It is hard work to learn a new skill. It’s not easy to break old habits. Starting something new requires extraordinary focus and attention. Momentum, on the other hand, requires only a tiny step forward.

It’s easy to fantasize that your new resolution will be the magical difference between success and failure, that by deciding to turn over a new leaf, everything will suddenly be new and better for you in the future.

But this approach is going to be a lot harder for you. Things are going to get worse before they get better, because momentum is what moves mountains, not just the first push.

Instead of resolving to chart a whole new course, perhaps all you need is to take the next step from where you are right now. Instead of deciding you need something new and magical and hopeful in your life, maybe you need to do what you already know you should be doing: shuffling along, moving forward, refusing to stop.

The key to success is to maintain your momentum. Getting started — building up enough power and planning and potential to break past the barriers holding you back — is the hardest part of getting to where you want to be. But when you’re already moving, it’s much easier to change course, to adapt, to prioritize. Because you have momentum. And it’s momentum that can propel you toward your goals.

So maybe it’s time to stop resolving and just keep moving. Maybe it’s time to stop flailing wildly in the dark for a magical elixir and just do the unglamorous job of grinding out what needs to be done each day.

After all, if you keep moving toward your goals — taking the steps you can take each day — eventually you will arrive.

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Dan Waldschmidt is an international business strategist, speaker and author. He is author of the soon-to-be-released Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve