Get Momentum (2016) guides you through simple yet effective strategies to work sustainably toward your personal and professional goals. From managing time in the short and long term to monitoring progress, modifying your approach, and celebrating little victories along the way, these blinks outline the keys to gaining and maintaining motivation.
About the author:
Jodi and Jason W. Womack are a husband-and-wife team with 20 years of business consultancy experience through their firm, The Jason Womack Company. Jason is a business leader and coach specializing in time management, motivation, and personal and professional development. Jodi is an activist for women in business and the founder of No More Nylons’s women’s business network.
Choose what you want to be known for and start keeping track of your progress:
Significant accomplishments are made possible through motivation. So, what should you do if you have big ambitions but lack the drive to achieve them?
Although most motivational speakers advise you to care less about what people think, pursuing a particular reputation can be a great motivator. This was the situation for one of the authors, Jodi, who regularly met with other female leaders in her field. Unfortunately, these gatherings were not empowering, as the women were more likely to discourage than support each other.
Jodi soon understood that she wanted to be remembered as a woman who encouraged her female colleagues, not just a successful businesswoman. This inspired Jodi to create No More Nylons, a social and professional network for women to interact, collaborate, and support one another to succeed in a male-dominated corporate world. After figuring out who she wanted to be, Jodi found the inspiration she needed to start a new endeavor. But she employed another motivational tool: progress tracking, to keep committed and focused.
We keep going because we see signs that we’re getting closer to our goals. Jodi’s purpose was to assist as many females as possible in supporting one another. She kept track of her progress by counting the number of women who attended each meeting, which gave her a sense of how quickly her project was expanding. Jodi was moved by seeing how many women were joining through No More Nylons.
Nonetheless, she had to make a conscious effort to pause and examine her progress; otherwise, it would go unnoticed. It’s crucial to take time to reflect on and celebrate your achievements along the way if you want to keep your spirit up. So, if you intend to launch a new product, take the time to acknowledge and celebrate every step along the way, from coming up with a winning design to perfecting your prototype to finding your first loyal consumers. For these moments, keep a bottle of champagne on hand – hard work is impossible without a bit of fun once in a while!
Mentors and role models can provide you with motivation and practical advice:
It’s vital to have someone around to give you a little push when you need to keep the momentum that gets you your goals. This individual is your mentor or role model. They won’t badger you to keep trying when you’re ready to give up; instead, they’ll motivate you by inspiring you with their own work.
Jason, the author, was inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s life and work and devoured literature about them. Franklin was not only a remarkable inventor and natural scientist, but he was also a key figure in the formation of the United States of America.
Franklin didn’t just happen to have an extraordinary life; he was also an expert in productivity and self-improvement. He designed a set of guidelines to ensure lifelong learning and his own pros and cons chart to help decision-making. Franklin taught Jason a lot, and he still quotes him now.
While Jason was unable to spend time with Benjamin Franklin due to time inconvenience, to say the least, you may be fortunate enough to find a decent role model or mentor in your own area. It’s time to start networking if you can’t think of anyone you know.
Conferences are an ideal location to begin your quest for a mentor. If you meet someone you believe would be a good mentor, simply ask them if they’d be willing to mentor you — you have nothing to lose! Smaller meet-ups and other social events, such as Jodi’s No More Nylons, can also help you find prospective mentors.
You might even discover methods to connect with influential or well-known people outside of your close circle. Prepare to have your commitment tested in such situations. When you ask for particular counsel rather than broad suggestions, you’re also much more likely to obtain a response.
Break down the major goals into smaller projects with regular checkpoints:
We previously discussed the importance of savoring your accomplishments along the way. You’ll need to be strategic about how you designate your milestones if you want to get the most out of this technique’s motivational potential.
Begin by putting together a timetable for your long-term project, which should include multiple subprojects or substantial and clearly defined milestones that may be met every 30 days or so. These can then be divided into 90-day work cycles with three milestones to be completed within that time.
Let’s go back to the product launch example earlier. The three critical milestones of finishing your final design, constructing your first prototype, and conducting rounds of testing might be completed in a single 90-day work period. After that, in the subsequent 90-day work period, you’ll be up for three more milestones. This way, you’ll always have something to strive for and a path to follow, making even the most daunting endeavors appear manageable.
The 30/30 and 90/90 rules will also assist you in maintaining your momentum. The 30/30 rule is helpful if you’ve ever felt that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get your initiatives off the ground. When you’re focusing on one stage of a project, the next one can feel increasingly intimidating as it advances.
If you work 30 uninterrupted minutes per day for the next 30 days before getting started on the next milestone, you’ll have put in a total of 15 hours by the time you start fully working. This will ensure that, even if you’re juggling a day job and family obligations, you’ll always be able to go on with your project.
The 90/90 rule is another valuable tool for individuals who find themselves lost in the middle of undertakings. Invest 90 minutes on the first working day of each month, looking at tasks that are 90 days away, assessing what needs to be done in the meantime, and making progress where appropriate. This will allow you more breathing room down the road if you encounter unexpected issues or minor nuisances.
Watch your progress closely to pinpoint crisis earlier:
Even if we meticulously plan our 90-day work cycles and adhere to the 90/90 rule, we can still make mistakes. For example, you might find you’re entirely off course just a week before a major deadline. What is the most effective approach to avoid this unpleasant surprise? You may track your progress toward your goals by looking for minor indicators that show how well you’re doing.
Let’s pretend you’re preparing to run a marathon. Each week of training offers you various signs to help you determine how on track you are, ranging from the number of miles per run and running days per week to the number of days you slept well and ate well.
Consider how each of these signs should appear as you approach each project milestone and keep an eye on these crucial indications to see if a loss of momentum develops into a problem. To help you track these signs and map your progress, you can use posters, a whiteboard, or sticky notes to make things more visual.
Keep in mind, though, that you won’t be able to monitor everything. Excessive monitoring may appear gratifying at first, providing the idea that you have a firm grasp of all the factors affecting your production. The natural changes that occur when keeping watch of minute details, on the other hand, may disappoint you and divert your attention away from far more vital signs.
Conduct research to determine which indicators provide the most information about the status of your project; these should be evaluated regularly. You’ll save time and energy down the road by cutting crises in the bud if you keep up a good routine of tracking your progress.
When you hit a rough patch, don’t give up; instead, make changes:
The ability to modify is the final tool in your motivational arsenal, which is, in other words, the ability to change your approach when you realize something isn’t working.
When we encounter difficulties with our projects, it’s all too easy to give up on them. You’ll be able to find alternative routes to your goal that you’ve never seen before if you fight this desire and learn to alter alternatively. The modification does not imply changing your overarching goals; rather, it entails changing your tactics to get there.
Assume you’re training for a marathon next month and plan to run 10 miles once a week. You decide to run a marathon in two months instead of realizing that your most significant distance is only 7.5 miles. Rather than pushing your body to its limits or abandoning the marathon altogether, you can maintain your momentum by adjusting your plan to give yourself a little more time.
Nevertheless, resist the need to change too many things at once – when it comes to change, less is more. Giving yourself more time to train is a great reason to increase your marathon pace, but it doesn’t mean you should start changing your sleeping patterns or calorie intake. Begin with one minor alteration, and if you don’t see an improvement after a few weeks, try another. The better your monitoring system is, the easier it will be to identify areas that need to be improved.
Overall else, keep in mind that making changes to your plan or timeframe isn’t an indication of failure. You’re simply keeping up your momentum as you work toward your most essential objectives.