Do You Lack Motivation?

Does this sound like you?

You don’t lack motivation.

(You wouldn’t have opened this email if you weren’t already motivated.)

You just lack a good habit.

More than 40% of the actions we take each day aren’t actual decisions, but habits.

Turning off the lights when you leave a room, locking the car after you’ve parked…

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle

The only way to success is to do what is required over and over again.

Whether it’s losing 20 pounds or saving $20,000, repeat performance (i.e. losing 1 lb per week or saving $100 a month) is mandatory.

Problem is, most of us become INTIMIDATED by our lofty expectations and then don’t perform at all… hoping to find more “motivation” or “inspiration” next week.

The truth is, once we get going, we usually KEEP going.

The challenge isn’t doing, it’s STARTING.

Quick, dramatic change isn’t going to happen.

You’re not going to lose 20 lbs today, or save $20,000 by tomorrow… so don’t keep all of your focus on big picture goals.

BALANCE the big picture with what you can do now… with quotas.

Quotas are the minimum amount of work that you must do EVERY day to make your goal a reality.

For example, there’s a Meal Mentor walking challenge going on right now: 100,000 steps by the end of March. The quota is 3,572 steps per day.

A stepper must step at least 3,572 steps PER day to reach the goal.

Setting extremely LOW quotas is a great way to begin.

Consider this excerpt from Stanford psychologist B.J. Fogg,

“For me, cracking the code on flossing was to put the floss right by the toothbrush, and commit to myself that I would floss one tooth -- only one tooth -- every time I brushed. I could floss them all if I wanted to, but the commitment was just one tooth.”

Fogg admitted once in a while he really does just floss only one tooth, but the majority of the time he flosses them all.

Ample research shows we are far more likely to finish things if we can get over the hump of starting.

Setting a low bar makes the task more accessible AND less intimidating so you get over the hump.

If cooking all your meals for the week in one shot is too daunting, commit to cooking one meal this week.

Perhaps like Fogg, once you start cooking, you’ll get in the groove and cook more than one!

Or maybe you won’t.

But you kept your commitment, which helped build a new habit :)

Aaand if nothing else, you cooked one meal, which is one more than before.

(I trick myself with this technique all the time. “I only have to clean the kitchen for 5 minutes.” Sometimes I do stop and don’t finish all the dishes, but most of the time, once I’ve made an effort to start washing, I finish. This “only 5 minutes” works great with exercise, too.)

Tomorrow I’m going to talk about “ah screw it” moments (and how to overcome them).

You know, how when we slip up just a little during the formation of a new habit, we then abandon ship and give up on all the progress we’ve made.

If you’ve ever done that… be sure to check this space tomorrow :)

But for now, I want you to set a quota, the minimum amount of work that you must do everyday to reach your goal.

Share it in the comments below.

Whether it’s walking 2,000 steps (mine), writing 1,000 words (also mine), reading 5 pages of a book (still mine!), eating 3 florets of broccoli before anything else (not mine, lol)… break your goal down into a daily quota… and set it ridiculously low. “Floss just one tooth.”

P.S. One point I tried to stress in the Batch Cooking video (and the video showing how I cook 7 meals for the week in one hour using the meal plans) is that I formed a habit. Batch cooking all my rice, beans, or soups became part of my ROUTINE. It was never about finding time, but saving myself time later and making it happen passively, on a schedule.