I was on a call with a client yesterday and we were talking about the article I wrote about forgiving and recommitting when we go off track.
In that article, I mentioned how important it is not to beat ourselves up for falling short of our daily habits or tasks, but instead to find the smallest thing possible that would get us back in the game.
If you’ve committed to a meditation practice, sit down for 1 minute.
If you’ve committed to exercising more regularly, drop down for 1 pushup.
If you want to write a book, just write one sentence.
You get the idea.
What I failed to mention, which I told my client, is that there’s a funny thing that happens once we commit to that tiny next step, or as I like to call them: stupid small commitments.
See, once we’re in action, momentum comes along and takes the wheel, and it becomes harder to stop making progress than it was to start.
The only challenging part, then, is that initial effort required to go from standing still to being in motion. That’s why we make stupid small commitments.
Let’s look at our earlier examples again:
If you sit down with the stupid small commitment of just meditating for 1 minute, it becomes so easy to keep going for 3, 5 or 10 minutes.
If you drop down for the stupid small commitment of doing 1 pushup, it’s almost inevitable you’ll do 10.
And if you pick up a pen with a stupid small commitment of writing 1 sentence, you’ll almost certainly end up writing an entire paragraph or a page.
That’s the beauty of momentum.
Remember, the force required to get in motion is a lot more than the force required to stay in motion. So what’s a stupid small commitment you can make today that would get you into momentum as fast as possible?
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