Sometimes, we all struggle with motivation. It happens, it’s a part of life. We often have things that we want to do, that we know we need to do and that we just can’t seem to get focused enough to get it done and stop procrastinating.
It can be a challenge to make ourselves do something that’s not already a habit.
Fortunately, if you know what you’re doing, habits are easy to create.
We’ve all heard of classical conditioning. If two things happen over and over at the same time they become neurologically linked. That’s why Pavlov ringing the bell and feeding his dogs made them salivate when he rang the bell. Neuroscientists refer to this as Hebb’s Law, which is often summed up as “Neurons that fire together, wire together.”
As a general rule, two things only have to happen at the same time roughly 21 times for them to become connected; and often, that connection becomes self-reinforcing.
Consider then, that the fastest way to build a habit, to make something automatic and almost inevitable. If you can activate the neurons associated with something inevitable over and over at the same time as something else happens, then you can make that something else inevitable too, (At least to your mind.)
The easiest way to put this to work is with a motivation building exercise. All you have to do is list a bunch of things that you WILL do today without question and then add the thing you want to motivate yourself to do to that list.
I WILL eat today.
I WILL drink water today.
I WILL use the bathroom today.
I WILL talk to people today.
I WILL sleep today.
I WILL X today.
Simply repeat this 21 times and you will find yourself highly motivated to do X. You may well do it without thinking about it consciously. At the very least, you will feel a sense of urgency to do it. If you repeat this with your goal for 21 consecutive days, doing your goal should seamlessly and easily become part of your daily routine.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be a specific accomplishment either. You could easily say, I WILL smile a lot today or I WILL be happier than I have been today or I WILL remain calm in the face of things which used to disturb me today.
In fact, by using this technique your overall willpower will improve. You may find that after using this technique for a couple of months that simply saying “I WILL do X” will tend to recruit that need to do X. The more you follow through on what you say you WILL DO, the more you train your mind to do just that. You train your mind to be driven, committed and focused on making those things you say you WILL DO happen.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that if there’s a lot of subconscious resistance to the thing you want to do, this may not work the first time. I recommend starting to use this on situations where you’re only feeling a little resistant to doing something and work up to bigger things. Build the habit of using this technique and inevitably following through. Once that habit is established, the sky’s the limit.
Give it a try. I think you’ll be delighted with how well this works.
Thank you for reading!
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