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zen habits: Top 20 Motivation Hacks - #4

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Top 20 Motivation Hacks - #4

Quick intro: I first intended this Top 20 list to be in a single post, but I decided that breaking them into separate posts would allow me to concentrate on each a little more. So, I present my list of the Top 20 Motivation Hacks.

A number of people have commented that I must be dedicated to achieve some of the goals I'm going for: exercise, frugality, organization, healthy eating, etc. Well, I don't believe in someone being naturally "dedicated" ... it's all a matter of motivation. You can achieve anything if you motivate yourself enough.

Motivation Hack #4: Keep a daily journal of your goal.

If you are consistent about keeping a journal, it can be a great motivator. A journal should have not only what you did for the day, but your thoughts about how it went, how you felt, what mistakes you made, what you could do to improve. Looking back on this journal over time is also excellent motivation -- it helps you see your progress over time, and helps you pinpoint where you went wrong, what you've been doing right, where you could improve and how far you've come so far.

To be consistent about keeping a journal, do it right after you do your goal task each day. For example, if I go for a run today, as soon as I come home and drink some water, I pull out my journal and write an entry about the run. Make it mandatory and automatic. Don't put it off until later, otherwise you will soon be putting it off for a couple of days and then you won't be doing it at all. Do it right away, every single time. soon it will become a habit that you won't be able to skip.

Make keeping a journal a sensory pleasure. Invest in a really nice one, with thick, textured pages and a nice cover. One that you might find at a stationary store. Or a Moleskine journal is nice too. And get a pen that rolls nicely, so that writing with it on your textured paper will be a tactile pleasure. Enjoy your journal-writing, and you will look forward to it.

A journal helps keep you on track. It helps remind you that what you are doing is not just for today, but for all the days you've already journalled about it and for all the days you will journal about it in the future. It won't take you all the way to your goal by itself, but combined with other motivation hacks, it can be a very useful tool.

Top 20


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