do-work/007/want-to-have-to

← 006

although motivation seems like a great mystery, the aforementioned paradox, it’s easy to see why most people don’t (and won’t) have motivation to accomplish their goals.

goals themselves are empty. They tell you where you want to go, but they don’t tell you how to get there.

You have to break the goals into behaviors, which we already did.

I want to lose fat. That’s nice. How are you going to make this happen?

I am going to …

… drink no calorie beverages.
… eat a rich source of protein at every feeding.
… replace 50% of my starch intake with vegetables.

But let’s do some tricksy stuff, precious, and keep the same sentence structure.

I want GOAL(S)

becomes

I want BEHAVIOR(S)

meaning

I want to lose fat

becomes

I want to …

… drink no calorie beverages.
… eat a rich source of protein at every feeding.
… replace 50% of my starch intake with vegetables.

Still with me? Good. Are your palm’s sweaty? Probably. Because your intuition is connecting some unsightly personal dots.

Do you really want to stop eating junk food? Do you really want to stop drinking beer? Do you really want to replace french fries with broccoli?

Is that how you really feel?

Does the behavioral substitution exercise reveal something True?

Probably not. Else you’d just Get Shit Done.

Because, usually, if you want to do something, you just go ahead and do it. When I want a beer, I go get a beer. It’s simple. There’s not much Resistance.

A great deal of cognitive dissonance comes from wanting the outcome (goal), but not wanting to perform the behaviors that’ll lead to the outcome (goal).

This is why change is hard.


I want GOAL, therefore I want BEHAVIOR(S)

is more like

I want GOAL, therefore I have to do BEHAVIOR(S)

which is an entirely different world. Only Chet Steadman knows how to handle the have-to.

Read the following two sentences and feel how different they are. Yes. FeelWe’re getting all emotional up in hurr. Don’t be afwaid.

  • I want to eat vegetables.
  • I have to eat vegetables.

One inherently shines with more motivation.


“The Contest” is one of the most famous episodes of Seinfeld.

Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer make a bet to see who can abstain from masturbating the longest.

Jerry Seinfeld: But… are you still Master of your Domain?

Elaine Benes: I’m Queen of the Castle.

Jerry Seinfeld: But are you still Master of your Domain?

George Costanza: I am King of the County. You?

Jerry Seinfeld: Lord of the Manor.

So there’s a goal (abstain the longest). And everyone in the contest wanted to accomplish said goal. But every character flaked.

It’s easy to look at “The Contest” and see why this is a tough bet to uphold. You have to control a deep physiological impulse.

There are often deep subconscious ties (both psychological and physiological) to a behavior.

Meaning you can consciously want something without your subconscious agreeing.

Some of you might be saying, “I absolutely do want to perform the behaviors.” Just like an alcoholic will tell you, “I absolutely do want to stop drinking.”

You might want this from a higher cognitive stomping ground, but, deep down, your body doesn’t agree. This is why addictions are so hard to kick.

Also, beware of behavioral subsets.

I want eat vegetables.

This seems like a behavior (eating), but it’s more of a goal. Because in order to eat vegetables, you have to (a) get in your car, (b) go to the store, (c) buy vegetables, (d) wash vegetables, (e) cook vegetables…

And you can say, “I want to eat vegetables,” without implying that you want to get in your car, go to the store, buy vegetables, etc…

008 →

MAYBE YOU’RE A SUCKER


You can’t fool me.

I know this isn’t your first rodeo, trying to lose fat, build muscle, and build a body you’re proud of.

But you’re not a quitter, which is why you’re here.

You might be a little lost right now.

Maybe you don’t have much motivation.

Maybe you don’t what program or diet to use.

I don’t know…

But what I do know is this:

Everything you need is inside of you.

You’re capable of more than know.

You just have to open your eyes.

My weekly column can help.

Just a small little honest note from me sent every Sunday.

Unless I’m hungover.

And then it comes Monday.

What I’m trying to say is that it’ll come Monday.

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