Motivation is a dangerous mistress.
You shouldn’t (just) rely on it, but lacking it completely makes for a very sour and dull life.
So here’s what I’ve found to work pretty well for me after reading more self-help books and productivity articles than I’m comfortable admitting.
1. Define your goals properly
Frame it with the (happy) END in mind. Your goal should excite you!
“Get a Hollywood hero physique” over “Go to the gym”.
Doing something cause you want to is more exciting than doing it cause you have to (aka intrinsic over extrinsic motivation).
2. Set an ambitious but attainable target
Make it challenging enough that you don’t slack off, but accessible enough that you don’t get paralyzed.
Use specific numbers.
“Lift weights 3x/week for 45 minutes” over “Workout more”.
3. Monitor your progress
Making progress is addicting. So make sure you’re tracking it!
On the low days, use the sunk cost fallacy to push you forward. Don’t break the chain!
(You’re almost done with this post, Fabio. Don’t quit now!)
4. Survive the middle slum
Motivation is highest at the beginning and end of a project.
The middle is dangerous territory.
To beat it, once you’re past the midpoint flip from reviewing progress made to monitoring the shrinking amount of work left.
(Just 1 more bullet, Fabio!)
5. Think about your future self
It may be ok to drop it today. You just don’t feel like it.
But ask yourself whether it’s ok to do that for the rest of your life.
We are what we repatedly do. So think about your future. Think about who you want to be.
And be that person NOW.
- Define your goals properly, happy end in mind.
- Set an ambitious but doable specific target.
- Track your progress.
- Survive the middle slum.
- Think about your future self.
Now go do your magic.