Building Momentum With Small Wins


During my latest trip out to California, I found myself in a conversation with some friends about momentum.

When it comes to building a creative business, I don’t know if this is the case for everyone, but for me at least, there seems to be a kind of rhythm to things. You can almost feel when things are slowing down or speeding up. Lately I’ve sensed them speeding up, and the momentum has left me feeling more inspired and driven than ever.

But where exactly does that momentum come from? And how can YOU start to feel it too? 

Imagine this: you’re tasked with the seemingly impossible feat of moving a huge wrecking ball. (Don’t worry, in this visual, Miley is NOT on top of the wrecking ball.) 

If you were going to try and move this wrecking ball, would you run full speed at it and hope that your one-hit force sends it soaring? Heck no! That thing would lay you out! 

Instead, you might just give it a tiny nudge at first to get the thing moving. That first nudge would create a bit of momentum which then would work in your favor the next time you nudge it. And the next. And the next. Each nudge would then gets easier and easier with greater impact. Before you’d know it, you’d have a huge wrecking ball swinging through the air. (ps. Is anyone else picturing George Banks diving in front of this wrecking ball from Father of the Bride II?) (pps. Dear physics junkies out there, please don’t crush my spirits by sending me emails with why a single human moving a wrecking ball defies the laws of the universe or whatever. It’s a metaphor. Cool? Cool.)

The point of this visual is, whether it’s starting a thriving business or changing a certain aspect of your life, at times, undertakings that large can feel like a two-ton wrecking ball. Like there’s no way you can get it moving on your own. BUT YOU CAN. All you need is to create a little momentum. And how do you build momentum? With small wins. With tiny nudges. 

Have you ever watched a football game where one team is down and out and somehow they manage to come from behind and win it all? Well, how do they do it? How do they shift the momentum of the game in their favor?

Usually it starts with just one play. One interception that shifts the team’s confidence or one big completion that gives them the hope they need. From that point on, it doesn't feel like such an uphill battle. That momentum-shifting play is what you're looking for when you need a small win. 

There’s a lot of advice out there that says “Start before you’re ready,” or “Just start,” or “Take action,” and I think that advice is great. BUT I also know that there are some of you out there thinking, but HOW do I start? How do you find the courage to move forward when every fiber of your being is acutely aware of the gargantuan task that lays before you? 

By identifying small wins, you can start to shift the momentum in your favor and no longer will it feel like you have to move a wrecking ball. Just like I mentioned, with each consecutive nudge it will feel easier and easier to move forward. 

If you want to make your blog more active, a small win for you could mean writing a post every day for one week. If you want to start an Etsy shop, a small win could be simply setting up the store and posting just ONE listing. If you want to finally start eating healthy, start by promising yourself to eat out just one night a week. 

Whatever those small wins are for you, I’m telling you that if you get enough of them under your belt, starting a business won’t feel so big and scary. Developing better habits won’t seem impossible. Changing your life will appear well within your reach. 

So, remember:

Small wins create the momentum you need to start taking on your biggest goals.

Small wins create the momentum you need to start taking on your biggest goals.

Your challenge this week is to determine one small win that you can achieve toward your bigger goal. 

Make it substantial enough that it can create some momentum for you, but bite-sized enough that you’ll hit it out of the park. 

Let's make this the week where the momentum changes in your favor.