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  • Writer's pictureDonna Gerard

Success Happens When You Just Keep Going One Thing Done Leads To Another

Updated: Oct 17, 2023




Does success really breed success? Doesn’t the achievement of success, in real life, spur me one on to rest on their laurels and take a break? If I just met a goal, do I want a break or do I want to achieve another goal?

I will answer my own questions.

Hell, yes!

Nope.

I definitely want to achieve another goal.


There are two scientific terms that explain human behavior just as well as physical laws: momentum and inertia. They are closely related, opposite sides of the same coin. According to Merriam Webster, momentum is the “strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events”. Inertia is the “indisposition to motion, exertion, or change”. In both cases, objects (and humans) want to keep doing what they’re already doing.

For example, when I’m camped out on the couch playing backgammon on my laptop, I will stay there until I am forced to shift gears. The doorbell rings, the oven timer goes off, I have to leave for a dentist appointment. Life has acted upon me to rip me away from more than backgammon glory. Inertia.


On the other hand, if I’m cleaning the kitchen counter, I may see a drip on the cabinet door. I’ll clean that to. Then I notice that the floor is dirty and I’m inclined to get the mop, but not until after I vacuum. Before I know it, the kitchen is clean, and I might just decide to start cleaning the dining room as long as the vacuum is out anyway. I might go on for hours. Momentum.


I have noticed that when my house if messy, it’s messy all over the place. If there are dishes in the sink, there’s usually laundry to be done, garbage that needs to be taken out, and lots of things here and there that need to be put away. On the flip side, when my house is clean, it’s very clean. Once I’ve made the bed, I picked up the clothes on the floor. Then I started the laundry, and moved on to folding the blankets on the couch, and etc. There can be lots of et cetera once I get going.


Left to my own devices, I tend to have good days and bad days, depending on whether I started out scrolling through Reels as I lay in bed, or whether I got dressed, went for a walk, and started the first item on my To Do list. A To Do list is very important, as long I don’t give myself the option to ignore it.


I’m a fan of PRS- Perpetual Rotation Schedule. So every morning I have a short routine that gets me going. I get dressed, stretch, feed the dog, take my vitamins, go for a short walk, and then read the news for 10 minutes. That’s how I start every single day. Yes, I’ve been lazy and have picked up my phone. For me, a phone in my hand first thing in the morning is the kiss of death for productivity. Even so, there’s redemption. When I do get up, I go right to my morning routine.


Then I look at my things to do list. This morning my first job was to spend 45 minutes on organizing my passwords. I sat down at my desk with a cup of coffee and got right to it. About half way through I had a distraction. I noticed an important email that I had to share with my husband. A reviewer read my book (Who’s Tougher Than Us? The Realities of Teaching) and I can expect a great review on several platforms to come out very soon. Before running upstairs carrying my phone like the Olympic torch, I paused my timer. I read him the email, took a couple of minutes to celebrate, and returned to my office to work on those passwords. Then I went back to my office, resumed my timer, and got back to the password project.


Next job, write in my online journal for 20 minutes. Done.


After that- emails and correspondence. But I really like to get a little movement in between two sedentary tasks. So this was a good time to throw in a load of laundry. Then right back to work.


After the emails it was time to head outside to work on a project in the shed. It’s a timely project that needed to finished before Sunday. I had allotted half an hour, but it was worth spending an hour and a half to get it finished well ahead of my deadline.


12:30 lunchbreak at Popeye’s, as previously arranged.


Now time for writing. But honestly, I was getting a little sleepy and was having trouble concentrating. I needed a brain break, so I paused my timer, played a game, and got right back to work.


Let me stop here to relate my day to the inertia/momentum thing. Because I got moving right away this morning, today has been a good, productive day. I successfully completed my morning routine, worked on my password project, finished the shed project, started laundry, took care of my email, and drafted my article. All this by 3:00! I want to ride the success train and keep things going because success breeds success. I will ride this train until 5:00. Then I’ll take a news break and decide whether I want to continue with my rotation list or save it for tomorrow. Today I feel like I might want to keep going.


For more on the Perpetual Rotation Schedule, read my other articles: The Perpetual Rotation Schedule and The Perpetual Rotation Schedule Part 2.

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