If you don’t do the work to keep moving up, you’re doomed to go downhill.

-Geoffrey James

If there’s anything that’s true in business and in life, it’s change. And change means that each element of your business and your life is either improving or deteriorating. Because nothing ever stays the same.

Take your health, for instance. Depending upon the choices you made during the day, your body is either stronger than it was yesterday or it’s weaker. You’ve either extended your life or accelerated your demise. There’s no in-between.

Similarly, depending upon the actions you took during the day, you have either grown your company’s revenue, profit, and potential or you’ve shrunk them. There’s no in-between.

A couple of days in a downward direction won’t kill you or your business. However, it’s extremely easy to build momentum when you’re headed downhill. Building upward momentum is more difficult. It requires constant effort.

Here’s how you build upward momentum:

  1. Make a list of at least six areas of your life and work that are important to you.
  2. Resolve to take at least one action, every day, to improve that area of your life.
  3. Schedule those actions into your daily routine.
  4. Execute on your plan.

For example, here’s my list from a few years back:

(The orange points in the list are Hannah’s current list for a Savage Example )

  • Sales. Call or email at least one prospective client.
  • Sales. CALL at least one prospective client. Consultants that get on the phone always win over the ones that email all day
  • Health. Do at least 15 minutes of aerobic exercise.
  • Health. Do at least an hour of exercise I LOVE doing
  • Family. Make at least one person in my family feel incredibly loved.
  • Family. Message, email, call, snapchat, message, visit, as many family members as possible
  • Networking. Call or email at least one business contact.
  • Networking. CALL at least one business contact. See above point on calling. 
  • Financing. Take at least one action that give me more control over my finances.
  • Financing. Check in with finance manager on activities daily. I am not a finance genius. I should not be in charge or in control of this. 
  • Creativity. Do at least one creative activity that’s not business writing.
  • Creativity. Spend an hour every day doing creative things. Finger painting, turning mango’s into men, making gifts for friends and family. 

What I’ve discovered is that acting upon those resolutions, day after day, week after week, create upward momentum in the areas of my life that previously had a tendency to get shoved aside and therefore go downhill.

What I also discovered is that, because these small actions ensured that I would give attention to these areas of my life, I usually found myself doing more than the minimum that I resolved to do.

Just as important, knowing that I was address these otherwise-neglected areas freed me from the burden of worrying about them when I was hard at work.  That allowed me to get more done in less time.

Try this method for a week.  Once you feel the upward momentum, you won’t want to stop.

Note from Hannah: Once you have the upward momentum, your life will amaze you every day, and it will be almost impossible to stop unless you consciously make the decision to stop. 

Originally published on Inc