Newton’s first law, states that a body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Of course, Newton is talking about objects like a ball or a chair. If these things are at rest, they tend to stay at rest unless some outside force moves them.
I was thinking about how this law as it applies to life and how the disciplines we apply in our lives have the same “first law” effect. For example, I know I should exercise. I know this is an important discipline which is part of being healthy. I’ve gone through periods where I’m exercising a few times a week. It’s tough to get up at 5am, but I do it. I’ve noticed it’s easier to get up at 5am when I’ve BEEN getting up at 5am. If I’ve done this for a couple weeks it gets even easier. Then something happens. Maybe one morning I give myself an excuse and I just don’t get to the gym that day. I tell myself “tomorrow”. Well tomorrow comes and it’s easier just to stay in bed. A week goes by. Now it’s really difficult to get up and start again.
It’s not just the momentum of the discipline of exercise where I see this happen. It’s also in other disciplines in my life, like blogging, reading, eating right. It also happens in business. Things like setting goals, staying on track with initiatives meeting weekly with your staff etc. The same thing happens.
So what do you do? How do you keep the momentum going? I have a few ways that I keep myself on track.
Determine Your Non-negotiables?
I’ve found that if I decide in advance what my non-negotiables are, it’s easier to keep the discipline going. A non-negotiable for me is that I must exercise 3X per week. It’s important. Do I get off track? Absolutely, but I’ve determined that this is so important that when I lose momentum, I get right back up again. BTW, you will get off track. Making this a non-negotiable makes it easier to get back on track.
What about non-negotiables for your business? What about a weekly executive meeting? Is is difficult to get 6 people together every week? Of course, but make it non-negotiable and you’ll see the benefits.
Put Some Metrics in Place
Using the exercise example, I use the metric of my weight. I bought a Withings scale and put it in my bedroom. I weigh myself every day. It reminds me of the discipline of eating right and exercise. If I don’t eat right and exercise I WILL gain weight. This scale serves as a way to measure if I’m off track. The scale is right next to my bed so it’s easy to use. I’ve gotten into the habit of using this every day so now I’ve built in a way to keep myself on track.
Do you have any metrics or KPIs in place for your business? If you’re having trouble setting goals (and sticking to them) it may be that you aren’t keeping score. How do you know if you’re making progress? What measurement system keeps you on track? BTW, a measurement system coupled with a weekly meeting can make a powerful difference in your business.
Hit the Reset Button
No one is perfect. You are going to mess up. It’s OK. Life is all about moving in the right direction. It’s about progress over time. Give yourself a break. When you get off track, brush yourself off and start over. Tomorrow is a new day. Life has it’s own built-in reset button – the sunrise.
So here are few questions….
- what are your non-negotiables? Take some time to write them down.
- What are the disciplines you must have to keep your life or your business moving in the right direction?
- How are you keeping score?
- Do you need to hit the reset button?
Remember, tomorrow is a new day!
P.S. Alignment Labs can help you create a plan and track your progress. We’re here to help!