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Achieving your goals - momentum

In the fourth part of our 'achieving your goals' series, lifestyle coach Effie Parnell-Hopkinson explains how to stop ‘trusting the process” and build momentum for long-term change.

If you wait until you are ready to start making progress, then you will be waiting for the rest of your life. This is particularly common when you go about setting fitness, health and diet goals – purely because it isn’t easy! The end results and the glorified ‘after’ pictures you see on social media are far more appealing compared to the amount of work that it takes to get there. You may never be ‘ready’ – so the best time to start is always now.

If you are finding it challenging getting started, what you may be lacking is drive. Read on to learn how to discover your drive, get started and make valuable progress!

What's your drive?

Success has many opponents: time, inexperience, fatigue, poor mindset and lack of confidence. However, upon the discovery of the fact you do have to concentrate your efforts on exercising more regularly and watching your diet, what do you do? You just wait. You wait until tomorrow, until Monday, until next month, until you’ve been paid, but nothing is more damaging to your goals than inertia and the thing that you are lacking is drive.

Drive is the juice, it is the love of the work, it’s not going out with your friends, it’s exercising when you said you were going to exercise, it’s preparing healthy meals when it would just be easier to get fast food, it’s failing and standing back up again, and again, and again. When find your drive, it’s all or nothing. Once you’ve found your drive, it is up to you to build your routine and develop habits that will move you closer to your goals.

How to discover your drive?

The best thing you can do to discover your drive is to think back to why you started your health or fitness journey in the first place. What was the thing which made you feel you needed to do something? What are you trying to change and why? What would have happened if you did nothing? Asking yourself these questions every time you feel you are lacking in drive will help to push forwards to achieving better health.

Building momentum

At some point in our lives, we are all told to ‘trust the process’ and that ‘all good things come to those who wait’, i.e., inertia. Inertia is defined as the tendency to do nothing or remain unchanged. How can we expect change to happen or move closer to our goals if we are doing nothing about it? Remaining in inertia will never work and patience will undoubtedly take away your hopes of achieving your goals and reaching success.

Accepting that it takes a long time to accomplish things is completely different to letting things play out. It is vital to understand the difference between patience and recognising that achieving big goals takes time, so you must play the long game. This is where momentum comes in. Generating momentum is the key to overcoming inertia and generating a positive, forward movement. Some people believe that momentum is the act of putting in 100% effort, relentlessly, all day every day however this is simply not true. It is far more rewarding and educational to take 100 small steps in 1 direction than it is to take 1 big step in 100 different directions.

The most important aspect of momentum is persistence. It does not matter about achieving big things every day, it is about achieving little things repeatedly over time, keeping your head in the game and remaining focussed, no matter how big or small the progress. Small progress in the right direction is progress.

Determination

If you have determined exactly what you want to achieve with your health and fitness goals, set out the path to get there through creating mini-goals, established the source of your motivation and have adopted a “no excuses” mindset through taking ownership and responsibility of your actions, then you are already beginning to generate momentum. The key is keeping it going is through persistence.

Remember, your skills will grow and evolve simultaneously. Whilst at first it may be hard to concentrate on improving, over time, and through the continuous effort of layering your skills and mindset, they will all work together to create drive and momentum.

The drive that will get you out of bed in the morning to exercise, the drive that will help you choose healthy foods over calorie-laden foods, or the drive pushes you through the last mile of your run. All of which generate the momentum that keeps you going no matter what. This is how you will create long-term sustainable, healthy, and positive changes to your life.