The Importance of Momentum and Setting Goals
What is Momentum?
Momentum is such a huge factor in every facet of life. From hockey games, to football, to soccer and every other sport in between, one play can cause a critical swing in momentum — putting the team that scored that play, on the offensive. This force is powerful and if you’re on the other end of the momentum swing, you really have to dig deep to overcome that “force”. Most of you probably know what momentum is, but just in case you don’t, I hope this gives you a quick “cole’s notes” version of the definition.
This happens in development, I’ve noticed. Say you sit for a while and you’re chilling, not doing much, you haven’t touched code in a while and you’re feeling like a pile of goo. You probably aren’t feeling particularly motivated to fire up your text editor and finish your personal project. I would like to call that a lack of momentum. There is no drive because of the lack of involvement. This has happened to me many times where I go weeks without the drive to program like I once had. It’s super tough to overcome as you probably know.
I’m writing this article from the standpoint of the President of company, not a freelancer, or someone who may be employed under someone else. However, though, the “idea” is transferable. If you let a team sit too long or let yourself sit too long without pressing toward some “goal”, you will eventually stall out and nothing will get done. Now, I haven’t experienced that yet, nor do I want to, but I know that if I am any example, there is always a chance it can happen.
Setting Goals to Create Momentum
In my eyes, you need to set goals. No matter if you’re leading a team, or yourself, creating goals will create momentum. At KeySpark we have a Trello board with the simplest of goals, for example: We have a goal to reach 100 followers on twitter, have regular readers of our blog, and acquire our first 5 clients. These are so small in the grand scheme of things, but the importance is there nonetheless. We have achieved a couple small goals already: creating our business cards, registering the business, and acquiring our first contact. We regularly add small goals as they come so we can look back a few months down the road and see just how far we’ve come. When you can see your progress in a tangible form, that creates a spark of momentum. This will help drive you toward your next goal without a whole lot of effort.
Now imagine you had no goals and 7 months down the road you’re sitting there like, “What have we done so far?”. As you sit there with a weird look on your face trying to remember all you’ve done, it can be hard to recollect on the past and bring up those achievements (unless you’re super cool and can do that regardless). For me, it is important that me and my team don’t have to struggle to see what we have accomplished; this is the importance of our Trello board.
Accomplishing a lot of small goals will feel better and less strenuous than having one BIG goal that took you months and months to achieve. So for you, the freelancer, say, what does this look like? Maybe it looks like adding a link to your home page on your brand logo in your header, or maybe it’s setting up that contact form you haven’t been looking forward to. Whatever it is, if you sit down and start with one line, one small goal to complete, you will feel a swing in momentum and before you know it, you will be back on your feet running.
I don’t think goals should stop being created. If you’re a large company, there are always goals to achieve, fixing those bugs, reaching your 1 million twitter followers; the goals can be endless.
Always look to create momentum. We can look outside goals too. I try to regularly compliment my team members and let them know their worth and that I appreciate all their efforts. I would like to think this helps my team. By lifting their spirits and their mood, I think it helps to get things continuously moving forward. Whether for them on their side projects, any KeySpark projects, or whatever it may be, complimenting your team is not only a necessity, but a momentum builder as well. Your team will definitely appreciate it, this however, is another story, for another day.
To quote Sir Isaac Newton’s first law:
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
So get your feet moving! Get pressing forward! Create those easily achievable goals and use that momentum to push through any barriers you may come across. Momentum is a powerful force, use it for your own good and for your team. Get things done, move forward, and always keep on your toes.
Tyrel is the President, CEO, and Co-Founder of KeySpark. His soft skills are helping his team make the web a better place to be.