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How to hack your motivation – Part 3

Jan 27, 2021 | Motivation

white and black quote board on green plants

Patience is a virtue I’m working on tbh 😅

Who knew that motivation requires patience and a steady pace?
Thankfully, ‘The Motivation Formula’ reminds me to pump my brakes.

The Motivation Formula

If you missed Part 1  and Part 2 of this blog series, we discussed how motivation isn’t just a feeling of excitement, but according to expert brain trainer Jim Kwik, there are 3 elements that impact our motivation, which he identified in this formula:

Motivation = PXEXS3

We found out in Part 1 that P stands for Purpose and in Part 2 that E stands for energy and explored further in each blog posts how we might go about applying them to grow our motivation levels. The final element ‘S3’ is what we’re looking at today.

S3 = Small Simple Steps

For someone who dislikes exercise as much I do, I’m known to go full on ‘beast mode’ the very few times I do. Like I’m trying to catch up on the many, many, many times I haven’t 🤦🏾‍♀️ the problem with that is I then end up making myself ill doing more than the most (Sickle Cell Anaemia doesn’t work well with extreme exertion) and then need time to recover, which makes me lose even the tiny bit of motivation I had in the first place. This has happened more often than I care to admit.

That is why S3 is probably my favourite part of the formula. Our motivation is sustained when we commit to small simple steps over one-off, big gestures. In the words of James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, how can you improve your desired behaviour by 1% each day?
Because getting 1% better each day equates to being 37 times better in a space of a year if you include the natural compound effect.
Wouldn’t you want that type of improvement?!

For me, this has meant aiming for consistent exercise over major transformation first, so I’ve set myself the small, simple step of exercising for 20 minutes 3 times a week for a month, before I increase it. I know this is a far cry from the 150 minutes minimum we should be doing a week, but it is much better than the 0 minutes I’ve been doing for years 😅. The benefit is it’s stretching me enough to get my heart going for a while, without me wearing myself out to the point of pain crisis. Pumping my brakes is actually helping me to be more consistent and we know consistency is key.

Strategizing S3

If you are struggling with this part of the motivation formula, ask yourself:

  1.  What is the small, simple, step I can take consistently to achieve my goal?
  2. Where do I need to pump my brakes?
  3. How realistic are my intentions and commitments in light of everything else on my plate?

If you need help identifying your small simple step, contact me to explore this through coaching.

Now that we’ve covered the Motivation Formula, let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Which part is most useful for you? 

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