stay motivated body brain alliance

How to Get Motivated & Stay Motivated

Incoming hot take… 

I think how to get motivated is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the self-help world. It’s the one concept where the common wisdom doesn’t actually match the science at all. 



In fact, some of the common wisdom is actually the polar opposite of what research supports. 



In this blog, you’re going to learn 3 scientific concepts that will help you build a better understanding of how to get motivated and stay motivated. It’s time to improve your relationship with motivation. 



Prefer to learn on video? Watch here:

Hi, I’m Karin… Technically, Dr. Karin because I’m a PhD expert in all things mindset and behavior change. 


Now, as the CEO and founder of Body Brain Alliance, I’m here to bring you the real science between popular self-help wisdom and give you step-by-step tools you can actually use instead of just throwing motivational slogans at you and telling you to grind harder. 


The first thing you need to know about motivation is that we all hold a cognitive skill called meta motivation.


This is our ability to generate and direct motivation when we need it to accomplish specific behaviors. 


Just like playing violin or skiing, you might have level zero of this skill right now, but you absolutely do have potential to build and get better at it. 


If you’ve ever gotten better at a skill before, you know the first step is often understanding accurately how something works. 

So how does motivation actually work?


The truth is that our actions at any given moment are influenced by something known as decisional balance


This is basically the invisible, but powerful list of pros and cons we have running inside our head. 


It’s pretty simple. 


If the pros outweigh the cons, we’re motivated enough to take action. 

If the cons outweigh the pros, we aren’t.


However, once we bring our awareness to the fact that decisional balance exists, we can actually start influencing it.


When you’re experiencing low or non-existent motivation, think of that as an indicator that your pros list is running out of gas. 


You need fuel and the only one who can fill it up is you…

So how do you fill up that tank? 

There are 2 concepts that can make a big difference. 


The first one is called value salience, which is basically the idea that at different times our values feel like they matter more or less. 


To us, salience is kind of like a flavor. 


A value with high salience feels strong, powerful and relevant, but one with low salience feels distant and far away. 

One of the tactics you can use to help tip that decisional balance scale is to actually make your values more salient. 

You can ask yourself questions like:

      • What value am I embodying by getting this done? 

      • How will I feel when this task is complete?

      • What type of person am I becoming by choosing to take this action? 

    The second way you can generate emotion and fill up that decisional balance tank is by using a skill called emotional regulation


    Emotional regulation is our ability to exert control over our emotional state. 


    Oftentimes, when we are feeling unmotivated or even resistant towards a certain behavior, it’s because we think we will feel a certain emotion during that task. 


    We imagine that workout and in our head we’re thinking of how hard it will be, how tired we’ll feel, or how miserable the experience will be.

    What you need to know is that our brain is not very good at distinguishing between fantasy and reality. 

    When you imagine those unpleasant emotions, you’re experiencing them in the moment. You start to feel more tired, more resistance, and the desire to stay on the couch amplifies. 


    That’s where emotional regulation comes in. 


    Next time you’re in that place, I want you to tap into your body. 

    Ask yourself: 

        • What am I actually feeling right now? 

        • What emotions am I ignoring? 

      Then I want you to think of all the emotions that you could use to fuel the task at hand. 


      Remember, you don’t need to feel the emotion of motivation in order to take action.


      You can actually get that workout done from an angry place or an excited place, or a nostalgic place, etc. 


      You’ll simply ask yourself: 

          • Which of the emotions that I’m currently experiencing could fuel me to take the action I want? 

        This is going to take what was previously a con on your decisional balance scale, and flip it into a pro. 


        It’s going to help you feel different, and that is going to make a huge impact. 


        In Conclusion: 


        Keep in mind, these are just two tactics out of TONS that exist on how to improve that meta motivational skill we talked about at the beginning. 

        If you’re interested in a deep dive, we have a whole workshop on motivation inside of our Change Academy membership. 

        Play around, ask yourself the questions I listed earlier and see if you can make your motivation a little better this week. I wish you the best of luck, see you in the next one! 


        Join The Discussion: 

        Share in the comment section below!


        > Write down one task or action that you generally feel low motivation about. 

        >> Then I want you to link that to your values. 

        >>> What does it mean to you when you get that task done? 

        Want to learn the real science behind self-help?


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        Only for $27/month – check it out here

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        Hi, I'm Karin

        I’m a funfetti flavor super-fan, a loving dog mom, a PhD expert in mindset and behavior change… and I’m here to help make personal development and transformation a process that’s actually fun.


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