Your Life and Momentum

Mike Coval
July 13, 2021

You've probably heard of a sports team having a lot of momentum during a basketball game. In short, this means that the product of their effort as a team has resulted in a substantial enough amount of points being scored to influence the game in their favor (mass) in a relatively short time frame (velocity). If the other team doesn't adjust by changing their strategy and/or improving their execution, then the team with the momentum will continue to build on the initial momentum and closeout the game with a convincing win.

Momentum doesn't just apply to physics. It doesn't just apply to sports. It applies to your life.

Your beliefs.

Your behaviors.

I'm sure you've heard someone say "I just can't catch a break" or "why does bad stuff always happen to me?" (I know I have. I used to have that internal dialogue)

I'm a firm believer that if your thoughts and beliefs about the world are negative then you will put yourself in a place to never be able to catch a break or always have bad stuff happen to you.

Is this always the case? No. There are legit people out there that have been dealt a bad hand of cards in life and have a lot more adversity to face than others. Most often though, in my experience, even those that have been dealt a bad hand usually find the grit to fight through and persevere.

They do this by stopping the negative momentum that had built up by controlling the narrative in their lives and adapting their mindset and behaviors.

Momentum is why when coaching, I will generally only prescribe one (two tops) behavior changes at a time. A small number of things to focus on that the client feels confident that they can successfully build on over the next 3-8 weeks will build momentum by boosting their confidence and shifting their brain chemistry and physiology. The idea is to get the ball rolling and once the ball is rolling, then the positive lifestyle changes that one seeks become easier to make with each day, week, and month that goes by.

The momentum is positive and trending in the right direction. We will accumulate more healthy habits along the way (thus increasing the "mass" of our positive behaviors) which makes us harder to stop. The velocity will seem painstakingly slow as we're intending to practice these new, healthy habits for the rest of our life. The velocity can be dramatically increased though when we have goals along the timeline of our lives. Goals along the way to help reinforce the new changes in behavior by rewarding us with things that we haven't performed, felt, or accomplished in a very long time if not then ever.

Now, if you're struggling and feel that negative momentum has been dictating your life for far too long, then there needs to be an external force that acts upon the negative momentum to stop it. Make a list of things that you know you should do or want to do to help turn things around. Of that list, make a column for "High Impact / High Confidence" and "Low Impact / High Confidence" as in actions that you can take that will result in a either a big or low impact on your goals, but that you're confidence level is high that you can successfully adhere to for at least a few weeks and then build on.

For example, if I'm trying to lose weight, drinking half my bodyweight in ounces of water probably won't have that big of an impact on my weight loss (unless I'm replacing sugary drinks with the water), but it is a healthy habit that will help me with my overall health and weight maintenance down the road. Where as if I'm sedentary and I decide that I'm going to start going to the gym 3x per week at 45-minutes per session, then that will likely have a high impact on my progress AND I'm highly confident that I can build this into my routine.

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Mike Coval

Coval Fitness is a Personal Training Studio and Gym in Ann Arbor, Michigan

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