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Four Strategies that Build Lasting Motivation (and How to Use Them to Achieve Your Goals)

Internal vs. external motivation

Internal motivation, the drive to achieve that comes from inside a person is the kind of motivation that can lead to life-changing improvements and well-being.

External rewards (like compliments, fitting into a smaller size, or winning a race) might get a person started but it won't last in the long-term.

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Four Strategies that Build Lasting Motivation (and How to Use Them to Achieve Your Goals)

Four Strategies that Build Lasting Motivation (and How to Use Them to Achieve Your Goals)

https://lifehacker.com/four-strategies-that-build-lasting-motivation-and-how-5958782

lifehacker.com

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Key Ideas

Self-Efficacy

It means believing in your ability to perform a task and achieve goals. There are 3 ways to build self-efficacy:

  • Ensure early success. When first starting out, choose activities you're certain you can do successfully.
  • Watch others succeed in the activity you want to try.  This is particularly effective if the person you're observing is similar to you (friends, neighbors, co-workers).
  • Find a supportive voice. Personal trainers and coaches are skilled in giving appropriate encouragement, as are good friends (usually).

Fundamentally Independent Thinking (FIT)

A fundamentally independent thinker understands that nothing makes a person upset, angry, or depressed; rather, what a person thinks about the world determines how they feel

Examples of destructive thinking

  • Emotional reasoning means if a person feels something, they automatically assume it must be fact ("I feel like a loser, so I must be one").
  • Predictions of failure: when a person makes predictions using FEAR, or False Evidence Accepted as Real ("I know I'll make a fool of myself in front of everyone in the gym when I try to lift weights, and I'll fail").
  • "Mind-reading". A person assumes people are reacting negatively to them when there's no evidence for this assumption.

SMARTER Goal Setting

SMARTER goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely, developed Enthusiastically, and attached to Rewards).

SMARTER goals take the guesswork out of routines, so we're more likely to stick to them.

Commitment Contracts

A person commits to a behavioral change and then establishes a "contract" (with a partner, a friend) whereby some consequence (usually a monetary one) results from the person failing to achieve their goal. The idea is that the desire to avoid the consequence helps keep people more committed to success.

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Force yourself to do things

Our mind has muscles. It memorizes patterns. By doing this over and over, you're building your willpower and self-discipline. 

Forcing yourself to do things...

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."
Focus on the emotional reward

Focus on the feeling you feel after doing something that you know is good for you.

  • The adrenaline rush.
  • The feeling of being fit and healthy.
  • The relief you feel after having finished a big project.
  • The pride you gain from an accomplishment.
  • The confidence you feel after having faced your fear.

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Motivation vs. Intention

We all have the motivation, willpower, or desire to achieve our goals to some degree.

What makes the difference, what turns your goals into reality is not really your level of motivation, ...

Implementation Intentions

They refer to the plan you make about when and where to act before the action occurs.

The format for creating an implementation intention is: “When situation X arises, I will perform response Y.”

Implementation intentions are an effective way of sticking to your goals.

Follow Through With Your Goals

If you make a specific plan for when and where you will perform a new habit, you have bigger chances to follow through.

You don't need motivation, you need clarity. Simply follow your predetermined plan: I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION].

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Strike a high-power pose

Body language affects not just how you’re perceived by others, but also your internal body chemistry.

A high-power pose usually means having your body open rather than hunched up. That mea...

A fresh start

You can give yourself a fresh start anytime. By doing so, you’re going to have a burst of energy.

These “intertemporal markers” encourage us in two ways: by making people disconnect from past failures, and by promoting a big-picture view of life.

Eat some chocolate
  • It increases both serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes calm, and also phenylethylamine, which promotes stimulation. White chocolate does both even more intensely.
  • It triggers a release of dopamine, which will elevate your heart rate and significantly increase motivation.
  • It also results in a mild antidepressant effect, literally because your brain responds to the stimulants by promoting blissful emotions.

Other dopamine-inducing foods that can help maintain a healthy diet: blueberries, spirulina, and fish high in Omega-3 fats.

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