There’s an age-old riddle, “What’s the most active day of the year?” Answer: March 4th. March has the command to move forward built into its name. This is the month to move forward. This is the month to build your “Momentum Mindset.”
Momentum requires staying focused on your outcome. The more activities you direct toward your goal, the more likely it is you’ll get there. And the fewer detours you take, the more quickly you’ll arrive. Nevertheless, the destination isn’t always clear, and the next step isn’t always obvious. We live in a busy world where it’s easy to get sidetracked and become distracted.
The first step to a momentum mindset is a clear vision, which can be rather elusive, since it can shift as you move toward it. How clear is your 2017 vision? As you move forward, is it becoming clearer? Are you beginning to experience parts of your vision? Are your steps forward creating more certainty? It is a dynamic process that often includes detours.
The Northwest offers many hiking trails that gain altitude and act as a powerful metaphor for the twists and turns that arise as we move toward our vision. Imagine your 2017 vision as a hike to the top of a steep trail with a beautiful panoramic view. You love the picture of that view hanging on your wall, and you imagine what it would be like to stand on top with the wind in your hair taking your own photograph of that view, but you’ve never been on the trail before. In fact, you’re rather new to hiking. Until you’re on the trail and feel the stability of your boots beneath your feet, the response of your muscles, the depth of your breath and use your navigational skills, it only lives in your imagination. Once you’re on the trail, you learn things about hiking and about yourself you simply couldn’t know from looking at the picture.
The second step to prepare. You buy the gear and build your endurance. The desire to stand on the summit draws you, and the day comes when you load your gear in the car and drive to the trailhead. You set out with gusto, only to realize that much of your trip involves leaning into the hill and taking the next step up. Your primary view is your boots, dirt, trees and a few features on either side of the trail. Your experience is nothing like the photo from the summit that hangs on your wall. You dig deep for the type of discipline required to take another step when you’re tired and all you see is dirt.
Discipline is the third step to your momentum mindset. You take the next step and the next. As you come around a bend, you’re greeted with an opening in the trees and a vista that takes your breath away. As you savor the moment, you realize, “Though you’re not standing on top, this is what it looks like on the way.” The tiredness in your body vaporizes as does the memory of all of those steps looking at your boots and the dirt. You smile, delighted with where you are in the moment, and you get a second wind – both physically and mentally. Only a couple hundred yards back, you wondered if it was really worth it. Now you’re eager to press forward. Your momentum mindset just kicked in.
Take these steps to build your momentum mindset and soon you will be reaching your goals and vision in both your personal and professional life.