Recently, I traveled to New York City to visit two of my children. We had a great time, and I enjoyed seeing parts of their everyday lives! My heart continues to be filled up by our time together.
Most of our plans involved walking. I experienced my son’s commute of walking, taking the train, and walking some more to his apartment. My daughter and I walked to the subway and through Bryant Park and Central Park. By Saturday afternoon, my muscles were crying “uncle.” I was really tired, but my body let me know it welcomed the extra movement.
Procrastination and Momentum
Now that I’m home, I miss not living in a walkable town. As I realize this, however, I can feel the familiar excuses about not having time to regularly exercise and pangs of procrastination and guilt seeping into my mind. In contrast, I also had a sense of momentum that I knew I could leverage. If I could weave more walking into my day, especially while at work, I could build upon the health and wellness benefits of walking everywhere in New York City. Would the momentum bridge the gap between my knowing what I should do and reality?
I sit a lot during the day because of my work, long commute, and desire to relax in the evening. As a result, I have a longstanding goal of moving more throughout my day and leveraging the movement into a consistent exercise plan.
I tend to overthink tasks when I’m stuck in the procrastination cycle: a decision not to start, worry about not starting, the expanded view of the task in my mind, negative emotions becoming attached to the task … and not surprisingly no action. Can you relate?
I want to capitalize on the momentum, not overthink what it would take to add more walking to my day and move forward (literally and figuratively) one step at a time.
So, when I return to the office I set the intention of walking around the first floor of our building five times before going home. Each time I need to use the restroom, I walk a lap. When I attend meetings on the third floor, I take the stairs. I am more mindful of standing up at least one time every hour – even if I feel I don’t have the time to walk a lap.
By Thursday, I’d walked four laps three of the days and five laps one of the days. I didn’t quite reach my intention, however, I kept the momentum going which prevented procrastination. When a friend asked if I wanted to go for a walk on Saturday, I immediately said yes (keep the momentum going). I plan to go to the gym on Sunday too (keep the momentum going). My motivational muscle increases in strength while I ride the momentum.
Where Can You Leverage Momentum?
Have you had success riding momentum to keep procrastination at bay? What caused the momentum and how did you ride it? Can you leverage the memory of using momentum successfully today? What can you start, without overthinking what it would take, that would help you make small changes with ease that add up over time to create transformative change?