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zen habits: Top 20 Motivation Hacks - #5

Monday, February 12, 2007

Top 20 Motivation Hacks - #5

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 #5: Visualize your goal clearly, on a daily basis, for at least 5-10 minutes.

Similar to Motivation Hack #17 (Post a picture of your goal someplace visible), the idea is to have a clear picture of the successful outcome of your goal in your mind.

Athletes use this, famously, to a great degree of success. In fact, I used this to help train for and complete my marathon last December.

The key: visualize your successful outcome in great detail. Close your eyes, and think about exactly how your successful outcome will look, will feel, will smell and taste and sound like. Where are you when you become successful? How do you look? What are you wearing? Form as clear a mental picture as possible.

For example, I have a goal to strength train a couple of times a week for the remainder of this year. But my goal really isn't the training ... that's the path towards my goal. My goal is to become stronger. I don't want to look like Arnold, or be buff in any way. But I would like to have a little more muscle, and have a strong midsection, so that I can be a stronger runner and triathlete. I think it will also make me feel better about myself. When I visualize this goal, I see myself as I will look if I successfully follow my strength training program, and how I will feel about myself.

This is a powerful motivator, and though it may feel silly, I urge you to close your eyes and do it right now, for at least a few minutes. Can you picture it? Now here's the next key: do it every day. For at least a few minutes each day. This is the only way to keep that motivation going over a long period of time.

See your success, and make it happen.

Top 20

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