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

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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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

6

Key Ideas

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.

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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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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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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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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Why Set Personal Goals
  • You are in charge. Personal goals force you to take responsibility for the actual efforts and progress.
  • You see the small steps leading to a big picture: big goals c...
“Which? Why? What? How?” Technique

... for choosing personal goals. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Ask yourself which aspect of your life you would like to change most.
  2. Think about why you want to change this.
  3. How will that change make you feel? Determine what exactly will make you feel this way.
  4. Ask yourself how you can make this happen and then make it your personal goal.
The Life Balance Chart Technique
  • Draw a chart. Write down each of the various areas of your life (family, health, self-development, career, relationships) in a new column or line.
  • Assess your current happiness level in each of these categories by giving it a score from 1 to 10.
  • Think what will make you be fully satisfied with these areas. Write down your ideas – you will be able to transform them into personal plans.

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The 4 keys to ignite productivity

The 4 methods to ignite productivity even when motivation is low:

  1. Plan ahead when energized
  2. Find a way to minimize distractions
  3. Get an outside motivator
  4. Change o...
Plan ahead when energized

Plan ahead for the week, month or year when you are energized and feeling motivated, for better results for getting stuff done.

Outside motivator

If you can’t hold yourself accountable, it’s a good idea to bring in an outside influence.

An accountability partner forces you to acknowledge the ways you’re sabotaging yourself, take personal responsibility and complete that to-do list. 

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Practice mental fitness

Mental fitness simply means to cultivate positive values and keep your mind active towards something that will make you happy.

Mental fitness is the only way to prevent menta...

How to practice mental fitness
  • The best way to keep your mind focused, steady, and undisturbed is meditation
  • Read a lot and widely. Learn something new every day, but don’t limit yourself to superficial knowledge.
  • Do anything that would challenge your intellect and test your memory.
  • Engage in meaningful conversations with the people you love about a wide range of topics.
  • Have a hobby
  • Turn off the TV and spend a few days away from the computer
In order to stay motivated, you need a purpose
In order to stay motivated, you need a purpose

Without purpose, motivation does not stand a chance.

So start thinking about your purpose, what makes your inner motivation stay alive and do your best to accomplish it.

Viktor Frankl
Viktor Frankl

“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.”

Improve your personal accountability

Making sure you hold yourself accountable in order to keep up the motivation and, therefore, accomplish your goals, is easier than it sounds.

All you have to do is to commit and express your commitment also in front of others. This will lead to you wanting to be consistent and, therefore, it will make it harder to give up.

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The 2 Forms of Motivation
The 2 Forms of Motivation

Motivation can be described as the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

  • Extrinsic motivation depends on your surroundings: a pep talk, a fitness partner, ins...
Developing Resilience

Life isn’t what you enjoy when you get somewhere. It's about the journey, the highs and the lows, the victories, and defeats. Resilience keeps you going through all your good and bad times.

Don’t train yourself to stay motivated. Instead, train yourself to become resilient. You cannot master resilience after doing it once. It’s a lifelong process.

No Goals

People find it difficult to predict the results today's actions will yield a few months from now. So, give them up. Do something because you enjoy it, not for what it will get you.

Exercise to become fit, not because you have a goal of losing 25 pounds in 4 months. If you do what you love, results will inevitably follow.

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Self-control
Self-control

It’s your ability to resolve conflicts between your short-term desires and your long-term goals.

For example, successful self-control means sacrificing immediate pleasure (cookies a...

Why self-control matters

People who have high self-control aren’t missing out on enjoyment. Not being able to resist temptation and enjoying life are not the same things.

They tend to eat in a healthily way, exercise more, sleep better, drink less alcohol, smoke fewer cigarettes, achieve higher grades at university, have more peaceful relationships, and are more financially secure.

Biological limits to self-control

Research showed that self-control is ultimately limited by our biology. We can’t exercise effortful self-control indefinitely – the brain has to do regular maintenance to remain functional.

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