Do you understand exactly what motivates you
Lifestyle Change: Motivation and Profits (Part 3)
"What you get when you reach your goal is not as important as who you become when you reach your goal." -Henry David Thoreau
Basically, I'm repeating myself now because if your reasons are good enough, you don't need to worry about motivation. You will find the time to overcome all obstacles and do what you have to do. I am now talking about the "why" in the question: "What do you want and why?"
For everyone there comes a moment when you need a light kick in the buttocks or a slap in the face. There are thousands of tricks to motivate yourself. Some of these tricks have been studied and work, others are common sense, and others just don't work *. You can make educated guesses as to which of these tricks will work for you and then try them out. When you have learned one to three tricks that motivate you and you use them, great! I hope they help you with whatever you want to achieve.
For me, motivational tricks have never worked so well, at least not permanently. I also like the idea of not tricking and manipulating myself over and over again and constantly having to spend time on self-motivation. This is simply too exhausting for me. I want the new behavior to become natural at some point - or at least as effortlessly as possible. So let me explain to you a few alternative strategies for motivation. If you apply the following two strategies to your lifestyle change process, you will not only find success faster, but you will also get to know yourself better.
1. Make sure that those around you support your goal
Because motivation is only part of the road to success. It's the reasons you're doing the things you should be doing. Another big influence is your environment. So what if those around you could constantly motivate you? It would push you in the right direction and keep you away from temptation. That would make it easier for you to start making changes and work on yourself more continuously and effortlessly. On the other hand, it shouldn't interfere with your performance or get you in trouble.
When thinking about your surroundings and surroundings, the first thought is likely to be your own home. It's also the most important part because that's where we spend most of the time. But it could also be your workplace, or the bus on the way to work. The environment I am referring to is much broader. It also includes your city, the people around you, your clothes, your car, the mall, and every place you spend time in.
So how do you adapt your environment then?
When struggling with addiction, those around you should make it as difficult as possible for you to relapse into negative behavior. For example, if you want to stop eating sugar, it is very difficult to avoid putting sugar in your mouth when you have sugary foods all over the house. Perhaps you've heard the saying, "The decision what to eat is made before you go to the supermarket." Which means that whatever you buy you will likely eat at some point. So if you go shopping without a shopping list, you will buy products that you really didn't want to buy - and you will eat them later! Second, remove any reminders (external triggers) that regularly remind you to do something you don't want to do. If there is an app on your phone that you don't want to use, delete it. If there are fast food restaurants on your way to work, find another route.
When you set a positive goal for yourself, make it as easy as possible to get started. If you want to do exercise in the morning, prepare everything the evening before. Set your alarm clock further away from the bed so that you have to get up to reach it. If you want to eat healthier, make sure that you always have enough healthy food in the house - and only food that you like to eat.
Here is a summary again:
a) Positive goal: easy start. It should be fun. Develop positive triggers.
b) Negative behavior: remove all memories. Prevent starting again.
I like to imagine that I am a stupid monkey who only does certain things but is slowly able to learn. If you don't like this idea, you can think of yourself as a person who reacts to things but is unable to control himself. Your behavior is triggered by your own impulses or influences from your environment. In this case, it would be of great advantage to set up your environment in such a way that it supports your goals. So you can benefit from your environment every day and you will be accompanied on your way. Your environment can be your worst enemy or your greatest ally.
2. Know yourself
This is the holy grail of lifestyle change. The hardest part, but also the most worthwhile.
Self-efficiency is a concept that is defined as: "People's belief in their ability to influence events that play a role in their lives. This core idea is the foundation of human motivation, performance, success, and emotional health." (Bandura, 1997, 2006) Or simply the belief that you can achieve your goals. This thought is like the opposite of learned helplessness **, the belief of being at the mercy of one's current situation with no way of escaping. You could say that with high self-efficiency and less learned helplessness you have a better chance of achieving your goals. So how can we achieve more self-efficiency and get rid of learned helplessness? Well, as the name suggests, helplessness has been learned so you can unlearn it again by teaching yourself that there is more than one way to react to certain situations.
The moment you set a goal and start working on it, you will also get to know yourself better if you stay attentive. Sounds complicated, but it's easy. Ask yourself, "How the hell did that happen?" and "What made me do this?". In psychology this is called reflexive self-awareness (RSA) or simply self-reflection. If you reflect on his behavior often enough, you not only understand how you function, but you can also get a realistic picture of yourself at the same time.
- What are you able to achieve?
- How much work do you have to put into achieving a goal?
- When do you have to start with your goal and how long will it take to reach it?
The best way to become more confident is to believe that it is possible to change, to observe yourself and to practice! Set yourself a goal that you can 100% achieve and do it! When you've made a small change in behavior, you can set bigger, longer, and more difficult goals for yourself. Because self-efficiencyprobably the most important factor in changing daily habits it takes a lot of practice to increase it. Start small like: "First thing in the morning, drink a glass of water!" You will learn that change is difficult, but quite feasible! As a little bonus there is the first Eureka! Moment when you learn to put the water glass down the evening before. This will make your new morning routine a lot easier!
To achieve a goal, you not only have to choose to achieve it, you have to make it happen, and timing is a big part of that. When you know yourself, you know when to start, how much effort it will take, and how long it will take you to prepare yourself to pull it off. For example, it would be unrealistic for most people to set a goal of losing weight and start exercising just before Christmas, because the whole month is full of irregular appointments, trips and good food. It would be a surefire way to fail.
I've already written that you can make an educated guess which motivational trick would work for you. If you know yourself well enough, you will also know what leads to success and what does not. You know your triggers and how to find your "WHY" s when you need motivation. Learn what kind of person you are and you will find out what motivates you for every situation - by changing the environment, encouraging words, or whatever is necessary. Be creative!
To sum it up: we know that one conscious decision is often not enough to achieve a goal ***, you need all the help that is available to you. If you design your environment correctly and understand your own behavior better, your chances of success increase significantly. Failure also becomes easier because you recognize the reasons for it and know what you can improve for the next time! There is no "right way" to do it - just do it - whatever it takes! Even if it doesn't matter where you get your motivation from, positive motivation is usually better. Anger and revenge can also work, for example when it comes to giving everything in the gym, but still try to formulate it positively. Ultimately, however, you are only accountable to yourself, which motivates you. :)
I'll even go so far as to say that you should first forget about the ways to motivate yourself. Concentrate all your energy on adapting your environment so that it can support you as best as possible. It seems that positive outcomes in life (like higher income, better health, better social relationships) do not depend on willpower and self-control, but on the fact that you don't even have to use these skills! For example, you can go on a diet to lose weight in the short term, but a change in diet would be more effective in the long term. Adjust your environment so that it supports your goals and the "greatest human strength" follows automatically. This also makes sense, because you don't have to actively resist seduction - instead, you are hardly seduced.
If you still have the time and energy to spare, invest it in understanding yourself. Find out what makes you successful and you will never need advice from anyone again!
Because motivation is such a complicated subject, we'll be publishing an article about it soon.
* What I categorize here as demotivating and harmful. It just doesn't get you closer to your goals.
** Some think that learned helplessness is a major cause of depression.
*** Science speaks about the intention-behavior gap.
Imagine: If you improved by 1% every day, you would have improved by 3800% * after a year. That doesn't really mean anything, but it demonstrates that small improvements have a big impact in the long run, because the behavior change doesn't just go away after 365 days. This is due to the compound interest effect.
Because everything is interconnected, the effects are sometimes difficult to imagine. When you stop consuming sugar, you imagine that you are breaking down fat tissue in the process. But it goes much further. It affects appearance, increases energy levels and improves cognitive skills. Weight loss can even have negative consequences, such as having to buy new clothes because the old things no longer fit. If you sell the old things at the flea market, you might get a little money back and finally clear out your closet. Maybe you will even meet the love of your life, because thanks to your newfound self-confidence you even dared to flirt when he passed your booth. 30 years later you are playing with your grandchildren and all because you made a small lifestyle change. You are a role model for them without diabetes, without depression and without an increased risk of injuring yourself at work. Who knows, but my point is that lifestyle change has more implications than just the goal you set yourself. And because we set positive goals, the consequences are usually positive - more positive for your well-being than you can imagine.
Have you ever worked on something that you had to really dig into to make it happen? You didn't really feel like doing it, but you did it anyway. Maybe you even got a bit of positive feedback for it. Felt good, didn't it ?! Do you remember when we talked about happiness hormone cocktails? We get that immediately if we achieve a small victory through hard effort. The bigger the victory, the sweeter the cocktail.
Most rewarding is still to discover yourself as a person and understand how you function in this world. Every time you fail or succeed, you can learn something about yourself. What made you act like you did? How can you succeed next time? Why did you get into this temptation again? What makes you do the things that you do When you work on yourself there are many side effects such as greater self-control, autonomy, freedom, contentment and the life you want. You may even become addicted to change and self-improvement because you want to test your limits and aim higher and higher in life. Or you just get a bigger and stronger happiness hormone cocktail.
* 1*(1+0,01)^365 = ~37,78
10. The principle of long-term pleasure
Because we only have one life, we should live it the way we want - not like other people or institutions tell us to. The previous section has already given you a few questions that will help you find your intrinsic motivation and learn what you really want. If you find out what drives you and you set yourself a goal that fits your inner values, you will immediately improve the meaning, focus and vision of your life [g1, g2, g6], because then you have something meaningful that is worth pursuing.
Lifestyle changes are about bringing more joy into your life. It's about leaving behind unwanted behaviors that make us unhappy. It's even better than buying something new because it's a long-term, ongoing project - without the buyer's regrets that may come after the material consumption. I have never met anyone who is not happy about a positive change. I cannot give you a 100% satisfaction guarantee because you are responsible, but I can promise you that you will be happier than if you only invest in material purchases.
What if you had a magical ability to change yourself and become whatever you want? This is exactly what you can learn, that is one of the core ideas of the Habinator app. Don't get me wrong: the app is just a tool to help you. Nothing and no one can make the change for you, they can only support you in it. Take responsibility for your own happiness and health and change yourself. The Habinator app is constantly improving - and so should you!
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