Have you ever heard someone say:
“I just need to FEEL more motivated, then I’ll get started”?
Honestly, I think most people want to feel more motivated. But the truth is, if you’re waiting for this sudden spark of motivation, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Instead, the real way to become motivated has nothing to do with having motivation as a goal. It’s about having a strategy that you use when your motivation is at its peak.
So today, I’ll show you a simple 3-step formula to help you reach your goals, faster.
The motivational wave
The real problem with motivation is motivation isn’t a constant factor
Scientists call this the “motivational wave,” which is exactly what it sounds like.
For example, when we try to get in shape, we’re usually on a roll for a couple of weeks, but eventually, we end up right back to where we started.
Or, when we attend different seminars, we’re inspired and motivated to use everything we’ve learned. But after a while, what happens?we’re right back into our old routine.
What’s the real problem with motivation?
It’s funny. I could give you the perfect tactic RIGHT NOW that would make you feel more motivated.
And honestly, it would work for a couple of days, but what happens after the 14-day mark? You would be right back to where you started.
So the real problem with motivation isn’t that we lack knowledge. We don’t even need more stuff like new iPhone apps to help us stay on track.
No, the real problem is our psychology.
You don’t even have to look far for the perfect example of why the real problem isn’t a tactical issue.
Look at the weight loss industry. There’s more information about “how to lose weight” than EVER before. There’s books, courses, personal trainers, online programs, there’s a TON of information.
So let’s be honest, in general, people know how to do it: Eat less, exercise more, cut out processed food.
But, they’re still not doing anything about it. Let’s be honest, they could do something as simple as a Google search to get them started.
But, they’re still not doing what they should do.
How to use the science of motivation to reach your goals, faster
So if productivity apps and other tactics don’t work, what should you do?
It’s all about harnessing your motivation to help you PLAN OUT your goal. What I mean by that is, you use your motivation to create a plan when you’re at your BEST — not when you’re at your worst.
Jim Rohn had the perfect quote about motivation, he said:
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn
He said that years before scientists discovered the concept of “motivational waves.” Again, the goal is to use motivation to PLAN OUT your goal when you’re at your best, not at your worst.
Here’s a simple framework to help you harness your motivation to reach your goals more efficiently.
Be extremely clear about WHAT you want.
Be as specific as you possibly can. You can use these questions to get started:
- “What do I really want?”
- “When do I want to reach it?”
- “Is this relevant for me, right now?”
I always recommend my clients to focus on a goal they can reach within the next 100 days. Why? Because 100 days from now is not too far away and it’s not too short. In general, you don’t want to focus on goals so far out in the future, that you end up forgetting everything about them.
So just stick to a goal you can reach with the next 100 days, and make it as specific as possible.
The next step is where your psychology comes into effect.
Be brutally honest: WHY do you want this?
One of my mentors once said that success is 80% psychology and only 20% details. What he meant was, if we don’t have a very clear purpose and a STRONG reason WHY we should aim for something, we’ll never do it!
There’s a lot of research in both psychology and neuroscience to back this up. If we don’t have strong enough reasons to do something, we naturally fall back into our old habits.
Again, think back to the weight loss industry example. People know they should lose weight. But if they believe that it’s too much hard work, it’s boring, and they have to give up all the foods they love forever. Guess what, they are never going to lose that weight.
The point is if your goal is just “nice to have” and not “need to have” your subconscious mind will take over, and it’s only a matter of time before you’re back to your old habits
The next part is pretty straightforward.
At this point, you already know two things: (1) you know what you want, (2) you know why you want it.
Those two things are the hard part. Right now, you only have to outline how to reach your goal and start with the smallest piece.
Start outlining 5 specific action steps. Just be clear. You already know what you want. So what are the steps you need to take to reach it? Keep things simple.
Once you have at least 5 action steps, find the action step you can tackle right now to get started.
Become a top performer by understanding your psychology
We all know we should do certain things, but we don’t do them.
And the real problem is, we don’t have strong enough reasons to do them and follow through.
But once you understand how your own psychology can work against you, you’ve already taken a huge step in becoming a top performer.
Once you lay out the three steps: (1) what you want, (2) why you want it, (3) how you’re going to achieve it, you’ve done more hard work upfront than most people do.
So, here’s my challenge to you:
What was the #1 thing that surprised you the most about this post?
Share your biggest surprise in the comments below. I read every comment.
KRISTIAN THAULOW is the author of “The TRUST Method,” a Business Results Strategist, and the protagonist of the leadership revolution. He’s on a mission to help ambitious executives become amazing leaders and create more impact. Get his free case study and learn his proven “Hidden Leverage Blueprint” that will increase your profitability by 6 or 7 figures and retain your A players.