“Motivation doesn’t really work!”

These are the shocking words I heard Professor Steve Peters (author of the Chimp Paradox) use on a recent podcast I was listening to (The diary of a CEO with Steven Bartlett).

Now, to clarify, he did then continue to explain his comment by stating that you need more than motivation; like commitment, dedication, devotion and lots of other buzz words.  He stated that setting up some kind of system, structure or habit would also work.  Taking on board his opening comment, made me think deeply as to whether or not I agree.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last.  Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily” – Zig Ziglar

I feel that motivation is the start of your journey towards achievement.  I believe that people can motivate themselves or they can be motivated by others; and as a motivational speaker, you’d expect me to say something like that, but I would then clarify it by agreeing that it’s about the action that you take.  Motivation doesn’t last forever, and it’s while being in your state of elation, that you go to work setting up longevity and sustainability that will take you forward.  James Clear supports this in his best selling book, Atomic Habits.

Recently I agreed to my friend Jed Thirkettle, that to raise awareness about the muscle dystrophy condition that he has, I would complete 24 press ups for 24 days (Jed is 24 years old this year and was given a diagnosis that he would only live until the age of 19 yet he is turning 24 this year).

I was motivated by Jed who does a workout physio session every day and has done so for nine years!  For accountability, I announced it on social media; I started using a habit tracker to record every time I did it; I acknowledged the lack of excuses to lean on (when it come to doing press ups, there’s always a floor and generally enough space to get down and do it).

I completed my challenge and I’ve even kept on doing it, so in my opinion, motivation does work, but it’s also about the action that you take with that motivation.

10 Top Tips for setting up a Habit

  1. How can I motivate myself to start?
  2. How can I make it attractive?
  3. How can I make it obvious?
  4. How can I make it easy?
  5. How can I make it satisfying?
  6. How can I make it accountable?
  7. What music can I use that would help?
  8. How can I see my progress?
  9. How can incorporate it into my daily routine?
  10. How can I celebrate? (don’t forget about the celebration)

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