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Motivation or Momentum?

Man in a field

Take action chart

Do you need to “get motivated” or build momentum?

I often speak to prospective clients who feel that they lack the motivation to get themselves fit, healthy or into great shape.

I regularly hear people say things like:

  • “I lack the motivation to go to the gym”

  • “I’m not motivated to eat well”

  • “I need a coach to motivate me”

However – in reality, I think what most people actually need is some positive momentum.


As is displayed above, if you wait for motivation, you’re going to be waiting for a long time because it is action which leads to motivation and builds momentum.

Psychological momentum

“Psychological momentum is thought to be a force that influences judgment, emotion, and performance”

In a nutshell, positive psychological momentum is our friend – it can help us with better judgement, positive emotions and increases in performance.

If you’re driving your car along quite happily and hit a traffic jam, one of the reasons that it is so frustrating is because the continual stop/start nature doesn’t allow you to build any momentum.

A lack of momentum, either when driving or during other activities, usually results in negative emotions. On the other hand, research shows that when we have positive psychological momentum, this is a driver of continued success (2).

So how do we achieve positive momentum? As I’ve already mentioned, the first step is simply starting.

The second step is letting yourself enjoy and appreciate the wins you have along the way (however small they may be). The impact of success is crucial in psychology (3) whereas the opposite is true of perceived failure – when you succeed at a task, you’re more likely to want to do it again than when you perceive you have failed at the same task.

Allow yourself to enjoy the small victories.

Each time you are on target with your nutrition goal for the day or you hit a PB in the gym, you’re building more momentum which is great for your overall progress.

Don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go so well – learn from them and go again.

Positive momentum is key!

The above is an adapted section of one of my education pieces which I send through to my clients on a weekly basis. Download the full PDF version titled “Developing a Stronger Mindset” here!


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