In part 2 we looked at the difference between towards and away from motivation and the pro’s and con’s of each.
In this final part we will look in detail about how to use the power of away from motivation to really kick start those things that you’ve been procrastinating about.
Remember that the away-from style is all about moving away from pain and the fastest and easiest way to ensure that we get what we want is to really turn up the pain.
Putting the theory into practice
Here is a simple exercise that will help you get the kick start that you want. This is not an intellectual exercise that will work simply by reading about it. Remember that in motivation is a feeling and in order to really get that feeling we need to engage our whole imagination.
Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.
- Take a sheet of paper and write down your goal, concisely and clearly
- Imagine yourself in the future having either failed to achieve your goal or having never actually started
- Write a list of all of the things that did happen that you didn’t want to (e.g had uncomfortable conversations with boss and/or partner about not achieving goals, went on a different holiday than we wanted and spent the whole time regretting not working harder)
- Write a list of feelings that you’ve missed out on because you didn’t achieve your goal (e.g satisfaction, success, achievement)
- Write a list of feelings that you have as a result of not achieving your goal (e.g worthlessness, frustration, anger at self etc
As you write these things, imagine yourself feeling them right now, the more that you put yourself in the picture and make it real the stronger the feelings will be.
After you have done this and made yourself feel really bad it’s time to do the opposite. Spend some time now thinking about that first step and what will happen as a result of you taking action. Write down what you are going to do and when you are going to do. Make a commitment to yourself. Be careful that you don;t say “I’ll try to ….”, instead say “I’m going to….”.
Then at the very first opportunity go do it! As soon as you have, write down on the same sheet of paper what you did and how you feel as a result. This sends a reminder to your mind how good it feels to take action on your goals. Don’t worry if you didn’t get the result that you wanted to either. Perhaps your goal was to go for a 5 minutes run before you go to work and you only manged 3 minutes. It’s not important. What is important is that you have begun to create the habit taking action on your goals and it will be so much easier next time.
Onwards and Upwards
Does this sound familiar? Perhaps you’ve seen the film A Christmas Carol (sometimes known as Scrooge) by Charles Dickens. Remember how the old miser Scrooge was motivated into action by the Ghost of Christmas Future, being shown how things would turn out if he continued down the path that he was on. He was literally frightened and shamed into action. We can learn a lot from literature and the above exercise that you’re going to do very soon is the modern day equivalent of the Dickensian Ghost.
For Best Results – Mix and Match
If you’ve been procrastinating about something, finding it difficult to begin then the away-from style of motivation and the above exercise are really going to get things moving. Don’t forget to think about the future though, how it will be when you have your goal. If you want to you can go the whole hog and create vision boards but why not create the habit of simply closing your eyes and day-dreaming about the future.
That’s a whole other article of course but for now if you want to find out more about how daydreaming will help you to become more motivated and a better problem solver, check out some of the articles on this page:
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