“Enthusiasm is the energy and force that builds literal momentum of the human soul and mind.” — Bryant H. McGill
Now, you might be wondering why is it so important that I get my first highest priority thing done first?
Why can’t I put it off to a bit later once my day is going and I’m caffeinated and I’ve got my phone calls out of the way?
This is why. What we’re talking about is the power of momentum.
Momentum is an incredibly powerful force on planet earth, and it works just as well in nature as it does in your own life.
What momentum really does for people is it creates what I call a positive pressure in your life.
For example, let’s put these priority tasks and all these things to the side for a minute and talk about something very basic in life.
I’ve used this example personally. I know other people that have as well. Ritual of flossing. You want to become somebody who flosses every single day. It’s a tiny little habit. It doesn’t take all that much time to complete.
But so many people struggle remembering to do it every day. Maybe they do it a couple times a week, they do it on a Monday and a Thursday and then they forget the rest of the time.
Then they go in for their dental checkup and that’s when they wish they’d done it more frequently.
Well, I remember putting the power of momentum into play for this very simple ritual of flossing.
All I did was for the course of three days, I forced myself to floss. I set reminders, I had a little thing on my phone, I had a number of different strategies in place to make sure that I forced myself, no matter what, before going to bed, for three straight days, I was going to floss no matter what.
We can all do that to a degree, especially when it comes to flossing. How hard is that to really follow through on something like that?
But here’s what I noticed what happened.
At the end of the third day, it had already become something that I was proud of. It had become something that I realized, wow, this is really not all that difficult. An extra minute in my evening ritual, and I’m incorporating a success habit, a health habit, that I want to have anyways, that I simply forget to do a lot of the time.
By the end of the third day, it was starting to become part of my momentum.
When the fourth evening hit, this little pressure sort of hit my brain, even though it was no longer in my reminder set in my calendar anymore, this pressure kind of activated in my brain saying, you’ve already got three days going here. Let’s make it a fourth.
I did not want to break the streak.
And that’s what I’m talking about with positive pressure. You can start building a momentum in your life for all the positive habits that you want to create, simply by forcing yourself to execute on it for a small number of times.
This could be something like going to the gym or going for a run every day. Sometimes it’s even just starting your run. I’m going to run to the first stop sign and see what happens. Very often, just getting there, you say, well, I’ve already gotten this far. Let’s see how far I can go now.
There are plenty of examples of this that happen in your life all the time, and it’s simply the power of momentum taking you over. Over and over and over again.
This is exactly why priorities are so important.
When you execute priority number one and you complete it, you’ve set yourself up for a momentum of productivity so that the rest of the items on your task list, on your priority list, are going to be far easier to complete because you are now in an energy or flow of momentum that you deliberately created, knowing exactly how this would impact your life.
Here is exactly what I’m going to suggest you do right now if you want to put this into play, and actually if you want to experience the power of momentum in your life, over and above the exercises we’ve talked about here.
Pick a small habit. Something you can implement starting today. You could use my dental floss example. It could be anything that doesn’t require a whole lot of thought or effort. It’s simply something you have to remember to do.
Implement it today, implement it tomorrow and implement it on the third day. See what happens on the fourth day. Just run this experiment for yourself and see how that positive pressure kicks in.
See the fact that you will want to execute this new habit on the fourth day, simply because you don’t want to break the streak.
And obviously you’ve done this, you’ve picked a habit that you want to have in your life anyway, so there’s really no reason to stop doing this at all.
Plan to keep going anyway, but study your mindset. Study what happens to you with the positive pressure that gets created when you choose to embrace the power of momentum.