How to Spot Momentum

Who doesn't want to feel like they're taking action and seeing results? "Momentum” is a popular topic in my coaching conversations these days. 

Momentum is defined as “the strength or force that something has when it is moving” and “strength or force gained my motion or by a series of events.”

Besides how to find it and how to keep it going, there's another less familiar aspect to momentum: how to recognize it when it’s happening. 

After a woman I’m coaching listed a number of accomplishments that are helping her reach her goals, she concluded by saying that she didn’t feel like she had any momentum.

Yet it all sounded like momentum. She knows what she wants. She set things in motion and saw results in just a few months. She's motivated by a clear “why” behind what she’s pursuing. She identifies goals and knows when she meets them. 

When she reflected on what she had told me, she realized that momentum was there. She just hadn't had time to realize it.

While you're busy doing, it can be hard to see momentum, even when it’s happening all around you.

Part of the challenge is that we think of momentum as a force that lives in all caps.

This momentum, Big Mo, is an attention-grabber. We see Big Mo when a friend tells us that she’s lost her extra weight or made a change in her career. We’re pleased that she’s met her goal and dazzled by the mission accomplished—because we’re focused on the results. From the outside, it can look like the change happened effortlessly.

Momentum also has a quiet side that registers with subtlety.

Little Mo may not get as much attention from other people and it can be a challenge to notice it for ourselves. This momentum knows that losing the weight is the result of hourly choices and a dedication to lifestyle changes. That the new job came about after making the decision to change jobs then embarking on, preparing for and enduring the search and then eventually stepping into the new role. 

Little Mo appreciates the discipline to make a change and the commitment needed to take small steps each day.

By acknowledging the less visible signs of momentum, it's easier to recognize the cumulative strength of your actions, that create a force, to keep you moving forward.

Practice: Momentum Awareness
To appreciate the momentum you’re building, try these mindful, awareness-building practices.

Encourage the tortoise. Slow and steady gets it done even though it’s not glamorous and may not offer immediate gratification. Give yourself credit for the incremental actions you’re taking.

Fine-tune your expectations. Check in with your assumptions. That way, you can be aware of any added pressures, whether it’s time, energy, money or something else. 

Give it time. Momentum doesn’t happen on demand. By definition, it accumulates through a series of events over time.

Make it visual. Put pen or pencil to paper to keep a record of what you're doing. Whether it’s a spreadsheet or a journal, you’ll use your brain in a different way to pay attention.

Sleep on it. Trying to make something happen can be exhausting, especially when there's change involved. Sleep gives your brain a chance to recharge so that you can see things in a new light.  

I help mindful and ambitious women get on a path to a career they love. We create momentum for taking action and for acknowledging your progress, to fuel more action. Are you ready to elevate your professional potential with concrete action and self-care? Check out my Services page to see how I can support you.