Momentum — Why It’s Important & How To Get It

Like you, I love motivational and inspirational quotes. The most important quote I live by comes from Tony Robbins and goes a little something like this:

“Progress Equals Happiness” — Tony Robbins

Simple enough, right? But what is progress? To me, it’s momentum. It’s moving forward every day on something (or a few things) that are really important to you.

It’s when you can string 30, 60, 90 or 365 days of seemingly small progress together, step back and say “man, I’ve made HUGE progress on that”.

Progress is the one thing we all want and need to stay happy consistently. But the other two parts of the equation are patience and momentum.

I’ve written about patience before.

Today I want to talk about momentum.

I believe with everything in life, you’re always either moving forwards or backwards. You’re never standing still. And if you are standing still, other people are passing you by, so technically you’re going backwards.

So why is having forward momentum important? Well, a few reasons:

  1. You’re happier and in a better mood when you feel like you’re making progress on something that’s important to you
  2. Forward momentum creates more forward momentum (think about a snowball rolling down a hill)
  3. Other people see your progress and want to experience that in their lives too, so you end up motivating those around you

But how do you achieve forward momentum constantly? I believe the answer comes down to a few minutes of concentrated focus at the beginning of every day, as well as the right metrics to measure your forward momentum.

For me, I start every day by asking myself:

  • What am I doing today to make progress on each of my goals?
  • How can I get/keep forward momentum on that?
  • How can I track that momentum?

Right now my primary focuses are:

  • Launching a new company
  • Hiring for various roles (3 at the moment)
  • Planning a huge family vacation
  • Getting below 15% body fat

So when I wake up in the morning, I “check in” with myself and ask the questions above. Here’s an example for getting below 15% body fat:

  • What am I doing today to make progress on getting below 15% body fat? I have a 1pm heavy lifting workout scheduled in my calendar for today, my meals are ready to go and are designed around my macros and caloric intake. I’ll also drink nothing but water and Organifi.
  • How can I get/keep forward momentum on that? Every workout I’ll either lift heavier or reduce time between sets, plus I know ahead of time if I have any lunch/dinner meetings, what’s on the menu and whether or not I will indulge (depending on if it’s an off day).
  • How can I track that momentum? I’ll weigh myself on Monday morning and adjust my food / exercise depending on whether I’m making progress towards my goal of 15% body fat by Dec 1st.

Nothing too complicated right? By doing this every day for the goals that are important to me, I almost guarantee I have constant forward momentum.

The key with forward momentum is to be short signed. Plan day-by-day. Don’t think about next month, quarter or year. Aim to string multiple days of forward momentum together. That soon becomes months and years.

If you feel like you’re going backwards or aren’t achieving your goals at a rate that you want to, give this simple daily process a try. I’ve been using it for years and it’s never failed me.

Join over 25,000 smart founders on my email list and get one new post sent to you each week.

About Mitchell Harper

Mitch is a 7x company founder, advisor and investor. He is best known as the co-founder of BigCommerce. His companies have generated over $200,000,000 in total revenue and he is currently building an online education company and a SaaS company.

Read his story or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.