Motivation, by its very nature, is fleeting. We get a rush of inspiration, of drive which gets the ball rolling.
Yet, we can’t sustain this forward movement.
We wake up one morning, a little bit tired and a little bit sore. We decide that we can afford to miss that morning workout, just this once. Hitting snooze, we roll over and go back to sleep.
It’s easy to let ourselves slip. One small moment of indecision, where motivation has deserted us, and suddenly our forward momentum is halted.
Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy.
Therefore, rather than relying on motivation to fuel us, we need to establish other internal systems to fall back on.
These systems for success (or ‘habits’) are simply processes for decision making. If we can automate these, or rely on these systems to help us make better decisions, motivation is removed from the equation.
There are a few simple steps to building these default systems:
- Be clear on why you desire this behaviour. Think of this as your purpose for doing this behaviour. Whether it is going for a daily walk, eating high-quality food or reading every day, you need to have your reason for doing it. Why do you want to do it?
- Set your goal. Ask yourself, “What does success look like here?” Is it doing this behaviour every day for 30 days straight? Is it finishing a book within a set time frame? Hint: use a goal-setting framework for this step (i.e. SMART goals).
- Create an accountability system. Recruit a friend, colleague or family member to help you. Surround yourself with people who are also doing this behaviour. Keep each other accountable for doing the work by checking in regularly.
- Create consistency by putting in the work at a set time and place. If you know that at 3pm every day you are going to meet a friend for a walk, it becomes a regular part of your day. It becomes routine.
- Commit. Make a commitment to yourself that you will show up every day and do the work.
- Celebrate the small wins. When you’re a week down, pat yourself on the back. You’re doing a great job. Once you’ve done that, get back to work.
To supercharge this whole process, review it often before you start running out of “motivation” again. Make this a part of a monthly review.
Discipline is doing the work, even when we don’t feel like it. By creating these systems, we are building discipline and ensuring that we consistently show up.
If you think about it, this is the only option that makes sense. Do the things that are good for you, delay gratification and play the long game. This is how we achieve our goals and become the version of ourselves that we can be proud of.
If you need a hand with building systems or habits, I would love to work with you one-on-one. Send me an email or a message.