Breaking The Inertia
“Nothing happens until something moves.”
― Albert Einstein
Inertia can be one of the worst ruts we find ourselves in. You have set a goal or there’s a life change you want to make. You’ve thought about it, planned it, set a time to work on it. You’re excited, energized and looking forward to the change, but just when you’re ready to start, a familiar feeling sets in. You feel a resistance. Mentally there is a barrier, a sense of unease and you are reluctant to push against it or push through. So, you don’t. The next time you begin, the same thing happens, only the feeling is slightly stronger. Before you know it, you have repeated this pattern several times. Now the feeling is very strong, and YOU are stuck in this rut.
This is inertia. It can interfere in your life in many ways. It keeps you from moving ahead, from making the changes you have thought about making for a long time. The worst part about inertia is how the effects sneak up on you. While repeating the pattern and resisting the change several days, weeks, or months can pass. You can quickly find yourself looking back and regretting the lost time. This may cause more emotional strain and add fear and anxiety to the resistance. What a mess!
You can break through this resistance!
Isaac Newton’s First Laws of Motion asserts:
“A body at rest tends to remain at rest. A body in motion tends to stay in motion. Bodies will continue in their current state, whether at rest or in motion, unless acted on by a greater outside force.”
When inertia kicks in, there are two ways to think of the predicament:
One is to focus on the body at rest (in this case, you!) and try to come up with the energy required to break the inertia. This can be a daunting effort if we have built a strong pattern and the resistant feeling is very strong. We can plan and schedule but it will take a great deal of effort to get the resting body into motion. This approach can work but it usually requires a great deal of willpower and motivation.
The second approach is to not think of yourself as a body at rest but a body in motion. You are always in motion in your life; you are just stuck in your current patterns and these are preventing you from making changes and moving forward. These can be as simple as the easy distractions of TV, cellphones, social media or perceived major challenges like a toxic work environment, a bad economy, etc. You are capable of making changes to move you in the direction you want, you just need to start.
Do the next simplest thing you can think of to move you forward.
Let’s say your goal is to complete an intense 60-day workout program. If you are not currently doing any sort of physical activity, it will take a lot of energy to overcome the inertia to follow an intense program. Start with a five minute walk.
That’s easy, right?
Well guess what, that five minute walk will break the inertia!
You have also set yourself in motion!
This movement is in the new direction you want to go. Tomorrow, you can walk for ten minutes, and so on. Now you are in motion and moving towards your goal. It may take time to build up to the start of that intense program but now that you are in motion, it is much more likely that you will complete it. Instead of resisting and allowing the inertia to build, you can focus on the positive momentum you have established. You can build on the positive emotions of having completed a daily action; this will feed your motivation to keep going!
Here is another way to visualize it. Think of inertia as a giant snowball you have to move. The longer you wait, the more snow will accumulate. The bigger it gets, the harder it is to move. You need to put all of your strength into pushing it to get it rolling. Now think of your next simplest action as a wedge. You can use this wedge to give you leverage. This leverage gives you a small amount of movement but once the ball starts rolling, it is easier to keep rolling! Soon you get it to the edge of the hill and it starts rolling downhill on its own, gaining its own momentum.
If you are ready to get out of this type of rut and into the groove? Try this simple exercise.
What is your goal? What change do you want to make right now?
What are three things you can do RIGHT NOW to move you closer to achieving this goal or change?
Which is the easiest to do right now? Pick that one and do it. Right now. Turn off the screen and go do it! Start the ball rolling…
I hope you have found this blog post helpful.
If you have, please share it with others that might want to break the inertia!
Did this post help you break some inertia in your life?
Comment below and share your success!