START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

How Are You Gonna Keep Up the Momentum?

How Are You Gonna Keep Up the Momentum?

Each of us sustains motivation differently. So one of the keys to creating a lasting change in ourselves is to understand what will get us out of bed to do what we promised ourselves and how to keep that motivation alive for as long as needed.

My sister is, as my mother used to say, “a social butterfly.” It’s easy for her to exercise when she has someone to do it with because of her desire to connect to others. Dolores is achievement-oriented. These people need very challenging goals that are strictly measured and constantly revised upward as each goal is met. If she’s trying to exercise regularly, she needs to keep upping the ante on herself somehow to stay motivated. Like do a 5K race. Then a 10K. Then a triathlon. Ana is motivated by the desire to win. You can get her to learn or do anything by making it a contest in which she can beat someone else.

But those aren’t the only momentum creators on the planet. My friend Drew went from a 95-pound weakling type to a buffed-out stud because “I wanted to prove to myself and others that I could.” Robin keeps to her diet and exercise plan by “remembering how good eating right and working out makes me feel.”

As for me, I keep myself going through my desire for personal integrity. I’ve developed positive attitudes as well as the habit of exercise because I promised myself I would and I don’t want to break my word. For folks like me, making vows or commitments can be highly effective.

Do you know what works for you to keep your momentum? Knowing what’s true for you is crucial. Otherwise, you may end up following someone else’s idea of what should work and not finding much success. Here’s an example: one of the standard suggestions for keeping momentum is to reward yourself along the way. I personally am not motivated by rewards at all (nor would pasting pictures of skinny models in bikinis on the refrigerator do anything for me except make me depressed). There are no “one size fits all” solutions.

To Try: What helps you keep going? If you’re not sure, experiment. Try one of the methods I suggested today. If that holds no interest, try another. Ask a friend what works for her. But remember that just because it works for her doesn’t mean it will for you. Your job is to discover your most effective momentum creator.

In this monthlong learning series, M.J. Ryan, author of the best-selling book This Year I Will…: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True, will take you through four steps, each lasting one week, to help you figure out what your most important intentions are and give you the tools to make each a reality. Just joining the learning series? Go here to start at the beginning. provides content and community for who you aspire to be–personally, socially and globally.

Read more: Spirit, General Health, Inspiration, Mental Wellness, Self-Help, , , , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love


+ add your own
3:29AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

Thank you for the article.

11:41AM PST on Nov 20, 2011

Thank you

2:02AM PDT on Jun 27, 2011

Thanks for the article.

7:02PM PST on Mar 2, 2011

makes sense!

9:11PM PST on Feb 24, 2010


7:52PM PST on Feb 20, 2010

Rewards along the way to keep myself focused works best for me.

1:32PM PST on Feb 20, 2010

Thanks! I feel like I'm a mix of a few motivators..

1:05AM PDT on Jun 15, 2009


11:21PM PST on Jan 27, 2009

You can find the lack of focus in complete silence of nature:)

6:02PM PST on Jan 26, 2009

I need to constantly remind myself of my intention by having books, magazine articles, etc. nearby, refreshing my brain constantly of what I am doing and why. It also helps to talk about what I'm doing with others.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Yes! A big congratulations on your win Mama T. There are so many wonderful vegan recipes. It's total…

Does it matter if the food tastes good? I made guys who were meat and potatoes men eat vegetarian d…

Great news, thank you. We need more vegetarian restaurants even here in India where they start to im…

Good news. Congratulations!

Looks good. Thanks.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!