Wednesday, December 03, 2014

New Habits Feed Motivation For New Behaviours


Want to get motivated? Try some new habits!

Here's something that might surprise you. What you think motivates you... probably doesn't.

We have a lot of ideas about who we are, what drives us. What prevents us from doing the things we profess to want to do. The sobering truth is that we people are really not that good at separating what we think we do and our actual behaviour. Some social psychology studies reveal interesting myths we tend to believe and it is far different than what actually changes behaviour.

Goals and Motivation

Some look at motivation as something that we go to a workshop or seminar to 'fill up our tank' with motivation. The problem with that is that after the expensive seminar, we are back home and leaking motivation till the tank is empty again.

Rather than look outside ourselves for motivation, it is more useful to find that essence inside that connects with that is truly of value to us at a core level.

Setting goals for things that don't matter is pretty pointless. If it is just stuff that has no meaning, put it on a shopping list or drop it altogether. Pretending to set goals we have no intention of changing our habits in order to achieve just trains us to be unreliable, untrustworthy and all that does is erode self esteem.  If you are not going to do something, own it. When we make promises we have no intention to honour we erode our self respect. Whether we know it or not.

Be clear on what it is you want
Be clear on what purpose having what you want achieves for you.
Be clear on what not having this will mean for you and those around you.
Be clear on the steps that need to happen and the order in which you will carry them out in order for this to happen.
Budget for whatever resources you need to make this happen. That might be in money or time, or both.

Set Your Expectations And Make New Habits.

If you are setting out to achieve a change in your behaviour then you will be looking to isolate the current habits that you have which are preventing you from getting the results that come with the new behaviour.  Once you have identified the habits that are stopping you - then you need to identify a new set of habits that underpin your new behaviour and assist you to reach your intended outcome. Work this through to make sure this new habit has the potential to do what it needs to do for you. That taking on this new habit will achieve the resulting behaviour but won't create unintended downside effects that make problems or add stress to your life or for those around you.

Let's look at an example.

Say you feel pudgy and tired all the time and stressed out. You want to get more physically active but time is a pressure for you. You don't feel like you have any time to yourself and if you take time to go for a walk or other activity then you will be putting pressure on your partner to manage the household alone.

 New Behaviour

You want to walk for half an hour
Take time to meditate for ten minutes
Get ready for work without being rushed.

The Why - Purpose: Is to feel better, less stressed and more in control of life.

New habit: Set the alarm for an hour earlier and take this time to do whatever is required for your new behaviours.

Previously, you set the alarm for 6.30 am.

Now you set the alarm for 5.30 am. And you get up when it goes off.

Feel like you are missing out if you don't get a bit of a sleep in? Set it for 5. 10 and be up and out of bed by 5.25 am. Refreshed.

Sabotaging Your Adult Self

Now what happens, some people will look at the idea of getting up at 5.30am as a kind of punishment. Something that your parents might make you do, like you are a little kid. Like a little kid you might be tempted to "cheat" and oversleep.

But there is nobody to cheat. Only you.

New Habits

Now you are walking each morning
Taking time to meditate and reflect on life
Clearing the time to get ready for work at a leisurely pace
Not taking time away from your other commitments

A Gift To Yourself 

Getting an extra hour a day just for you, is a long way from a punishment. It is the greatest gift that you can give yourself. A whole hour to just do your thing without being required to do anything else for anyone. No obligations, no expectations from others, just a set of things for you to do, that gets you the results that you want, and makes life easier and your energy more abundant.

Now that's something to get you motivated, and rewarded!

Resolutions - They are not the same as goals! 
How to set goals you will reach
When you want to be motivated - use your habits to help! 




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