Using rewards and punishments — creating stakes — is a great way to increase motivation and get the ball rolling.
But it's also fragile.
So let's continue.
Perceived rewards and punishments are subjective. So a first place to start: rewire your perception.
Say you wanted to talk to a girl across the room. But you're a shy introvert. You want desperately to shed yourself of this fear you have from talking to women.
Chances are, you're afraid because you fear the failure that might accompany your trek. You fear the embarrassment. The humiliation.
But does any of that matter? Really matter?
This isn't the primitive plains. You aren't going to be excommunicated. If you get denied, you go back to your normal life.
Now, in fitness terms, this is a little more tricky because it's not as straightforward.
Getting rejected once is easier to fathom than giving up chocolate forever.
What makes fitness tough is that it's not a one-and-done thing. You need consistency. Repetition.
So we move on.
Giving up chocolate forever.
Most people build up a grandiose game plan of how to get to where they want to be, and that game plan looks like this:
START = FINISH
This creates massive pressure and stakes and in the wrong direction — in the demotivating direction.
It's like being Level 1 and continually trying to defeat a Level 99 enemy. It just doesn't work.
It's better off to go Level 1, to Level 2, to Level 3…
And doing this usually means breaking that initial goal you have into much smaller pieces.
Instead of going to the gym and training four days per week at 60 minutes per session, maybe you stay at home and do a 10 minute calisthenics routine.
The reason this is preferable is because you build habits and rituals. Building these things trumps any result you expect to gain, at first.
BJ Fogg, creator of Tiny Habits, tells people that want to start flossing to just do one tooth!
Make the goal so silly that its painful to NOT take action.
This is a fantastic game plan, but I have one more idea here. Something I've been thinking about (and using) a lot lately. It's my secret weapon that won't be secret anymore because I'm going to tell you about it meaning there's no use even using the word “secret” it kind of defeats the point is this a run on sentence?