You want to do anything you set your mind to? Some people think you’re either born motivated or lazy. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not true. In fact, biology only plays a role in about 30% of how motivated you are, and the rest is psychological. Today, I’m going to give you 6 psychological tricks to help you become more motivated.
1. Think about goals more long-term and general.
So, you want to be able to do anything you set your mind to. Well, you’re going to have to start thinking more long-term when it comes to setting goals. This is contrary to a lot of advice you may get but hear me out. When I say long-term, I mean start asking yourself WHY you’re aiming for something. Studies have shown that if you think about goals in why’s then you will have more willpower.
Most of us think in how’s, how am I going to do this or that? Well, that’s great and all, but that’s short-term thinking. When we ingrain our reasons into the action of doing a task, it becomes much easier to get motivated for.
2. Breaking down big goals into small ones
Everybody has dreams and goals. What differs people who achieve them and those who don’t is having a plan. Reaching goals is akin to climbing a giant staircase. Most people look at the whole staircase and feel overwhelmed. I advocate a different approach. Try climbing the staircase one step at a time. Finish a step, then look at the next step, then the next. Your willpower has to potential to be unlimited. However, if you only look at the large picture, your brain might assume you can’t do such a big task, and only give you a little bit of willpower.
This means we’re going to break our goals into chunks. One popular method to use is SMART goals. SMART is short for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. We should make sure our chunks have these traits when creating them. Without SMART goals, breaking goals into smaller steps still gives us more willpower. Once you do, you can achieve anything you wish in life.
3. Believe that you have tons of willpower
The power of belief is amazing. To increase your willpower, the next thing you have to do is change how you see willpower. A simple change of the mindset can open up a whole new world of possibilities. You create your own reality. Everything you experience is through your perception. Once you change your perception to align with completing your goals, then your motivation will rise to the occasion. For example, if you believe you have unlimited willpower, you will have more than someone who doesn’t.
Let’s look at the truth of the matter: our potential willpower far exceeds the amount that we use throughout the day. Your brain just likes to put a limit on how much you use. By learning about willpower, you can actually tap into more of your reserves.
4. Reward yourself
Rewards feel great to receive. Using a psychological method called Classical Conditioning, you can change any behavior. Add or remove either reinforcement or punishment to accomplish this. There are three factors when it comes to the effectiveness of these methods. They are magnitude, immediacy, and desire of the learner. After performing a desired behavior, maximize these factors when implementing a reward.
For example, if you want to get yourself to read a textbook, try eating a gummy-bear after each page. Also, try to keep telling yourself you want to study. In this example, immediacy, desire of learner, and magnitude are all implemented. Therefore, it is an effective way to condition yourself to study more.
5. Believe that you can accomplish your goals
The more confident you are that you can achieve a goal, the less willpower it takes to complete. Let’s say I ask you if you could write a book. In all likelyhood, you’d say no. Now, what if I asked you to write a paragraph? How about a page? Pay attention to the small accomplishments. That will increase your confidence in completing that task, and you will start believing that you can actually do it.
A good method to increase confidence is to track your growth. The more you see yourself grow, the less willpower it will take to go back to whatever you’re doing.
6. Change identity. Don’t identify with the bad habit
Identifying with an issue is detrimental to your performance. Conversely, identifying in alignment with your goals will decrease the amount of willpower they take. The question is, how do we identify with our goals?
Well, we need to be careful with how we use our language. As an example, you are not lazy, you are being lazy. You are not unmotivated, you are acting unmotivated at that time. Also, it’s good to use the phrase “I want to” when talking about our goals. Saying “I want to” is good because in doing so you are identifying with the new identity you want to have.