That’s when I typically challenge them to do one thing today in pursuit of that dream. Make one decision, take one action, make one phone call, take one step.
Then I challenge them to do one thing every day, no matter how small it might be.
Maybe you can’t sell your house and become a beach-side tiki bartender in Hawaii tomorrow (my dream, of course), but you could do one thing today toward its accomplishment, like looking up what beach-side bartenders in Hawaii make each year. I’m sure it’s a fortune.
Almost every successful person I’ve ever read about — from great writers, actors, business people, and athletes know about the power of momentum. Once you have momentum, through small, daily habits, it actually becomes harder to stop than to keep going!
Don’t Break the Chain
Recently I asked one of my best friends, who runs 10 miles a week (12 next year), how he gets himself to hit the trail those days he doesn’t feel like running. He told me about a concept Jerry Seinfeld uses to get himself to write jokes every day.
At the start of the year Seinfeld gets a big yearly wall calendar — one of those big ones where you can see the whole year all at once. Then, every day that he writes, he puts a big red “X” over that day. After a few days, you have this really cool chain of “X’s” going right in front of your eyes, and after a few weeks you’ll like seeing that chain, and you won’t want to break it.
That’s it. Don’t break the chain. A great way to harness the power of momentum.Do you have a goal this year? You're going to need more than a resolution, you'll need momentum. Here's how. Click To Tweet
Seinfeld, like most successful people, understands that small daily actions get you where you want more often than big actions taken every once in a while. It also builds character, commitment, and positive habits that can be applied to every other area of life. And most importantly, momentum.
So we’re on the cusp of a brand new year. I’m not a huge fan of resolutions without a lot of forethought and planning. Making resolutions that don’t last just sets up a pattern of neuro-associations where “resolutions = failure,” and that “resolving to do something for me = doing it for a few weeks then giving up.” It’s important to break those kinds of patterns.
However, if you really know what you want and you know exactly why you want it and why it’s a “must” for you, then maybe it’s time to get that calendar this year and start a chain reaction of small, daily actions — actions that you can do and actually follow through on.
Maybe it’s the same action every day, like writing. Maybe for your results you will need to do something different everyday, like doing something that moves you toward being physically active, whether it’s 10 jumping jacks, just putting your running shoes next to your bed that day, or reading some pages from a book on exercise (my favorite one is The First 20 Minutes by Gretchen Reynolds).
Whatever it is — commit to do something every day — and then mark each day on the wall for all to see your beautiful chain.
I acknowledge this isn’t for everyone. And really, if you aren’t committed to what you want enough so that it’s a “must” for you, then maybe you should start there.
But for the rest, it’s the small, daily actions, that will build momentum, and momentum will get you across the finish line.