|1986 David Bowie from the movie|
Labyrinth wants you to get motivated.
I'm about to say something that you don't want to hear, but if you come to terms with this fact, you'll be one step closer to understanding the secret state-of-mind that is critical to achieving tough, long-term goals. Here it is: if you really wanted to change your behavior, you would have changed already.
Let me put this more gently: you are ambivalent about changing. We've all been in this state. It is characterized by the "I want to, but..." type of thinking that tricks our own brain into thinking that it really is motivated when it isn't. Our homunculi hear "I want to" and instantly assume that we're motivated. But, the problem is the "but". The things that come after the "but" are all the reasons we don't want to change: it's painful, it's hard, it's embarrassing, it's scary, etc. The fact is, until we convince ourselves that the benefits of changes outweigh all the sacrifices after the "but", we're going to stick with the status-quo.
Today, we're going to outsmart our own ambivalence by ignoring all the negatives of changing. We're going to consciously focus on all the incredible benefits that will come if we make a change in our life. But, just as importantly, we're going to ignore all the negatives of change. No "buts", dudes and dudettes.
Benefits of Change
Task: Pick something about your life you want to change and brainstorm as many benefits as possible that will come from making the change.
Info: Choose any goal that you have been putting off. It can be anything: quitting smoking, exercising, stop procrastinating (my main problem), whatevs. Write down a list of all the benefits you can think of that would come from making the change. Make it your goal to convince yourself that this change is a no-brainer by the shear length of the list.
Goal: Try to create a list of at least 10 reasons why making a change will be super cool. For each extra reason, you get one extra Metacognition Point. I just made that up, Metacognition Points don't really exist.
If you're feeling social, post your list in the comments!
Author's note: the concept of ambivalence as being an obstacle to change is a central tenet of Motivational Interviewing. Buy the book, it's awesome and you'll support The Happy Homunculus.