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How to Create Momentum When You are Just Getting Started

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor

Great job! You have just taken the plunge and started working towards a new goal, but now you wonder how you can create momentum.

Starting a new path can be daunting enough, but even more so when you think about sustaining your efforts and developing a plan.

Maybe you decided to take up a creative side hustle like writing, photography, or design. You put yourself out there with a project or two, got a client lined up, and proved to yourself you could do it.

You should take a moment and be proud, but then consider how you can keep building and make this even better!

This is where momentum comes into play! The goal is to increase the things that move you forward and decrease those that hold you back.

This sounds like a pretty basic concept, but many of us struggle to build the lives we dream of. It’s because we have all created habits and cycles that we need to overcome.

Momentum requires a lot of upfront work to get going because you are basically moving a giant boulder. However, once it rolls, and maybe even hits a bit of a slope, it is much easier!

Here are some things you can do to create momentum when you are just getting started.

“The most important thing you can do to achieve your goals is to make sure that as soon as you set them, you immediately begin to create momentum.” — Tony Robbins

Create momentum by recognizing your intentions

What are you looking for from this new start? How do you envision success? What will your day-to-day look like? These are all significant questions to ask so you can start figuring out a few more important things.

Ultimately, “intention” is about who you want to be and the life you want to have. How will this new start transform your relationships—what do you want them to look like in the future? How would you like to see your lifestyle change?

When I started writing online a few years ago, it was because it was what I had always wanted to be. I had lost myself in the management jobs I had for nearly 20 years. After adding a non-negotiable walk to my daily routine, I felt more connected to my desires for a different life. One where I didn’t work evenings and weekends or was scheduled during my children’s events.

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During those first few months of walking, I asked myself all the questions above. After about 3 months, I wrote my first article and published it on Medium. That first month I made $9, and I was thrilled! It wasn’t about the goals, it was about my “why.” It was all about the potential this could have in helping me bring about the vision of my future that I wanted.

“If it’s what you want to do, and it’s within yourself, then try to get momentum out of it to do it for the rest of your life.” — Jake Gyllenhaal

Momentum builds from being insightful and knowing yourself

Once I realized I was living a life that didn’t match what I wanted, and I had a clear intention of changing it, it was time to pick my method.

For me, it was writing, but for you, it could be anything! Once you have asked yourself all those questions from above, it should be a little easier to be insightful with yourself.

You know there is a problem—now you have a choice—you can fix it or you can stop complaining about it. That is really it. Now, fixing it might be hard, even painful, but those really are the only two options you have. Fix it or learn to embrace it.

What roadblocks do you foresee? Are you letting fear of something hold you back? Be honest with yourself about everything, and you will find that momentum becomes much easier. Again, it is increasing the things that move you forward while decreasing the things that hold you back—even if the thing holding you back is you!

If you are looking for a way to start a new career, then ask yourself what things you love to do. I love to read, other than writing it is my favorite thing to do! Did you know there is an entire market out there of people being paid to read and give feedback? Of course, there are professional editors, but I am just talking about test readers. I have been paid to read 8 different books in the last year!

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Who would have thought? You might be surprised about the opportunities that exist to do the things you love. However, you won’t even be able to explore the possibilities without doing some introspection and figuring out how you want to spend your time. Intention and insight are similar, but the nuances are important to creating that momentum you want to see in life.

“Build confidence and momentum with each good decision you make from here on out and choose to be inspired.” — Joe Rogan

Discover the things that drain you in order to build momentum

Now that you have realized the things that move you forward, it is time to take a moment and figure out what your emotional drains are. These could be distractions in your environment, physical things like lack of sleep, or emotional things like loneliness.

Identifying what these things are will help you come up with ways to combat them. If your environment makes you feel gloomy, add some light or music. If you are tired during the day, try going to bed earlier, or play some soothing sleep sounds at night to rest better.

Getting to the root of the things that drain you is just as important as knowing the things that motivate you. This will go a long way in helping you create momentum.

“Don’t get bogged down with all the details of how it’s going to come together. Just do the dishes. And watch the momentum build.” — Brian J. White

Implement your goals and ideas

You have a vision and a purpose. You have discovered what motivates you and what holds you back. Now, it is time to work on your goals and ideas!

Brainstorming is a fantastic way to generate new thoughts and ideas about where you can take your fresh path in the future. I started with writing on Medium but knew I would need more income streams to turn this into a viable option.

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Set some SMART goals and add your ideas to the mix. Make sure you are managing your time correctly. Part of building momentum means you have to be consistent in your efforts, even when you won’t see big rewards right away. Stay the course and adapt your goals and timelines if needed! But don’t give up!

“When you find yourself in the thickness of pursuing a goal or dream, stop only to rest. Momentum builds success.” — Suzy Kassem

Some final thoughts on building momentum

There are a few specific things you can do that will make creating momentum easier to practice daily. First, develop a morning routine. This will keep you on task and help you be productive. Plan out your day-to-day tasks in a calendar and prioritize them before you get started.

Next, focus on what habits you have that you might need to break. If that includes spending a lot of time on your phone checking social media, then help yourself by leaving your phone in a different room, or turning off notifications. If there is a habit that you find consistently drains your time, then discover a way to create a better habit.

Finally, take care of your physical and emotional health. This means eating a healthy diet, getting some exercise, and engaging in self-care. Keeping your body and mind in optimal condition will keep you fueled to do the work required to create momentum.

Even though you might just be getting started and building momentum sounds daunting, it is critical at this stage. Remember that boulder? It picks up speed once it is going and rolling down a hill, but it’s hard to budge and get started. The work you put in now will make all the difference in the long run!

Feel free to share any other tips you have for building momentum in the comment section below.

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