Day 4 – Surround yourself with motivation

We talked about our goals – short and long term. We talked about strengths and utilizing them. Now we’re going to surround ourselves with these. If you have goals, post them on your wall, on your mirror, on some place visible in your room. You have to write this down in a planner (in your phone or physical planner). If you want that awesome body, and you need inspiration, put up quotes on your wall. If you got fitness goals, surround yourself with fitness stuff like this ImageImage

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If you got successful entrepreneur goals, find some inspirational quotes and read some inspirational books, subscribe (like I do) to Entrepreneur magazine – I swear that magazine makes working 12 hour days all worth it. Image

Positive Psychology teaches us that success is built by  building strong habits, and the process of building habits takes “activation energy” – the energy required to get off your butt and DO. A lot of the time we come home and sit on the couch and we forget to go to the gym, or we take “days off” from fulfilling our goals because the “activation energy” it takes to watch TV is less than that to inspire ourselves to be better.

When we do sit at home, we are picking inactivity as the easiest option. Unfortunately, we don’t enjoy it nearly as much as we think we do. “In general, Americans actually find free time more difficult to enjoy than work. If that sounds ridiculous, consider this: For the most part, our jobs require us to use our skills, engage our minds, and pursue our goals—all things that have been shown to contribute to happiness. Of course, leisure activities can do this too, but because they’re not required of us—because there is no “leisure boss” leaning over our shoulder on Sunday mornings telling us we’d better be at the art museum by 9 A.M. sharp—we often find it difficult to muster the energy necessary to kick-start them. So”“we follow the path of least resistance,” and that path inevitably leads us to the couch and the television. And because we are “mere bundles of habit,” the more often we succumb to this path, the more difficult it becomes to change directions.”

Studies show that these activities are enjoyable and engaging for only about 30 minutes, then they start sapping our energy, creating what psychologists call “psychic entropy”—that listless, apathetic feeling we all experience from sitting on the couch.

On the other hand, “active leisure” like hobbies, games, and sports enhance our concentration, engagement, motivation, and sense of enjoyment. Studies have found that American teenagers are two and half times more likely to experience elevated enjoyment when engaged in a hobby than when watching TV, and three times more likely when playing a sport. Why would we spend four times more time doing something that has less than half the chance of making us feel good?

The answer is that we are drawn—powerfully, magnetically—to those things that are easy, convenient, and habitual, and it is incredibly difficult to overcome this inertia. Active leisure is more enjoyable, but it almost always requires more initial effort—getting the bike out of the garage, driving to the museum, tuning the guitar, and so on. Csikszentmihalyi calls this “activation energy.” In physics, activation energy is the initial spark needed to catalyze a reaction. The same energy, both physical and mental, is needed of people to overcome inertia and kick-start a positive habit. Otherwise, human nature takes us down the path of least resistance time and time again.

I wish to expand on this activation energy concept – the spark you’ll need in order to activate your energy will need to be all around you. Do what you have to do in order to take that “activation energy” away from your day. The most successful people don’t worry about what they’re going to wear the day of because they already have it picked out the day prior, they don’t worry about going to the gym because their gym clothes are already packed, they’re already wearing their sports bra and they already have their running shoes next to their bed ready to go. The activation energy to pack, to pick out your clothes, to decide on what to eat, to come home and change, to  actually start your project/book/work are all taxing on your mental energy, and we need to figure out a way to lower the activation energy in a new routine and we do that by surrounding ourselves with inspirational stuff, and none of the bad habits we are used to.

For more inspiration –  http://www.dlwellness.com/#!inspiration/c1a4e

Tip: take the battery out of your TV remote, hide both of them in hard to reach places – the activation energy to turn your TV on will be greater than you think, and soon you’ll realize what it is you really wanted to do today.

When we build that new routine into a habit, we don’t need the activation energy to do good because just like brushing your teeth, or taking out our contacts at night, we no longer have to think about it.

“First we build our habits and then our habits become us”

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