Do you lose your momentum often?
Like you have short bursts of productive days and then you lose your edge, and then you have to motivate yourself all over again?
This was my life in a nutshell.
But after years of being obsessed with becoming a more productive and motivated person, I’ve learned a few tricks to keep the momentum going.
I’ll share the no-bullshit tricks to hack your momentum today.
If this article doesn’t hack your momentum, feel free to leave this blog forever. I promise this will be worthwhile.
Once and for all let’s beat this pumpkin face.
FIRST… WHAT THE HECK IS MOMENTUM?
If you already know what hustle momentum is, then you can skip this part. Or just read it for some free motivation.
Momentum is the force that keeps you motivated and purely action-oriented on a day-to-day basis, indefinitely.
It’s the stage of productivity where you don’t have to exert much effort to get the activation energy going.
You wake up and boom you’re ready hustle just like that. No second thoughts. No ifs. No can I’s. You just get up at start executing your routine.
You’re not wasting precious energy to get started, because you’re already on the move every day.
As you’re not wasting energy just to get the momentum started, you have high energy levels to create quality output on whatever work you’re doing.
So, how can we hack momentum?
1. ENERGY IS EVERYTHING
By energy I don’t mean the woo woo energy. Well, indirectly, that will affect you as well but you don’t have to think about this right now.
I mean pure physical energy.
I mean… not being freaking tired.
If there’s one thing that you should remember from this post, this is it.
You MUST keep up above-average energy levels to maintain momentum.
There’s a rare percentage of people who were born with higher energy. They can eat processed sugary food. They can ignore all the health tips. And they still freaking hustle like madmen.
I’m not one of them.
And if you’re reading this blog post, then you’re not one of them either.
There’s a way to enhance our bodily energy like these beasts but that’s a topic for another article.
For now, and for purposes of enhancing our ability to maintain momentum, we have to realize that physical energy is crucial.
What do I mean by that?
I mean, if you eat that piece of cake AND eat those french fries, you will lose your physical edge in a few hours or in the the coming days.
The effects of processed unhealthy food can hit today, tomorrow or in two days. But they will hit you. And you will get fatigued, and you will wonder why the heck you’re tired.
I also mean, if you’re sedentary the whole day… you will lose your momentum sooner or later. This is because being sedentary for too long blocks your body in operating its regenerative processes to keep you at the optimal state.
You must be standing or moving to improve blood flow, to get the lymphatic system flowing to detox your organism, to improve cardiovascular performance and better oxygenate your tissues and cells etc etc.
Avoiding too long stretches of sitting or lying down is crucial for keeping up optimal physical energy.
The health topic is too huge to cover here, but try to follow these tips:
- Cut on processed and sugary foods
- Avoid being sedentary too long (I sit only when eating)
- Eat properly (chew well, eat only when hungry, don’t overeat, eat joyfully)
- Keep hydrated
- Don’t cut on sleep, but don’t oversleep either.
- Work out so that you sweat at least once a week for body detox
- Bonus tip: always breathe through your nose and don’t over-breathe because you’re wasting too much CO2 which is critical in actually transporting oxygen from red blood cells to the tissues and cells throughout the body (the healthiest people breathe the least and vice versa)
I will be covering the health topic extensively in the Maximizing Energy category.
2. GET CLEAR ON YOUR PRIORITIES
Every day and every hour you must be clear about your priorities.
Proper planning and strategy is the prerequisite for having daily clarity and maintaining momentum.
You have to be clear on what your vision is.
You have to be clear on your short-term goals which lead to your vision.
You have to be clear on the specific tasks you have to do to achieve those goals.
You have to have a clear schedule and routine.
There’s types of people who prefer flexibility over strict schedules and that’s fine too. But you need at least some resemblance of order even it might be only setting up workdays for work and weekend for leisure.
Here’s a huge motivation hack:
Have a HUGE vision and small goals.
Almost everybody fails at this. I’ve failed at this for such a long time as well.
But I’ve learned in time that our goals MUST be realizable.
This is critical in building your confidence and motivation. The reason is the Expectancy theory. The theory suggests how important our expectation of our success is for creating motivation. If you expect to win because you know the goal is achievable, you will have higher motivation.
There’s so many people who lose confidence and get discouraged after setting up difficult goals and not being able to realize them.
You MUST make your goals realizable. How do you do it? Make small goals. Even the most successful people started small.
Don’t try to read 100 pages per day but set a goal to read 10 pages.
Don’t try to exercise for 1 hour every day, but exercise 10 minutes every day.
The goal has to be so easy so that you can’t fail.
The thing is, you’ll always end up doing more than that.
This is how you build momentum.
And you get to build your confidence and motivation to create bigger and bigger goals. But you MUST start small if you’re just starting out.
Your vision is the version of your life and yourself that you want to have in long term future. How do you want to be in 30 years? What kind of impact do you want to have on the community and the world? How does your day look?
Couple big vision with smaller goals for perfect motivation balance.
If you have trouble getting clarity for your tasks, then try to apply the Pareto principle a.k.a the 80/20 rule.
The rule is simple: 20% of our activities create 80% of the results. This principle is present over many different disciplines and scenarios. They will also hold true for your success and happiness.
20% of the activities should give you the most return on joy and productive results.
In this sense, rather than adding up many tasks, try to cut tasks that don’t serve your goals and KPIs (key performance indicators).
For this, you first need to have specific goals.
If you have a clear goal, then it will be easy to identify your tasks as well.
3. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Why is tracking progress important?
Dopamine is the motivation hormone.
Dopamine is the brain chemical that provides us pleasure each time we do something satisfying.
It’s also what drives you to do stuff.
In today’s world, dopamine has a very bad rep. That’s because dopamine is involved in all addictions from drugs, video games, even digital addictions such as getting more likes in your social media profile or mindless surfing for the next interesting content in your feed.
If you have difficulties with motivation it’s because your dopamine system is f*****d up.
In more proper terms… your dopamine receptors are desensitized. They became desensitized because of all the EASY (instantaneous and easily accessible) dopamine hits you receive from social media, processed fast food and other sources of addictions. The result is that you need higher stimuli to feel the same level of satisfaction.
This is the reason you’d rather Netflix and chill then read a non-fiction book to improve your life.
This is the reason you stopped feeling the joy from little things in life.
The first step is to overcome any addiction you might have. This is a huge topic and I’ll be writing about this as well. You can start by browsing subreddits related to your addiction. They’re helpful.
For now, even just having the awareness that your dopamine system is rigged will be helpful.
Let’s get back to the reason we want to track our progress toward our goals.
Every time you achieve small daily goals, you get a hit of dopamine. With each hit, you get more motivation and confidence to pursue further goals.
The big exciting vision also serves as a motivation.
You must write down your daily achievements either by ticking off your do-do list or by writing in your journal.
And you must be able to see your day-to-day improvements to actually feel the progress over long-term.
This is why 90-day goals are so effective. (But it’s better to start with 7 days and then try 14 days and then 30 days… remember small goals?) You get to see your daily streak and they’re important for building momentum because you won’t like to cut the streak after you get the ball rolling.
If you want my personal help to set up your tracking system then message me on Instagram. I’m doing a combination of note-taking and Habitica daily task tracking.
4. LEARN TO SAY NO
This is huge.
I know you’re a kind hearted person who doesn’t like declining people.
We’re all like this, unless you’re a psychopath.
People are social creatures and for millions of years we have lived in small packs where trust and care was critical.
This is also why public speaking is scary.
We’re afraid of rejection because rejection would mean exile from our small community of safety.
This is also why we’re afraid to say no.
It’s just so painfully hard to reject people.
I still struggle with this, but it gets easier with time.
To get better at this, you must be clear on your vision, your goals and your priorities.
I’ve researched this topic a lot because I hated saying no and this is the only tip I really implemented.
Set up a time period where you’re not doing the specific activity. For example, if you’re writing a new book and people ask you for interviews, tell them that you’ve stopped your interview activities until the end of the year. It’s the same with any other requests. If people ask you to hang out, tell them that you’re not hanging out for some period of time because you’re working on your project.
Just remember to be direct, polite and honest.
I know it’s difficult to say “no” to people, especially friends. But you have to honest with yourself, and more so if you really NEED the quiet time for whatever purposes.
You might be emotionally exhausted and need some private time or you might need longer stretches of quiet for maintaining creative output.
Whatever the reason, sooner or later you have to start being authentic with yourself (and others) if you want to reach the next level and maintain strong momentum.
TO SUM UP
Maintaining momentum is difficult skill to master.
But it is a critical component of success.
If you’ve read the whole post, then you have it in yourself to master this skill.
Get that energy going and start executing on your goals.
It has been a long post so here’s a quick summary of the main points:
- ENERGY IS EVERYTHING (You must maintain above-average physical energy levels)
- GET CLEAR ON YOUR PRIORITIES (You must have a clear vision, clear goals and tasks)
- TRACK YOUR PROGRESS (You must have a written form of your tasks and goals and vision so that you can see and FEEL your progress)
- LEARN TO SAY NO (It’s difficult, but you need to start saying “no” so that you can say “yes” to your goals and positive vision)
Every time you lose your momentum, come back to this post and check where you’re failing.