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How do leaders gain and maintain momentum?

If you have lost motivation, how do you get it back? How do you maintain momentum over time? If your team has lost the required focus and drive, what can leaders do to reverse the tide? The simple, yet powerful FIVESTAR© model of momentum can help.

How do leaders gain and maintain momentum?

Momentum towards the achievement of a few important goals is what keeps businesses successful over long periods of time. It is not uncommon for leaders to be ‘fired up’ about a work goal initially, and then lose motivation and momentum somewhere along the way. The truth is we all lose motivation from time to time. Occasionally we just don’t feel excited, energetic and happy. Once the motivation flame has been extinguished, it can take some real effort to set it alight again.

If you have lost motivation, how do you get it back? How do you maintain momentum over time? Lastly, if your team has lost the required focus and drive, what can leaders do to reverse the tide?

Motivation and momentum are closely linked. The word ‘motivation’ comes from the Latin word ‘motere’, which means ‘to take action’. Momentum on the other hand, is the ‘impetus gained by a moving object.’ Therefore, it makes sense that momentum is gained by the maintenance of motivation over time. For leaders and businesses to successfully reach goals, momentum is a critical enabler.

Below is what I refer to as the FIVESTAR© model of momentum featured in my book Bullseye – the Ultimate Guide to Achieving your Goals. It was developed to help leaders and their teams to improve motivation and maintain momentum. Each letter stands for a key motivation driver that can shine a spotlight on the motivation areas that need to be addressed. The importance of each motivation area will differ in importance based on each person’s unique motivation needs.

Below is the FIVESTAR model of momentum:


If something is enjoyable, it is so much easier to maintain motivation. To keep momentum going, consider doing one of the following things:

  • Change the activities you’re using to achieve your goals — is there anything you can do to make it more fun?
  • Change the way you think about your goals
  • Give yourself a fun reward for achieving smaller goals
  • Delegate if you can (it makes sense to do so)


Daily doses of inspiration can give you the added boost you need to stay on target. The inspiration can come from a range of sources including books, podcasts, TED talks and other people.


Visual reminders of our goals can be a great way of maintaining momentum. What will you see, hear and feel when you have achieved your goal? The clearer your picture of success, the more powerful it becomes.


Without the requisite energy levels, it is hard to maintain any kind of momentum. An abundance of energy provides the fuel required to complete tasks needed to achieve goals. There is a very simple formula to maintaining good energy levels: get plenty of rest; exercise daily; drink plenty of water; have a balanced diet and keep stress levels in check.


The right kind of support can keep you accountable, motivated and on track. That is why mentors and business coaches can be so valuable. The best ones know how to support you in the right ways that help you achieve your vision.


Keeping track of your progress is important for maintaining momentum. A simple traffic light scorecard can help you maintain focus on important milestones. It also provides an opportunity to take course-corrective action should your efforts and results go off track.


Taking any positive action in the direction of your goals can help you maintain momentum, no matter how small that action might be. It’s the little things done regularly that keep the momentum wheel spinning.

“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” Japanese Proverb

Rewards & Recognition

Knowing that something truly worthwhile awaits you after you’ve achieved your intended goals can be a great motivator. Similarly, it can be beneficial to recognise and reward each significant goal milestone achieved along the way to the end goal.

The FIVESTAR model can be used in two ways — when your momentum train has been derailed, it can help get you back on track; and it can be used as a tool throughout the entire goal achievement journey to keep you focused on the things that matter.

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