The connection between motivation and momentum

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

The connection between motivation and momentum

Do you know why good habits need some time before they can be developed?
Its because you need to build some momentum that can keep you going.

When you do a new task once or twice you are very likely not to feel motivated to do it again but as you keep doing it the momentum you will gain will turn into a motivational force that will help you sustain the task.

I want you to do the following experiment. Go to your untidy desk then pick few items and put them back in place. Most probably you will find that you are eager to put everything thing back in its place even though you planned to only move few items.

This is exactly what is meant by momentum, the motivational energy you gain after committing to a new habit for sometime.

Momentum, motivation and habits

The more you keep doing that same task the more powerful your momentum will be. That's why it becomes hard to break a good habit after you keep doing it for sometime.

If you have been brushing your teeth each morning since 5 years then you will get a very powerful unpleasant feeling the day you don't brush your teeth.

Now there a point that most procrastinators don't understand which is that they have to commit to their good habits even if they were not motivated until their momentum builds up.

Procrastinators always wait for the right mood and for feelings of motivation to come forgetting that motivation might not come if they didn't gain momentum by making effort even if they don't feel like it. (see also How to stop procrastinating)

Momentum and bad habits

Just like momentum builds up after doing good habits it builds up after doing bad habits as well. If you failed to control your anger few times on a certain day then you are very likely to get angry whenever the slightest thing happens on that day.

If you failed to put an end to your anger then your momentum will control you and you will enter a closed loop of anger.

for example you might fight with someone who did something that didn't use to bother you before just because of the anger momentum you acquired.

The time required to build momentum

so here is the conclusion, whatever the task you keep doing you will gain a motivational force that will help you sustain it. Of course this force doesn't appear unless you commit to the task for sometime.

The time required to gain momentum differs from a person to another and from a task to another. While it might take you few month before you can develop momentum for exercising it can take you few minutes of anger to stay angry all day.

The advice i have for you is, Learn how momentum works and make use of it wisely.

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