How do people stay motivated to shed weight and keep it off? How do people stay motivated in sales to keep making calls everyday? How do people stay motivated to finish that novel or nurture a relationship?
I get questions like this quite often especially from my coaching clients.
So what is the sexy, NLP secret to lasting motivation?
It’s not really sexy and it’s debatable whether you can call it NLP. Well… actually modeling is NLP and NLP is modeling and this is something I modeled from myself to map across to other areas of my life. In that sense it’s NLP.
The answer is habituation.
I know. It’s so unsexy isn’t it.
Before I explain more, it’s important to throw away this idea you have called “motivation”. It’s bullshit and it’s just an obstacle between you and the outcome you want.
When I here people say “I want to make more money, but I’m just not motivated” or “I want to get healthy but I’m just not motivated like you are”, I laugh.
For these people motivation has gone from an idea to a narrative about themselves as if the motivation fairy only blesses the lucky ones with motivation fairy dust.
If you’re waiting and hoping for motivation you’re wasting your time.
Discard the motivation concept. There’s no such thing as motivation.
If you read my blogs and you watch my videos you’ve heard me (and read me) talk a lot about eliciting values. Your values or what you value is your motivation. Full stop. Don’t go any further than that.
But values alone might not get you there. You also need a good strategy like habit or habituation.
Did you brush your teeth this morning or were you not motivated and skipped it? Did you get dressed today before work? How did you get the motivation to do it?
These questions may seem ridiculous, and they are, but they’re no more ridiculous than the questions at the beginning of this article.
Getting dressed and brushing your teeth are habits you established in childhood. Motivation- the need for it nor the lack of it- never enters the equation for you these days, does it?
When you were a small child though you didn’t feel motivated to brush your teeth and get dressed. Your parents made you do these things until it became important to you to have good breath and a nice smile and to look attractive.
At that point you just did it and you never thought about “MOTIVATION”.
Here’s a very simple and very effective equation to resolve the “motivation” issue.Forget about motivation. Get clear about what you want and the value getting it will fulfill for you. Habituate a task or tasks regularly until the habit or habits becomes unconscious.
For example if you want to eat healthier, get clear about what’s important about eating healthier. Say you want a better quality of life and you want to live longer so you can see your yet to be born grandchildren become adults.
Create new habits like drinking only a low calorie, nutrient dense, protein shake in the morning, have a balanced, low calorie, nutrient dense lunch and the same for dinner. Have one cheat day a week or have two half cheat days spread throughout the week. Weigh yourself every morning except the morning after a cheat day. Exercise no less than 3 hours a week.
Do these habits until they become unconscious and the results will be exponential. No motivation needed.