The Power of Habit Momentum

12.09.21 |

Have you ever tried to push a car?

You put it in neutral, and then you dig your feet in, squatting low to put your shoulder into it. You push and push and push and it feels as though you are pushing against a wall. Despite your huge amount of effort, the car doesn’t move.

At first.

Then it budges ever so slightly and you can start to take a step forward. Then it moves a bit more and a bit more and a bit more. Somehow, the car that felt impossible to move moments ago now feels much lighter. Soon, you’re stepping quickly to keep up. Moving the car still takes effort, but the momentum of the vehicle has made the task far less taxing than that initial push to get started.

What if the car is too big and too heavy for you to start moving it by yourself?

Well, even just one more person by your side, helping you push, could do the trick. And, of course, that job gets even easier as you add more helping hands. Once that car is in motion, you can keep the momentum going all by yourself despite not being able to move it alone at the start.

This familiar physics phenomenon applies to many areas of our lives. Starting at the beginning with anything — whether it’s cleaning the house or starting a jogging habit — is hard. Like a car at a complete stop, the energy required to start at the beginning can feel enormous, so many of us quit just before the real movement begins.

Habits of Health have a similar momentum. That first day or week of eating differently, of adjusting your sleeping schedule, or adding steps to your routine can be awkward and uncomfortable. You’re starting from scratch, and you don’t yet have the benefit of momentum to put you into the automatic state of making these choices with little thinking.

But here’s the good news: Like pushing a car, building momentum with your Habits of Health is far easier when you aren’t pushing alone. With a coach on one side, and a community of supportive, helpful individuals on the other, you can get up to speed. Once you reach the right point of inertia, the people who helped you push can step back, one by one, until you’re running along with no help at all.

If you ever feel stuck at the beginning of a new journey, ask for help. That might mean a few private lessons with a golf instructor to get you comfortable with the basics of the game before you hit the green. That might mean a health coach to help you build new healthy habits. Whatever the journey, you don’t have to face the beginning alone.

Get good people by your side to help you push.