SpaceX rockets require gargantuan effort and massive amounts of energy to launch – 37 million horsepower, to be precise. Recall that the average locomotive takes 5,000 horsepower to start from a dead stop to overcome that inertia… this is the starting resistance.
But once that rocket is in flight, it requires a fraction of the energy to keep moving. That’s because what is called the “rolling resistance” is tiny compared to the starting resistance. And they are pretty darn hard to slow down too once cruising along on autopilot. A panic stop for one of GE’s 200+ ton locomotives is a half-mile because, as you know, objects resist change to their state of motion.
This power of momentum can be put to beneficial use by you, too, when you adopt and sharpen new patterns. The changes required to develop momentum toward any new and positive goal require an outsized effort in the beginning… especially if you are starting from a dead stop.
That’s why tailoring your lifestyle to support your most important “why” goals is vital. We are largely influenced by the people we surround ourselves with and the environment we create for ourselves – for better or for worse. This plays a significant role in whether we gain momentum toward our goals. Just a few small tweaks to your everyday routine can help you build your momentum in the right direction.
I can’t emphasize this enough: the best way to build momentum toward your goals is to craft them carefully, write them down, and re-visit them often. But you don’t need to draft a play-by-play of your day at the risk of creating so much structure that you cut off creativity and spontaneity. It’s enough to take a few minutes in your morning ritual to log your most important training and targets, your fueling plan, and any emotionally-challenging obstacles that may arise along the journey. (The upcoming Unbeatable Journal can help you stay on track with your daily ritual and goal planning.) This level of daily “thinking about your thinking” will help you develop serious momentum power on the way to your new, uncommon life.
Yanking on your workout clothes three to five days a week, committing to journaling nightly—these things require you to overcome that gargantuan “starting resistance.” But, once you’ve habituated the changes in routine and made them an indispensable part of your everyday rituals, you’ll be cruising along with little effort. You’ll feel the momentum and appreciate the progress as you become stronger and more energized. And you’ll be able to look back, thanks to your journaling practice, to see the progress and adjust course when necessary.
At this point, you’ll have developed what I call “momentum superpower.” That comes when all the hard work and effort of starting and sticking to the early stages of the work is behind you. At that point you will find it untenable, almost impossible, to stop. This momentum will carry you effortlessly and relentlessly from that first worthy target to even more lofty goals that become accessible to you because of your progress and new skills.