The Problem Isn’t Motivation, It’s Follow-Through

January 6, 2012

Good Friday morning to you. It has been an intense but fruitful week for us at here Life Action, but the result was me not being able to write much this week. We are launching the OneCry Initiative next month which is a nationwide effort and we had leaders in from across the country working out key strategic issues before the launch.

Just read an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review blog about how motivation Peter Bregmanis often not the problem with leaders who want to work on their growth, it is actually follow-through. The challenge is when we think it is motivation and we keep trying to convince ourselves in our minds to do something when we really need to stop the conversation in our head and just do something.

So make a specific decision and carry it through and when your mind starts to argue with you about it – ignore it. Getting back in shape is usually a big issue this time of year as many of us ate a tad too much over the last six weeks. In Peter Bregman’s article he makes the following suggestion of how to deal with this type situation using working out as an example:

1. Create an environment that supports your goal(s) – do things like have your workout clothes out and sitting next to your bed ready for you when you wake up.

2. Accountability – have an accoutability partner. This has worked wonderfully for my wife. She has another woman with whom she works out and they hold each other accountable as well as encourage one another.

3. Decide when and where you are going to work out and put it in your calendar.

4. Commit to a simple and very concrete plan that is simple to quantify.

5. Realize that the follow-through challenge will only last a few minutes – as soon as you have your workout clothes on and are headed to the gym, you will be fine. I have experienced this personally. The hard part is rolling out of bed, but once I do & have on my gym clothes I have no problem and am actually looking forward to the workout.

6. Discipline will carry you through at first, but then momentum will take over – especially as you start seeing progress towards meeting your goal.

These seem to be some good points that you could apply to many areas of your life. So, quit worrying about motivating yourself and begin taking specific steps in following through with what needs to be done to accomplish your goals.

Have a great weekend!
BG