Motivation Isn’t the Problem

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How do I give my best effort if I am lacking motivation?

Had a feeling you might ask that.

First, beating yourself up and calling it motivation will not work…

It’s not motivation that you lack.

You want to change something in your life, right?

Either start a new habit or break a bad habit that has been driving you crazy.

The goal here shouldn’t be feeling motivated. The goal is starting.

The biggest secret to being motivated more often is to take action – no matter how small that action may seem – you got to take the baby step.

Let me explain using a current situation in my life.

For me, the habit I severely need to break is multi-tasking while working.

Each day my productivity suffers because I get distracted by responding to emails, text messages, and Instagram DMs, all while working in my business.

I’ve known that this has been an issue for quite some time, but I still end up finding myself all over the place at work somedays. When this happens, I usually chalk it up as a non-productive day, and I get frustrated and pissed off because I feel like I didn’t get anything done.

The problem isn’t motivation.

In my scenario, there are three problems:

  1. Long term change doesn’t happen from feeling bad (in my case, frustrated).
  2. The problem isn’t motivation or willpower alone – this is something I genuinely want; I hate being unproductive!
  3. The problem is in the design.

How Behavior Change Works 101:

Behavior change happens when we have a prompt, ability, and motivation.

To stop a habit, we must either:

A. Remove or avoid the prompt (prompt)

B. Find ways to make the habit harder (ability)

C. Reduce motivation (motivation)

My issue with multi-tasking exists in the prompts.

While working, I usually have my cell phone next to me. I have iMessage enabled on my mac; Telegram messenger is open, and I typically have five tabs open on either of my monitors and half-written emails to finish.

NO FREAKING WONDER I have issues with multi-tasking!

Back to the formula…

To make the change, I need to remove the prompt. In this case, the prompts are the distractions and notifications.

To stop multi-tasking while working, I must:

  • Keep my phone on Airplane mode
  • Disable iMessage
  • Turn off all notifications
  • Keep one tab open (the only thing I am working on)

To go one step further, I can set a timer (not on my phone) for 25 minutes and only work on one thing at a time—no getting up for coffee, no checking email, nothing else but doing that ONE crucial task.

You see, the problem isn’t me; the problem is in the design.

We often blame ourselves for NOT doing something.

Not working out, not meal prepping, not waking up in time, not doing our morning routine, not following through.

The issue is usually not us, but a flaw in the design. To make a change, we must follow a formula.

Long term change happens from feeling successful.

You will feel successful with each baby step you take that moves you forward.

We keep exercising when we see results. We keep saving money when we see our savings grow each month. It becomes harder to fall off the wagon when we have been on the wagon for weeks or days at a time.

Practice this formula for behavior change:

  1. List the habit you want to break
  2. Discover how you can remove or avoid the prompt
  3. Find ways to make the habit harder to do
  4. Reduce the motivation

Take action here, and now.

This is some of the work I do with my clients.

We are creatures of habit.

Approximately 90% of what we do daily is purely HABITUAL or subconscious.

In that case, we can create habits that work for us without even having to think.

You’re problem isn’t motivation.

By changing your habits, you can automate parts of your life – health, fitness, nutrition. What used to seem hard or require motivation can then become easy and thoughtless.

Stop beating yourself up for not getting the results and look at the design.

Commit To Starting.

Do the little thing.

Give yourself some grace and a little chance to get motivated.

Change your habits, change your identity, change your life.

Krista Living Large

PS. I’m officially a capacity right now and not taking clients at the moment. You can jump on my waitlist by applying to become a client here.

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