Maintaining Your Momentum
Momentum can be difficult to build. We sometimes have to work for years to build enough momentum to be noticed by anyone other than ourselves. But the great thing about momentum is that once it's built, it is almost impossible to stop! What I want to share with you is how powerful a force momentum can be if we can maintain it.
During a conversation with PoundingtheRock.com‘s Editor-In-Chief, J.R. Wilco, I mentioned that I was working on an article about momentum. He introduced me to the Stone Cutter's Credo. The best way for me to share that story with you is to have you read it yourself. In its own way, the Stone Cutter's Credo embodies the importance of maintaining your momentum.
When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it… Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before
– Jacob Riis.
We don't always get the satisfaction of seeing immediate results for our actions. Often our hard work doesn't bear fruit until the very end, long after we thought it should. Our momentum must be maintained until the very end if we're going to get the satisfaction that we're looking for. As you may have been told as a child, slow and steady wins the race.
If you have momentum, the good news, the great news even, is that you're already moving! Now that you are going strong, you must focus on maintaining your momentum. As John Maxwell wrote in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, “When you have momentum, you don't worry about small problems, and many larger ones seem to work themselves out.” Once we have momentum, we must work hard to keep it.
Here are 3 things you can do to maintain your momentum:
1: Have a rigorous routine. Every morning I pour myself a cup of coffee, grab one of the books I'm reading, and get to work. My routine is rigorous but I can see my efforts paying off. A few years ago, my wife decided to go back to school. For the past several years, she's had a rigorous routine of studying, practicing her skills, and going to class while still working. She'll be able to see the results of her actions when she's done later this year!
Whatever you're working on, whether your focus is on getting a promotion, starting your own business, losing weight, or something else, you must have a rigorous routine and you must stick with it until the goal is achieved.
2: You have to pound the rock. Just as you just read in the Stone Cutter's Credo, you may not see any immediate results. For example, it took me over a year to get more than twenty-five followers on Twitter. Like I wrote in my article about Jeremy Lin, you may have to prepare and practice for months or even years before you get your big break. But it will be so rewarding to finally see your dreams realized!
Sometimes that delayed gratification is the best kind of reward. Whatever your goal, you have to keep pounding away at it; day by day, every day. To maintain your momentum, you must keep pounding the rock.
3: Remember the flywheel. If you haven't read it already, Jim Collins' book Good to Great needs to be on your reading list. As Collins studied what made companies successful and what transformed them from good to great, he noticed a pattern emerging. These “great companies,” as he called them, had many things in common. Specifically, they all followed the flywheel concept which says that the actions that eventually lead us to success, start off being very difficult. Those actions only get easier as we continue to do them. Getting up early in the morning, exercising, reading, studying, and practicing, are all ways you may already be employing the flywheel concept.
The funny part is, when you've achieved what you want to achieve, from the outside looking in you'll be an “over night success.” Your friends, peers and family, will wonder how you achieved your goals “all of a sudden.” They most likely won't realize that you've been working hard and maintaining your momentum this entire time.
Lastly, you have to remember to keep your head up and stay focused on the end goal. You don't win a game all at once. Success is a process, not a destination. Whether you're trying to graduate from school, finish a long project at work, win a championship, or chisel a piece of stone, you cannot stop now! If you give up now, everything you've done up until this point will be for nothing. Don't let that happen. Maintain your momentum and you will achieve your goals!
Question: What keeps you going and helps you maintain your momentum? Share your encouragement with me in the comments below by clicking here.