In today’s blog, we’re diving into how to find motivation. It’s one you don’t want to miss, seriously.
Have you ever heard this saying before? “You don’t need motivation, you need discipline.”
I hear this one a lot and as a behavior change expert, and there is nothing that makes me cringe as much as that saying…
And that is because it is completely, totally WRONG!
In fact, you do need motivation.
All human behavior is motivated behavior.
Now, does that mean you have that hyped up super motivated feeling all the time? No, of course not.
But as soon as you realize that motivated behavior and feeling motivated are separate and that we can motivate our behavior with a wide variety of emotions…
THAT MY FRIEND, IS GOING TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
I know it will because I’ve seen hundreds of clients go through the transformation of learning to motivate themselves, and I’ve seen how that has an impact on their lives.
Prefer to learn on video? Watch here:
By the way, hi, my name is Dr. Karin Nordin and I am a PhD level expert in behavior change and mindset. I’m also the CEO and founder at Body Brain Alliance, and we’re here to bring you the real science behind self-help.
Here are 3 super concrete questions that you can ask yourself in order to spark some kind of reaction. And that reaction may even lead to you learning to manipulate your motivation in a more effective way. So let’s dive in.
Question #1: What will completing this task unlock for me?
I’ll say that one more time. What will completing this task unlock for me? I actually got this from one of our behavior change coaches. I was talking to her because she is my coach in our Alliance Coaching Program and I was talking to her about my own struggles, my own resistance towards doing a particular task.
In this case, it was my end of day checkout. I try to zero my inbox, clean up my computer at the end of the day, but it’s a ritual that sometimes I don’t feel motivated to do.
So I was talking to her about it and she asked me that question.
At first, I was confused… What does this question mean?
But she explained that the word “unlock” in this question really means what becomes available to you if and only if this is done.
So when I do my end of day checkout, what does that unlock for me? What becomes available to me? Well, I feel more peaceful after that checkout is done. I generally am able to separate my work-life balance better and I’m more focused when I come in the next day.
Those benefits are unlocked when I choose to do that action.
Asking yourself this question could be powerful because it gets you thinking about and visualizing the benefits of a task in a new and creative way.
And we know from research that visualizing those benefits is going to be extremely helpful in motivating you towards action.
This is a tricky one… Again, I’ll say it one more time. What part of me do I want to reinforce here? Think about the choices in your life as having one of two paths.
Every single time you make a choice, you can choose to either reinforce your current self, repeat your previous pattern, do the same things that you have always done, or you can choose to break those patterns.
You can choose to approach your life in a new way and you can choose to reinforce the self you actually want to become.
The truth about change is that change is not the result of being consistent.
Change is the result of being inconsistent with the person you are now breaking the patterns of what you always do, breaking the habits that form your current iteration of you.
You need to be inconsistent with your current behaviors. You need to surprise yourself in order to really see change. And that’s something not a lot of people think about.
So when you’re sitting there and you’re feeling that resistance and you’re not feeling motivated and you’re like, “Ugh, I don’t want to do this.” Especially if that task is so small that it feels kind of meaningless…
Remind yourself that every single choice you make is an opportunity to reinforce the person that you want to be.
If you start recognizing those opportunities, taking those opportunities and then celebrating that you took them… Trust me, things will change you faster than you even realize.
This loop is exactly what we do with our clients in Alliance Coaching by the way.
Question #3: What if I’m wrong?
Okay, hear me out for a second and let me set the scene…
You’re sitting on your couch, scrolling on YouTube or TikTok or Facebook and behind you in the kitchen are some dirty dishes in the sink. Sound familiar?
You know they should be done, but you’re feeling so tired, and unmotivated to do them.
In that moment, let’s zoom into what’s actually happening inside of your brain.
Inside of your brain: You are visualizing yourself doing that task. You’re visualizing it being hard, it being gross, exhausting, or extremely unpleasant.
Here’s the science: Your brain does NOT know the difference between imagining a task and doing a task. So when you’re visualizing those things, you’re actually reinforcing the current feeling in your body of tiredness, feeling grossed out, unmotivated, etc.
So this is where the question comes in…
If in those moments you were to ask yourself:
- What if I’m wrong?
- What if there’s something about this task that’s going to be pleasant or rewarding?
- What if this could actually be fun?
- What if it’s not going to take as long as I think it’s going to take?
- What if it’s way easier than I’m imagining it to be?
When you get your brain to switch into the visualization through that question and start imagining new realities and new possibilities… THAT is going to shift your mood and state almost immediately, which is also going to help generate a ton of motivation.
Make sure you write those 3 questions down so you can get into this habit of creating motivation for yourself!
1. What will completing this task unlock for me?
2. What part of me do I want to reinforce here?
3. What if I’m wrong? What if this could actually be fun?
Join The Discussion:
In the comments below, I would love to hear from you what ONE task you’re consistently unmotivated to do and how you plan to use these questions in order to get motivated to do that task in the future.
Want To Learn More About Motivation? Here’s Some Extra Resources:
Check out this previous blog: How To Motivate Yourself To Change Your Behavior for more information like this.
Do you feel like directing your behavior is an issue in your life? If you feel like you want to close the gap between knowing what to do and actually doing it between the person that you’ve always wanted to be and the person you are now… I highly encourage you to check out our one-on-one coaching program Alliance Coaching HERE.
We have coached over 300 clients using behavior change science.I have seen it change their lives, and I know it can change yours too.
I know it may feel scary to think about investing in a coach, but just remember that it’s okay to ask for help if you need it. And if changing your life or becoming a certain type of person has been something that you’ve wanted for so long… Maybe it’s worth a little time, energy and investment in order to get there.
That’s all I’ve got for you today. I will see you in the next blog!