Motivational habits are actions which one consistently participates in because one believes such actions to have benefits to themselves. As an example, running five days a week even when one does not enjoy running would be a motivational habit, as the runner is motivated to continue the activity because of the benefit associated with it, not for enjoying the activity. A healthy diet of foods which a person does not necessarily enjoy would also be an example.
motivational habits have to be aimed at accomplishing a worthwhile goal. Habits can be very hard to break; sometimes almost impossible. Therefore, the goal has to be achievable. I can try to motivate myself to be talented enough to play major league baseball, but in my case that would be a complete waste of time. The motivational habit has to be something that will add value to my life, and hopefully add to the quality of other people in my life as well. If I motivate myself to be more calm, my spouse will surely benefit from my achieving that goal, possibly even more so than I would.
This is a topic that is near and dear to the hearts of my readers, researchers, and website visitors. So much so that one of them were kind enough to share their own personal opinions. I don’t claim to be the best interviewer in the world, but I do promise some good, raw, and honest answers from normal people like you and me. I do my best to NOT filter these answers, except for the bad words and hateful speech.
With that little blurb out of the way, let’s dive right into the juicy bits of (potentially) life-changing insights.
Current Topic: Motivational Habits
‘R’ = Richard N. Stephenson (me!)
‘I’ = Interviewee (anonymous by request unless otherwise noted)
[This interview is inspired and fueled by research done for my book: Staying Motivated at Work.]
R: In a few words, can you describe what is the biggest reason you think this topic is important?
I: Some of the biggest benefits of motivational habits is that they can be small habits that yield very big results over time. Another positive benefit is that these habits can be passed from one person to another; people can find these habits on the internet or just by being around other people. Motivational habits can bring people together and help them feel good and create a lot of change.
R: This is very interesting stuff here and I think it could help people. What do you feel is the most life-altering thing about the topic?
I: Motivational habits can change someone’s life. If a person learns to set goals and work hard, they can accomplish big things. Critical to this is a person’s sense of ownership. That is, if a person decides to set their own goals, they are more likely to achieve them than if someone else tells them what to do and sets the goal for them. Self-motivation is critical to changing a person’s life because the person is much more likely to achieve what they are self-motivated to do, as opposed to what someone else tells them to do.
R: Improving those around us is a key concept in life-optimization – how does this topic fit in?
I: If one makes the decision to get to work on time everyday, they would have made one step into motivational habits. A better person means that there is no unnecessary drama at the work place. Also a better person would get along with co workers as well as the supervisor.
R: Describe the perfect person to be the poster-child for this topic.
I: The best example of a person with excellent motivational habits is someone who has a proven track record of success. This person overcomes adversity to achieve their goals. Even when there are challenges to this person’s short or long-term goals, they work diligently to overcome these obstacles. This person leads and motivates by example.
R: Break it down for me real quick – who just plain sucks at this topic?
I: My friend, Charlie, can’t get himself together for love or money. He drinks too much and is a total slob. I would like him to pull himself together and develop some motivational habits but he’s too busy partying to listen to me.
R: Give us an example of what you do to make this topic a part of your daily duties.
I: The most important thing I do is to not force myself to do anything. I have this theory that the most important bit is “showing up” to do something. Once I have shown up to do the task, I am good. I can choose to complete the task or not complete the task — which means I usually complete the task — but I don’t have to.
If, for example, the habit is writing in my journal, I will set a time to go get my journal, find a pen, and open the book. I don’t actually have to write in it; I just can’t be lazy about saying no. I have to “show up” before I can say “I really don’t want to do this today.”
R: Is there a specific time when this topic is best worked, used, or made apparent?
I: The most appropriate time is every day of one’s life. Getting motivated is not about accomplishing great things. Just adhering to a daily to do list could be a motivating habit. Therefore, the most appropriate time to have motivational habits is everyday of one’s life.
R: When do you think folks should absolutely NOT work on this topic?
I: An inappropriate time to bring motivational habits into your life would be when you are severely depressed. If you bring in a lot of motivational habits, you could overwhelm yourself and feel like you aren’t doing a good job, which could make you more depressed. This would be a time to see comfort of others who can make you feel better, not to incorporate motivational habits which could potentially worsen your depression.
R: Can you tell me where folks out there should plan to bring this idea into their lives?
I: For me this is something I already do. I find that standing in front of my bathroom mirror after taking a shower the best time and place to do it, your wide awake, fresh and feeling ready to conquer the day. I tell myself that I am strong, understanding and kind and no task is to big to tackle. I may verbally say some quotes if I feel I need an extra boost of daily motivation.
R: Where is this subject considered inappropriate for practice or use, in your opinion?
I: It’s hard to make motivational habits are part of your life when you’re out on a date at a nightclub. There are just better places to do it. When you’re in nightclub, you don’t even want to be thinking about what’s good for you.
R: Think for a second about who needs to learn more about this subject. Now, describe them to us, please.
I: One group that could use help with motivational habits is African Americans. They are always setting themselves up for failure. They don’t finish high school or they don’t go to college. I’m a recruiter, and I am constantly talking to African Americans who have no direction in their life.
R: Got any advice for us on this topic? The readers are hungry!
I: I would say to make attainable goals. If someone is looking to start a habit, he/she may need to build up to it (take baby steps) before getting the full results he/she wants. A person may be discouraged if they expect too high of a productivity result, and can’t reach it right away.
R: What would you say is something we should avoid at all costs when it comes to this topic?
I: A person should avoid negative self-talk when it comes to motivation. If you give yourself an excuse for not doing something, or justify to yourself that you don’t have to do what you should, that’s probably what will happen. It’s better to tell yourself you have to or are going to do something no matter what, and then you won’t make excuses. Self-talk should be avoided when it comes to motivation.
R: How would you describe a practical step we could take today to get more done on this topic?
I: well one thing a person can do today is go outside and play ball and do some other stuff outside as well and they can also go to the mall and buy stuff and looked around and have a great time there they can also go to the movies and enjoy a great movie that day
Thank you for reading this personal journey into becoming a better person and having a better future ahead of you. I hope you enjoyed this interview conversation and found golden nuggets you can immediately apply to your daily life.
If you want to get more productivity (and fulfillment!) out of your work, career, and life through being more motivated, then check out Staying Motivated at Work.
Please feel free to share your thoughts, comments, or personal life-changing wisdom below.