A Two-Step Framework for Staying Motivated

Fabio Rosato

September 9, 2022

Wanting to improve your life is easy. Sticking with it is a different story.

The secret to staying motivated in the long term is a two-step process:

  1. Use the Goldilocks Rule and work on tasks of just manageable difficulty
  2. Measure your progress and receive immediate feedback whenever possible

The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.

Working on challenges of an optimal level of difficulty has been found to not only be motivating but also to be a major source of happiness.

Seeing yourself make progress is incredibly motivating.

This blend of happiness and peak performance is sometimes referred to as flow, which is what athletes and performers experience when they are β€œin the zone.”

It is the mental state you experience when you are so focused on the task at hand that the rest of the world fades away.

If you want to stay motivated for good, then start with a challenge that is just manageable, measure your progress, and repeat the process.

Now go do your magic.

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