How many times have you gone on a diet, reached your target weight then put it all back on again?
How many times have you joined a gym, maybe trained to get fit before a holiday then stopped going after you came back?
How many times have you completed Couch to 5k then stopped running?
Then repeated this process again. And again.
What if there was an easier way to make getting the results you want easier to achieve? Sound good? Let me tell you about building momentum.
You Didn’t Fail
It’s important to know that if you’ve done any of the above, you didn’t fail. You achieved your particular goal and failed to set a new one to keep you focused. I joined Perth Leisure Pool to train for the swim sections of the Ironman 70.3 in Edinburgh in 2017 and 2018 and after doing the 2018 event, I stopped swimming.
We focused too much on the outcome and ignored the momentum that we built along the way.
Momentum is when a few actions or behaviours turn into successes that lead to more actions being taken and more success and so on.
The diet didn’t produce the results. Neither did the workouts or the Couch to 5k app. The changes you made to your diet that led you to lose a few pounds in your first week. The first workout or class that gave you the buzz that led you to you going again the next day. The first run that started to feel easier and inspired you to do the next session. These are the steps that created the momentum that delivered the results. It’s unlikely you would’ve thought about it that way.
How Do I Build Momentum?
The problem we have is we try to make too many changes at one time. Making major changes to your diet, joining a gym and going every night. There’s a kind of “all or nothing” approach. When we try to make too many changes in one go, our bodies will usually struggle at some point. A bit like trying to spin too many plates at the same time.
An easier approach, the one I use with my clients, is to make one change at a time and make it an easy one to start with. When you only have one thing to work on, it’s easier to maintain and this breeds confidence especially when you start to feel it becoming less of an effort to focus on doing.
Once the first change feels like it’s becoming easier to do, you make another change. My clients usually tell me that the difference they feel from making that first change, they go on to make another couple of changes.
This creates momentum.
How To Get Started
Think of your goal and now thing of the changes you need to make in order to achieve it. Create a list of all the changes. These can be things like getting better sleep or changing what you have for breakfast or getting 10000 steps in every day. Now pick one thing, plan how you’re going to do it and then practice it every day. Be aware of how it makes you feel. Once you’re doing it without thinking, make another change and practice that every day.
The aim is to practice, learn and become good at each change you decide to make. With each change you practice and the difference you feel from making that change, this will give you lots of confidence to make another change and so momentum begins.
While standing on the scales are the most common method of measuring success, it’s not the only way. Keeping a journal of your journey and recording how you get on with each change, the differences you’re seeing is potentially a more effective way. You will have lots of details from how you felt at the end of day one having completed your change through to how you dealt with your first challenge when things maybe didn’t go so well.
This is a very powerful tool and one to keep you motivated.
When you think of your goals, what changes can you make in order to build momentum? What’s the first change you’re going to make and how are you going to do it?
Do you need help to create the momentum you need to achieve your goals? Get in touch and let’s have a chat.