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How to Get and Stay Motivated: Creating Compelling Reasons

8/26 10:08:11

Wish you had more motivation? Do you set ambitious goals, start off with a bang , and then fizzle out long before the job is done? Do you keep beating yourself up for not following through?

Although you're probably thinking "I just lack motivation," there's a good chance that all you're really lacking is a working knowledge of what I call Motivational Mechanics.

Motivational Mechanics is not about how much motivation you have. It's about using the right tools to create as much motivation as you need to get the job done.

Can you imagine trying to fix a flat tire by using your bare hands to lift the car off the ground and loosen the lug nuts? You certainly wouldn't have enough physical strength to do that. But you would have more than enough physical strength to get the job done if you used a jack and a lug nut wrench. In a sense, these tools would make you stronger.

If you think you don't have enough motivation, for example, to stick to a diet, think again. With the right tools and a willingness to use them, you can get the job done.

One such tool is what my colleague Pete Greider and I call "Creating Compelling Reasons." Let me illustrate how Creating Compelling Reasons could help you stick to a diet.

Suppose you've decided to stay away from high calorie desserts. Unfortunately, you love them, and whenever they're available, your motivation to lose weight is just no match for the temptation.

But suppose you make a deal with yourself: Before eating a forbidden dessert, you'll call a charitable organization you despise and make a $50 donation with your credit card.

What effect will the deal have on your motivation to skip dessert?

Instead of relying solely on your motivation to lose weight, the deal allows you to tap into additional sources of motivation that are there for the tapping. By deliberately tying eating dessert to wasting money, supporting a despicable cause and feeling foolish, you give yourself compelling new reasons to skip dessert. As a result, you'll have a lot more motivational horsepower on your side the next time you face a tempting dessert.

When the "right" reasons don't leave you with enough motivation to get the job done, Creating Compelling Reasons can be a very powerful tool for increasing motivation.

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