Brian Hite, Ph.D.

Phone No: 818-430-4182
Email: Brian@BeginAgain

Nothing happens until something moves.” Albert Einstein

Inertia is the tendency for a body in motion to stay in motion and a body at rest to stay at rest unless acted on by an outside force. Inertia is most often discussed in terms of physics but is relevant in our everyday lives as well.

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For example, think about behaviors you would like to change, maybe even have made some effort to change, and how challenging that change is. It might be eating habits, social media scrolling, or stopping for that $4 cup of coffee every morning. Whatever the behavior, it’s one that you’re comfortable with. Your body is in motion, and it will stay that way unless active, deliberate force is applied to redirect that behavior.

Similarly, think about a behavior you’d like to start (e.g., exercising more) or a goal you’d like to begin pursuing (e.g., getting a degree). In this case, your body is at rest and will stay that way “unless acted on by an outside force”.

The “outside force” applied to either redirect unwanted behavior or initiate desired behavior can take many different forms. It might be support from a friend, constant reminders to yourself about why you want the behavior to change, acquiring more information, or immediate and acute negative consequences associated with the behavior (e.g., bad news from a doctor). The bottom line, though, is that combatting counterproductive inertia requires something different to occur, something that is not currently happening, for you to move in a more productive direction.

Where is inertia the guiding force within your life? Where are you stuck in place or headed in a direction you know is not the best direction for you or your family? What “outside force” can you lean on to help you fight the inertia that’s holding you back?

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