The Physics of Dominoes and the Power of Momentum
Maybe it’s just me, but I find dominoes to be pretty fascinating.
Ok, definitely just me.
But hopefully, by the end of this, you’ll be right there with me.
You see a domino can knock over another domino that is about 1.5 times larger than it.
Imagine setting up dominoes - each one is just 1.5 times larger than the one before it. With just 13 dominoes, the first domino is only 5mm high and 1mm thick -the last one: 3 feet tall and weighing in at a ripe 100 pounds.
Talk about momentum!
So, what does this mean for you?
That 3 foot, hundred-pounder is your end goal - the thing you’re already trying to attain, do or become.
The first domino, that’s where you are when you start.
What most of us do, we approach our goals like we’re trying to knock over dominoes that are 10x the size of the prior domino.
Or we go straight for the end goal, ignoring all of the other dominos along the way.
Now, I’m not saying this strategy CAN’T work. But, it usually doesn’t.
Which is why we usually find ourselves discouraged and frustrated that what we’re doing just isn’t working…because it isn’t.
A lot of what we see out on the interwebs makes it seem like everyone who has anything just went for that 100 pounder.
But the reality is that most were persistent, consistent, and put in the work.
Because persistence, consistency and effort helps us build momentum.
And momentum is what helps knock over each subsequent domino.
When we pick up speed, not only are we harder to stop, but it becomes easier to keep going.
I want to write that out again in case you missed it:
Momentum makes it easier to keep going than it is to stop.
The best part in all of this, as long as we’re only focusing on that first small domino, it’s pretty easy to get started.
It all comes down to doing the next right thing. That’s how we continue to build momentum regardless of what’s going on.
Not the next 9 or 10 things. The very next thing. That’s your first domino.
Then do the next right thing and build a little momentum in your favor.
Then another, and another.
Before long, that 100 pounder will go down with ease.
And if done strategically (and doing the next right thing forces us to do this) this is change that will last.
You’ll have the actions and habits in place to be, and not just do, what it takes to earn that 100 pounder.
I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t the most glamorous way to get what we want. You probably won’t have movie producers knocking at your door (though, that momentum might have you soon knocking down 10,000 pounders and that could draw some attention).
But, you’ll have the strength, power, and confidence knowing that you can be, do, or get anything you want - if you just show up and do the next right thing.
Here are a couple of great exercises to help build out some momentum. We look at where we are (present), where we want to go (our goal), the gap between the two (the work), and what we need to do to close that gap (the first step).
We’ll also look at a simple way to identify our next right this.
It’s sometimes fun, and you get more out of this by actually writing out your thoughts for these exercises. So, I’ve created printable worksheets.
P.S. I run a year long transformation program, focusing on gradual changes over time, that helps forge unstoppable momentum in your health, fitness, and your life. I love working with tech-savvy 50-somethings who've committed the past 18+ years taking care of and providing for their families and are ready to take care of themselves. Oh, and likes to have a lot of fun. After all, if we're not having fun, we're not doing it right.