Although we learn to rely on motivation to get the things we want, and while many people around might have said to you - You’re not motivated enough, that’s why you can’t do/get/be…, it has been proven that relying on motivation alone is a mistake. Motivation and also willpower are like a muscle, and they have to be trained and let to ‘rest’ also. Therefore, motivation fluctuates, it comes and goes. You can feel very motivated in one moment when you think you got it and get de-motivated in just another moment when some obstacle arises - being bad mood, physical barrier or skill related factor.
3 behavior change hacks
One thing you can do to take advantage of motivation, is to use it to craft hacks to change your behavior for the better. And because I like to talk about wellness and health, I will give you 3 hacks for personal health behavior change.
1. Do hard things that make future behaviors easier
When your motivation is high you are able to do hard things. Take advantage of that moment to make the repetition of the future behavior you want to implement easier to do. This actually means increasing your ability to do things.
For example, in order to get yourself running in the morning, put your snickers near your bed, so when you wake up you have to stumble over them - which acts as a trigger to get you going. In order to ease into the new habit you want in your life, you have to remind your mind with (1) visible triggers (like the running shoes near the bed) of your intent, while increasing (2) the ability to do it - if you have the setup ready (clothers or running shoes ready) it is easier to do the behavior you are after.
2. Do hard things that reduce barriers to repeating behavior
When your motivation is high, do something hard first that can help with repetition of your future behaviors. For example, if you want to eat more vegetables, buy and store in the fridge - at eye level - the veggies (you can cut them and out them in glass containers) so every time you open the fridge you can see the veggies. This way you take away the problem of not having vegetables (you increase ability) and you put them in a visible eye level so they are detectable (trigger).
3. Do hard things that pre-commit future bevavior automatically
Commit to something you will do in the future and it be harder for you to convince yourself to change your mind. For example - if you are paying a personal trainer to exercise and you find it hard for you to go to the gym, see if the trainer can come to you. So every morning the door rings and you have to do it as you pre-commited to the behavior. The same goes for pre-commiting to a group of friends- peer support (and pressure:)) can be a powerful influencer on your future behaviors.
Give it a go - hack your way to health!
Inspiration from Habit Design Lecture (video)