Do you have a health and fitness goal? If not, you should. You need to have a vision for your physical well-being. Without a focus, a direction for where you want to be 1, 5, 10, 20 years from now, you will probably not like the destination once you get there.
So how do I create the momentum to make it happen?
The concept of momentum fascinates me. For such a powerful force, momentum requires such a little spark to get started. You hear the word all the time in the sports world. A team can look totally devastated, with seemingly no hope of turning things around and overcoming their opponent. Then, a fumble, a diving catch for a touchdown, a long punt return…can totally change the direction of the game, and the team that was fighting an uphill battle suddenly finds the ball rolling downhill.
We all harness momentum in various ways, but sometimes it's difficult to really latch onto it when we need it most. Great athletes and musicians can do it on demand. The beauty is, momentum only needs a small spark to get you going, and all of us have the power to light that fire.
So how do you kick off the spark of momentum? Here are 10 simple ways to build weight loss momentum:
- Use what you know inspires you, even if it's trivial. It may sound or feel silly at first, but indulging your sense of inspiration to do great things can be a great catalyst for finding momentum. For me, I find tremendous inspiration in film (Chariots of Fire is my all time favorite, but others like Rocky, or We Are Marshall…the list goes on and on, can provide that spark). Remember, all you really need is a tiny spark to get momentum started. So if you have something that inspires you to reach for greatness, by all means, use it.
- Use the power of your senses to your advantage. We are sensory creatures, without question. We are moved by the things we see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. To build momentum, rather than being afraid of that last sense mentioned (taste), focus on capitalizing on the power of your senses. How? Here's an experiment: try focusing on the satisfaction of a single sense for a day. For example, decide for today that you are going to concentrate on noticing the beauty of visual things. Decide that today, you will savor the visual beauty around you above all other senses. You will find that if you focus on one sense for a day, it helps you retain focus in general. It helps you to head off that feeling of being "out of control" with your other senses. This sense of control can be empowering, which helps you to find the momentum for personal change that you're looking for. Again, it only needs to be a small spark. Be inspired by your senses.
- When it comes to weight loss, give yourself some credit. I hear it all the time from clients who are disappointed because they only lost half a pound this week. Believe me; I know that sense of frustration when you are expecting more. However, always remember: a loss is a loss – even if it's tiny. Take the credit for small progress. And then build on that with each small step. Building on small successes is how great things are often accomplished.
- Do one simple thing throughout the day. Example? Drink Water – but NOT because it's good for you. It is the most cliche tip in the weight loss world, but I am recommending it not for the health reason, but for something even simpler: Because it's easy. I'm a believer in small steps, and building momentum starts with small things. Decide that for today, "I am drinking my water."
- Get outside. I know personally that I tend to cash in on momentum in the wrong ways – and in the process, I sometimes stop it dead in its tracks; if I've got a writing block for example, I tend to sit in front of my desk, take my meals there, and generally shut out the outside physical world. BIG MISTAKE. I find the greatest personal momentum when I get outside and move through the physical world around me. And again, make it a small goal. This isn't about exercise, so much as it is about finding mental energy. Your goal should be to get outside for any length of time, and take credit for doing so.
- Hang out with like-minded individuals. If you want momentum, make sure the company that you keep wants you to succeed. Does that mean you need to hang out with fitness junkies? Not necessarily. If you have friends who are driven to achieve their goals, fitness or otherwise, you will find that momentum is contagious. Use it to your advantage.
- Use the power of physical manifestation. To kick off that spark of momentum, try this: Write down your goals, using a pen and paper, repeat that process several times, and then read each one out loud. For some reason, the physical act of putting pen to paper has a powerful influence on a lot of us. It is compounded by the physical act of repeating it, out loud. You don't have to yell it, although it might not hurt.If you feel your momentum slowing, do it again, all the way through. Write it down several times, and say it out loud. It gives you a sense of empowerment, and maybe helps us all to not take ourselves too seriously.
- Do something completely unrelated. This is the "fresh perspective" concept which essentially says that if you focus on something else, intently, for the purpose of completely forgetting about all of the messy wiring that builds around a big goal, that you will gain clarity when you return to that big goal. For me, this is accomplished with things like riding my bike. When I remember to do so, I stop and play for a little while, and then return to the task that is giving me trouble.
- Leave the TV off for a day. If asked, most of us would argue that we are not really influenced by television ads; the modern, jaded TV viewer really doesn't take notice of such mundane things, right? Not necessarily. The television, particularly commercial television, is a powerful influencer. There is a reason why large companies spend tens of millions of dollars on television ad campaigns. The goal is to inject the presence of their product or message into your mind – and for this, TV works incredibly well. The best ads are the ones that you think don't work. If the advertiser has convinced you to think about the concept that you have the power to decide over their ad, guess what? They're in your head. Mission accomplished. Think of it another way: If you wanted to kick off the spark of momentum to avoid fast food for example, would it make sense to purposely subject yourself to dozens and dozens of images created by very smart people whose sole goal is to stimulate cravings for foods you're trying to avoid?
- Don't think… DO. If you want to kick off momentum, thinking (as opposed to doing) is really your enemy. Don't spend a lot of time cogitating over how and what and where and when, just start. Begin NOW. World-class musicians and athletes have this trait in common: When they are on their game, they are not thinking about being on their game.
So can I do it? I'm gonna' give it a shot. Today, I am trying several of these techniques, including writing my objective down (and saying it out loud) (check), getting outside (next), and drinking water (check).
You try it, too!