You probably remember a phrase from your school days that goes something like this, “An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest.” This is a folksy articulation of Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion.
It’s as true of human action as it is of a ball rolling down a hill. Momentum breeds momentum. Stagnation breeds more stagnation.
Now the most important part of Newton’s First Law often gets left out. The end of law states, “unless it is acted on by an external force.”
How does this apply to you and me and our personal development? For us, thoughts and emotion are those external forces that change our motion. Positive, determined thoughts and emotion drive positive action. Negative can take the wind from our sails.
Once you get moving, you’ll tend to keep moving. You’ll get things done and tackle your challenges. Have you noted that on those days when you get something done right away you tend to get more done? You get a cadence and a momentum pushing you forward.
Conversely, if you start slow, it’s hard to get that momentum going. This isn’t a value judgment. Sometimes being is more important than doing.
However, if it’s a moment that requires action and you’re feeling sluggish, here are some ways to get your momentum flowing?
- Do one thing. Put yourself in motion and let Newton’s Law work fort you. Once you’re in the flow the second task is easier.
- Do the hardest thing. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to do the hardest thing first thing, That way the rest of the day is easier. Focus on how good it’s going to feel to have that done,
- Do the smartest thing. There are things you just don’t want to do, but they have to be done. If the task is inevitable, do the smart thing and knock it out now. That avoids stress and scrambling later.
- Bargain with your brain. When there’s something you’re procrastinating about or feeling stuck on, make a deal with your brain. Tell it you’re going to start the task and work for 20 minutes. If it’s not going well, you can stop. More than likely, once you going, you’ll work much longer than 20 minutes.
- Jump in the pool. Your biggest blocks often center around fear and doubt. These can often be alleviated by starting and seeing it’s better then you thought. You’ll learn to “swim” as you go. The fastest way to force movement is to leave yourself no choice. Count to three and jump.
I hope you’re having an amazing Friday. In case no one else has reminded you today, you are awesome!
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