Action Creates Motivation
Motivation is not going to be enough to create long term and sustainable progress, motivation is forever ebbing and flowing, it comes and goes. Right now, you have an opportunity to adjust your routine, you can actually change/set up your lifestyle to maximise progress. For example, if you are now working from home, so your environment’s changed, although you should still try and find a little space that can become your new work station. By creating a new space in house specifically for work you can stay productive, and when you leave that space you can leave the work behind. You should separate your different spaces, i.e. set up a home gym space, set up a relaxing space, set up a “lunch room” space. This will help you switch off from certain tasks and switch on for the right task at the right time.
A big part of sustainable change, is changing your environment and if your previous work environment was toxic you can now make a positive change to suit your desired outcomes. You can actually make the most of this change and put positive things in place and start to create new good habits. Sit down, write out some things that you actually positively want to change.
How to take action
Motivation will ebb and flow, and can’t be relied upon as it will usually disappear when you need it the most. Nevertheless, there is a solution to still progressing without motivation and that is through HABITS. Habits are actions that you automatically do, by manipulating certain habits you can set yourself up for long term success. Atomic Habits by James Clear is a great book to learn how to create habits. Atomic Habits is about accumulating lots of small, easy and sustainable habits overtime to create big long term change.
How to create a good habit
Here’s a simple breakdown of how James Clear details how to create Atomic Habits:
- Make it obvious – Design your environment, make the cues for good habits obvious and visible. For example, you might want to eat more fruit, write it out as, “I will “eat one piece of fruit “at 12 o’clock in my kitchen”. You’re naming the behavior because you want to eat more fruit because you want to be healthier. You’re giving it a time, 12 o’clock, and you’re doing it in your kitchen. Maybe you set up a fruit bowl in your kitchen with the apples insight as an easy reminder.
- Make it attractive – Pair your new habit with something you really want to do. There are a few ways this can be done 1. join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior, 2. create a motivation ritual by doing something you enjoy immediately before a difficult habit. For example, making a habit of doing more mobility every day. Join an online class but do it with a friend, spend 10 minutes before the mobility class catching up with your friend (something you enjoy doing).
- Make it easy – Reduce friction and limit the amount of steps you need to take to complete the new habit. There are a few ways this can be done, 1. Use the two-minute rule, downscale your habits until they can be done in two minutes or less. 2. Automate your habits by investing in technology and onetime purchases that lock in future behavior. For example, set a reminder on your phone when you want to complete a habit.
- Make it satisfying – You should reward yourself everytime you complete your new habit. Gamify your habits by keeping a habit tracker and see if you can jump on a hot streak! Never miss twice, when you forget to do a habit, make sure you get back on track immediately. For example, create a habit tracking sheet and everytime you complete your habit tick it off and enjoy something you like.
Aim big but start small, you can have a larger goal but break it down into smaller pieces to make it easier to work towards. Use the strategies above to help you create new habits and achieve your goals.