The Momentum Myth: Why You’re Not Reaching Your Goals (And How To Fix It)

You’ve probably heard that to succeed, you must take big risks and go all in. But what if I told you that wasn’t true? In this blog post, I’m going to talk about the momentum myth and how playing it small can actually help you achieve your goals faster. And don’t miss the bonus tips on how to apply this information to your financial life to get ahead!

When it comes to our life and financial goals, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the big picture and feel we need to accomplish them all at once. We want to have our dream job, make six figures, save for retirement—all while still taking time off to enjoy life. But trying to do it all in one go can be so daunting that we never start. 

But trying to do it ALL in one go can be so daunting that we never start…

Momentum Myth

This is where I want to introduce to you “The Momentum Myth.” The idea is that to become successful, it’s an all-or-nothing game that you must start and end big to accomplish anything. Unfortunately, this type of thinking can be detrimental because trying to achieve your goals all at once can seem scary, complicated, and overwhelming. So much so that we never gain the momentum we need to snowball our results. So digging in, let’s define momentum.

Definition: MOMENTUM – the strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events. (1)

On the surface, this seems simple enough to achieve. Get things in motion, and we will accomplish our goals. But we have all experienced that things don’t just roll forward on their own.

What’s missing from MOMENTUM when we start? It’s MOTIVATION. 

MOTIVATION, when broken down, means MOVE TO ACTION.

If we set goals, tasks, or steps too big, there is NO motivation. Or stated another way, the FEAR and UNCERTAINTY surrounding those goals are too much to overcome or to begin. Quite simply, motivation comes before momentum. But let’s take the concept back one more step. How do you get motivated? You do this by playing it small. Small, you say? Didn’t I just tell you that I wanted to achieve big goals?

Breaking Things Down 

Breaking your goals into smaller, more achievable steps will provide you with the MOTIVATION or MOTION that, in turn, creates MOMENTUM, which establishes the FORCE to accomplish your goals. And what’s funny is that while momentum takes time, it builds quicker than you think.

I am a super visual person, so here is an example. Walking just 200 steps per day, equivalent to two city blocks, would only take 75% of a year to walk a marathon. Yes, 26.2 miles in less than a year from just 200 steps per day. See, the little stuff can add up quickly. (2)

The little steps will carry you farther in the long run because you are moving. Not procrastinating. Not worrying. Not over researching. Not ignoring “it” because “it” is too big or hard. By breaking goals down into one tiny action item at a time and making just a little progress each week, you will be in a whole different place in 12 months.

For your financial goals, it can be overwhelming to think how you will pay for all your kid’s sports and activities AND a vacation this year. At the same time, inflation has you worried about how groceries and fuel are eating everything you have. And man, you really do NEED that vacation, but it’s scary to think how you’ll tackle the millions you’ve been told you’ll need to save for retirement. 

The key to playing it small is to break things down as much as possible. Start by setting yourself up for success with attainable short-term tasks rather than trying to tackle a long-term goal all at once. So instead of setting a massive goal like becoming a millionaire, set intermediate goals like saving $1,000 by the end of the year or investing 10% of your salary every month. This will make it easier for you to stay focused and motivated and give you something tangible to track and measure progress on. In addition, by breaking down goals into bite-sized pieces, we can reduce anxiety and make progress toward achieving them without feeling overwhelmed.

Making Micro Adjustments 

Once you have broken down the task into smaller chunks, start making micro-adjustments along the way. This means making tiny changes that will get you closer to achieving a goal instead of spending hours trying to perfect everything from the start. Making micro-adjustments also allows for more flexibility because if something isn’t working exactly as you planned, you can quickly adjust without wasting too much time or energy. Also, knowing that the individual tasks don’t need to be perfect helps keep perfectionism procrastination at bay.

Celebrate the Journey

It is also important to remember that progress doesn’t happen overnight; Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all! Celebrate small wins along the way, as they will help keep your morale high. Acknowledging the little successes on your journey will provide motivation during difficult times when it feels like nothing is happening or changing fast enough. We often get blinded by the overall goal when what we should be celebrating is the journey to reach that goal. The journey is the day-to-day life activities where we spend all our time. If we aren’t enjoying that, reaching the goal won’t be as sweet, and the celebration becomes a minor radar blip versus a lifetime of memories. 

Acknowledging the little successes on your journey will provide motivation during difficult times when it feels like nothing is happening or changing fast enough…

Practical Action Steps

Okay, so now you understand the concept, how do you practically apply this to your financial goals? Here are some ideas on small or micro-movements that you can make big swings over time to your overall goals. 

  • Automate a small amount of savings each paycheck – Just $100 a month, and you’ll have collected $1,200 in a year – what a great start on an emergency fund!
  • Increase your 401K contribution percentage quarterly to reach your company match – who doesn’t like free money?!?
  • Put your bills on auto-pay – it can save late fees and stress knowing everything is paid promptly.
  • Put more towards your monthly mortgage payment – an extra $100 a month can shave five years off a 30-year mortgage. (3)
  • Cancel one subscription this week or commit quarterly to review your subscriptions so unused services don’t burn your budget to the ground.
  • Make a list for the store & stick to it – grocery pick-up is excellent for this as it stops impulse buys.
  • Agree on where “windfall” money goes before you get it. I recommend a percentage rule prioritizing your top financial goals. Ex: 65% towards debt payoff, 30% towards home down payment, 5% fun money – cause you need to find joy along the way too!

It’s also okay to start with the easy or fun stuff to get the motivation and momentum rolling! You have to start somewhere because starting is what gets the ball rolling! 😁


To succeed at your goals, stop setting them up under the Momentum Myth. Instead, find the motivation before you look for momentum! 

Playing it small doesn’t mean sacrificing your dreams or settling for less than what you deserve; rather, it means finding creative ways of getting closer to where you want to be without overwhelming yourself. Breaking down big goals into smaller pieces helps us reduce anxiety around achieving those ambitions and makes progress much more manageable! Taking smaller steps allows us to find joy in each phase of our journey and build confidence that we can achieve anything if we take things one step at a time!  

Want to learn more about how to play it small to move forward on your life and financial goals? My program is about creating a customized plan to fit your needs while providing you with the support and accountability required to make it happen. Book a free Q&A call now using this LINK to speak directly with me and answer any of your questions!


(1) Merriam-Webster Dictionary –, referenced March 16, 2023.

(2) The average stride is 2.1-2.5 feet. Two hundred steps per day with a 2.5-foot stride length equals 500 feet. A city block is about 250-300 feet, so two city blocks are approximately 500 feet. 26.2 miles in a marathon, or 138,336 feet. Walking 500 feet daily will take 276.7 days (138,336/500), or 75.8% of a year, to reach this distance. 

(3) Paying an extra $100/mo from the start, on a 30-year mortgage, with an original amount of $200,000, with a 4.5% annual interest rate, results in a repayment schedule reduction of 5 years. As calculated on

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