5 Tips to Create and Sustain Momentum

Did you start the autumn with new commitments to self-care, initiating a personal or professional project or breathing new life into a stalled initiative?  Many of us experience the start of the new academic year a bit like the start of the calendar year and we set new intentions or resolutions.  If you’ve been following me on social media you’re already aware that there is a whole third of 2021 still available to us! If you have things you’d love to be celebrating on 31 December 2021, get focused and get results!  Use these 5 tips to create and sustain momentum.

Pick a number now from 1-5 and make a note of it before you start.  I’ll tell you its significance at the end.

#1 Work with your breath

This is my favourite power move of all time!  We always have our breath with us, it’s free to use (!) and simply by tuning in to it, we can calm our nervous system and create space to think no matter what is going on around us. 

As kids, many of us were taught to take a deep breath and count to ten before reacting.  The advice here is the same!  So if you find yourself getting stressed, mind or heart racing, as you plan and take action on the results you’d love to be celebrating on 31 December, tune into your breath. 

Specifically, this is how I teach clients to work with the breath when you notice you are getting stressed or contracted:

  • breathe in slowly through the nose
  • pause at the top of the breath
  • breathe out slowly through the mouth like you’re blowing out through a straw.

And that’s it!  Three to five breaths like this will typically calm things down and you will have created a bit of space to think more clearly and make better choices and decisions.  We can use this breathing also in advance of a courageous conversation, to get ready to sleep, when deciding whether or not to eat something that’s tempting but we know we’d rather avoid.  Try it and let me know how you get on with it.

#2 The 5-minute power move

This is an exercise you can do, even during busy days, that will immediately relieve stress.  Maybe you can clear your desk, empty or rearrange a drawer in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom or office, or make a phone call to someone you’ve been meaning to thank or acknowledge. In 5 mins you can make the call or write the letter and it’s in the mail box and gone.  I’ve successfully used this move so many times, it is becoming a default move, especially on busy days when it feels like I’m back to back and there are way more tasks than time. 

Try this out!  Do it now before you read any more of this blog and notice the shift it creates in your energy because you took 5 minutes and moved your life forward in the direction of being the person you want to be.

On a workshop this week I gave this challenge to participants, some used the time to research a course they’re considering doing, another reached out to someone in their network for a meet up, another made a social media post – what’s your 5 minute power move today?

#3 Celebrate the Wins along the way

You’ve probably heard me say this many times if you’ve been reading my blogs for a while.  Most people postpone their victory celebration ’til the end is reached and this can lead to discouragement.  If you’re feeling some discouragement now ask yourself if you’ve been ignoring some of the progress, even just little baby steps, that you’ve made?

An example I shared from my Carrauntoohil climb was how important it was to celebrate the improvements from starting out walking 20 minutes a day last January, to building up to climb to the highest peak on my local hill range by Easter weekend, to climbing increasingly difficult climbs in the weeks building up to the Carrauntoohil climb in June.  All of those successes were celebrated along the way and they kept us motivated and enabled us to mark our progress and improvements.   Without that, it would have been very easy to just see the end climb as too ambitious and to give up.

If you want to change jobs or get a promotion, celebrating the wins along the way might be taking action to increase your visibility like going to a networking event or joining a working group; revising your CV, talking about your plans with a mentor or coach. 

The guidance here is to refuse to think about what you don’t have yet – that creates a lack mentality.  Focus on what you are accomplishing, celebrate that, every day!

#4 Surround yourself with people who lift you up

Find and support yourself with a partner in believing, a practice I encourage in my coaching programmes.  A partner in believing is someone who supports you in achieving your goals, in a very particular way.  Partners in believing always have your back, believe in the possibilities for you and hold you steady, to be your best, no matter what.

It is my belief that none of us can make dreams come true and create a life we love on our own. We are social beings and we need support to escape the heavy pull of our old lives and break through to the infinite possibilities of our dream lives.

I for one would not be where I am today without the enormous support and encouragement I received from my coaches and mentors and community every step of the way.  And I know that nothing will help you overcome challenges and create a life you love more than good people by your side and at your back.

In order to attract partners in believing we must be one! When was the last time you reached out to somebody and shared your belief in them?  Be that positive influence in other peoples’ lives – with work colleagues, friends, family members – be that supporter! Notice how you’re showing up when other people are sharing their dreams, ideas and goals with you. Are you someone who shuts ideas down in an effort to ‘be realistic’ or do you hold the vision for all the possibilities in that person’s life, irrespective of the challenges they may have to overcome?  Choose to be their cheerleader and you will start to attract the cheerleaders you’d love to have in your life.

When you do identify someone to be your partner in believing, remember mutuality is key.  These are the qualities to look for and to put into the relationship

  • Partners share an equal commitment to each other’s growth and realization of each other’s goals and vision – the purpose of the relationship is to support each other to grow so that each person can actualize their gifts and greatness.
  • Partners amplify and energize each other by reflecting who they are BECOMING as opposed to who they are in the present or who they have been in the past.
  • Partners freely and generously share resources, inspiration, support and accountability, recognizing that by doing so there is a larger field of power from which to source their own growth and success also.

#5 Work with a Mentor or Coach

One of the things all successful people have is a coach or mentor, someone who champions them and keeps them going even when they are feeling challenged themselves. It’s a form of Partner in Believing.  They support you in believing in possibilities and can provide you with guidance, a structure of support and a push when you need it! They see the power in you to succeed no matter what and help you shine a light on what’s getting in your way in terms of the patterns and paradigms that hold you back.  And they help you stay accountable. 

So that could be someone like me but it doesn’t have to be! You might have mentoring options through your work, a professional body, or there may be networks in your locality that would provide such support. 

Find a coach or mentor who works for you and experience the difference it makes yourself.  Make sure they have a track record of success in the area you want support and that they care about you and your results.  Know that as you gain clarity and create momentum towards your vision, it is matched by resistance within you: the limiting self-talk and ineffective habits that keep you stuck.  The tools here today will help you push through that and find new ways of being, doing and living the life you’d love.  A mentor or coach can simply make that transition easier and quicker and increase your likelihood of success.

If you know you’d love to have that kind of coaching support now, reach out here and book a complimentary strategy session with me, an hour long session to clarify your vision and identify the role coaching could play in supporting you to achieve that vision with more ease and speed.

Which of these five strategies is the critical one for you right now?  What was that number you chose at the start of the blog?  The strategy that corresponds with that number is the  most powerful one for you to start with… When can you make progress on it?  Remember the 5-minute power move here!  Make that move now and you’re building momentum already.

Also FYI, bookings are now open for the autumn Vision Workshop, Saturday 9 October, 10am – 4pm.  Details and Bookings here

Image Source: Drew Beamer via Unsplash