendon Burchard offers us a Four-Step Process in order to master Motivation in his book The Motivation Manifesto.
- The Mother of Motivation: This is your reason ‘why’, or maybe your client’s reason ‘why’.
- Sparking Motivation: You must choose to deeply get in touch with what you want and why you want it. You must cultivate ambition and expectancy for the success of achieving whatever it is you decided you want.
- Sustaining Motivation: As mentioned in the above, when we lose Momentum it is really hard to get going again, so we want to use Motivation to sustain us, but how do we sustain motivation?
The answer is to revisit the first two points on a regular basis and pouring our awareness onto the vision of having and feeling the success as if it were already in process to becoming.
Burchard writes, “It is the obvious equation and the ultimate secret: the longer I give attention to my ambitions and passions, the more motivated I feel.”
Amplifying Motivation: Once you have connected to your reason ‘why’, cultivated ambition and expectancy, and given ample attention to your ambitions and passions, then you need to amplify your motivation.
How? By changing your social environment to one that is supportive and positive toward you reaching your dreams.
In other words, beware of the negative Nancy’s and dream-stealers, no matter how close they appear to your heart. The environment you choose to surround yourself in will either lend to building up or tearing down your dream - there really is no in between.
Burchard writes, “For motivations sake we must be vigilant and surround ourselves with genuine and positive people who seek positive aims with positive attitudes.”
- Getting clear on what we really really really want and why we want it; (Ignition)
- Teaching our bodies to know what it would feel like to already have it, (Acceleration)
- Will yourself to give attention to this one thing on a regular basis, (Momentum)
- Move away from toxic relationships and toward nurturing ones, (Motivation)
- Not to mention putting in the appropriate effort from start to finish.
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