The Law of Motion

Newton's First Law of Motion states that, “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

Which makes sense if one were talking about physics, but what about when discussing goal setting?

What are your goals? It doesn’t matter if they are short-term or long-term, just that you have some. Now, being completely honest with yourself, are you as far along as you thought that you would be when you first set your goals?

If you are…fantastic! What is your next set of goals that you are now working towards because we should always be moving forward?

For the rest of us, staying on track with our goals isn’t always that easy; sometimes we need that “unbalanced force” to shake things up and help get us back on our path to success.

Jerry Seinfeld (actor, comedian) struggled with his goal of becoming a better comedian early in his career. His goal was simple; write a new joke every day; however, it didn’t happen. In fact, Jerry’s joke writing was sporadic at best, and his excuse was life. Life is busy and things happen.

Then one day Jerry got serious and took his first step onto the path of change. If he was going to make a career out of telling jokes, he would have to work for it, and so he started holding himself responsible for reaching his goal of writing a new joke every day.

Jerry Seinfeld bought a calendar, and he developed a three color marking system. At the end of every day, Jerry would “X” out the date. One color was for accomplishing his goal, one was for not working towards it at all, and one was for having a legitimate excuse for not working on it. At the end of the week and at the end of the month, Jerry would look at the colors marking up his calendar. At first, all three colors were equally used, but as time went on and Jerry held himself accountable, a single color stood out; Jerry was accomplishing his goal.

Then his goal changed. Jerry realized that everyone has jokes, and so writing a new joke every day wasn’t the way to stand out. So he started rewriting old jokes and making them stronger, and we know where that got him.

Goals should change as we move forward, but first we need to set those goals. We should all have things that we are working towards in our business lives and our personal lives. We all have things that we need and want; so why not get them?

Which brings us back to our original statement, but instead of the “First Law of Motion”; what if Newton rewrote his law to help illustrate our point?

A “goal” at rest stays at rest and a “goal” in motion stays in motion with the same “work ethic” and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force “of change”.


April Salsbury, MBA is a strategist, an analyst, an operational guru, a recognized leader and C-suite global healthcare executive with drive and focus for competitive markets. Co-host of The Business Forum Show and regular contributor to various business journals, she possess multi-functional and multi-national competencies with more than 15 years experience in business and healthcare. Her expertise is in invigorating revenue growth and infusing value of lean practices in growing companies through improvements to cash flow and operations management.

Fueling revenue, growth and profit, Salsbury & Co. is a consultancy firm focused on helping businesses and healthcare organizations achieve excellency. Our specialists have executive experience combined with deep functional expertise to provide our clients with services that drive real impact and results.

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