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Internal vs. external motivation

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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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).

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

  • 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 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.

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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RELATED IDEAS

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.

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IDEAS

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