Out Of Motivation And Willpower? 7 Tactics That Work
You’re probably sick of hearing what you should do because it’s good for you or not do because it’s bad for you.
It’s not that you don’t want to improve your life.
You try hard. You reset goals failure after failure.
But it’s so darn tough. Isn’t it?
Today, you’re in luck because after experimenting with so many strategies out there, I’ve found the top 7 tactics that will help you achieve any change you want.
These tactics not only helped me make or break habits, they changed me as a person.
With the help of these tactics, you’ll transform yourself day by day until one day you’ll become a new you.
You ready for it?
Tactic #1: Pour Oil To Remove Friction 🛢
Make it extremely easy for you to start something. The more steps you have to take, the easier it gets to procrastinate.
For example, when you want to go to the gym you may have to:
- Get up (that’s a real pain)
- Choose what to wear
- Change your outfit
- Pack your gym bag
- Travel to the gym
- Feel stupid in front of advanced fitness freaks
- Wonder what to do
Do you think someone who feels lazy to workout would take all these steps every day?
Not a chance.
So what’s the solution?
Do 10 jumping jacks at home.
When you want to take a break from work, you will…
- Get up within 5 seconds
- Do 10 jumping jacks
What you do next is up to you.
You can extend the workout or call it a day.
You’ll notice that many times once you do 10 jumping jacks, you will think…
“Now that I’ve started, let’s make it official.”
But what if I’m busy?
No problem. Do jumping jacks whenever you go to the washroom or after every 1–2 hours of sitting session.
If you add that up, you’ll be a lot more active throughout the day.
Of course, this example is for the beginners who want to get started with fitness.
But the principle applies to any stage in any field.
There is more agony in thinking about doing something than actually doing it.
Sometimes, you got to shut the brain off and do the thing you said you’ll do even when you have zero motivation.
It’s the resistance to start something that’s the hardest part.
Tactic #2: Prepare For The Battle ⚔️
Most people live at the mercy of willpower.
Don’t let your willpower reserves make decisions for you.
Create if ➡️ then pre-made plans and block every other option.
For example, if you want to make healthier food choices, make sure 80% of the foods you buy are healthy and — voilà, you will eat healthy most of the time.
In the same way, when you want to do deep focused work, set your phone on airplane mode and get it out of sight. In those hours, you can either work or do nothing. When you have no other options, you will have no choice but to focus on work.
But what about the times when you do have to depend on your willpower?
Then, prepare for the battle in advance. The way you do it is by planning and visualizing it all in your head.
You think to yourself…
If X happens I will do Y and feel Z.
Which brings me to the next point.
Tactic #3: Say Hello To Your Future Self ✋
Think of yourself as two versions — present you and future you.
Most people take care of present self more than the future self. We choose present pleasures over future consequences.
It’s not that we want bad for our future self. Our mind simply ignores the consequences because it loves the present so much.
To combat this problem, use the power of logic and emotions to manipulate yourself into doing something that’s good for your future.
For example, let’s assume you overspend and struggle to save money.
Research and find as many advantages of saving money and disadvantages of impulse shopping.
Do the research even when you already know the reasons. It will force you to register the consequences more deeply in your mind and you will probably find new reasons too.
With all the points noted down, visualize all the benefits in the future. Think how secure you will feel.
Then, visualize every negative aspect of not saving money. Imagine an emergency crisis and you have no money for it. Get emotional.
The consequences don’t even have to be too far in the future.
Whenever you don’t feel like doing something, think about what you’ll feel will right after doing it.
Let the feeling of pride outweigh the dark force of laziness.
Tactic #4: Make Psychology Your Bitch 🐕
In behavior psychology, reinforcement and punishment have four forms — negative reinforcement, positive punishment, positive reinforcement and negative punishment.
Let me break it down simply.
You can help yourself by setting stakes which can come in four forms:
- Fear of losing something you love
- Fear of getting something you hate
- Joy of losing something you hate
- Joy of getting something you love
You’ve got to experiment with all four to find out which one works best for you.
Stakes force you to stop ignoring the problem so you start acting.
Make sure the fear or joy is intense and important enough. If you’re rich or don’t care about losing a little money, don’t keep a small amount of money as a stake.
In reality, stakes already exist as consequences of doing or not doing something. But they are far in the future.
As humans, we seek instant feedback. So you need to make custom stakes so you can see direct results.
Tactic #5: Find Your Tribe Members 👭
We have an innate desire to connect.
We need people for support, accountability, influence, and inspiration.
When you develop a passion for a job or a hobby, it’s almost always because you found a friend doing it or because you found inspiration from someone great.
We rarely develop interests on our own. So find a tribe or at least a few people who are on a similar journey as you.
Find inspiration from people who are ahead in the journey. Model their behavior so you can progress faster and become genuinely interested.
If you struggle to keep yourself accountable by your own, find someone who can keep you accountable.
Tactic #6: Track Until You Run Out Of Space 📝
When you can’t find someone else to keep you accountable, you’ve got another tool in your arsenal which will help you coach yourself.
The simple act of tracking your behavior (whether it is good or bad) will force you to check your actions.
You will no longer second guess or make excuses about why you’re not getting the desired results.
It’s easier to track anything than ever before. Some people love to keep things on paper while some like to use technology.
Based on your current goals, you can track:
- Time spent time on devices (and on which websites?)
- Mood and energy
- Reading or learning habit
When you’re aware of how you’re doing, you feel an innate desire to take action so you can improve what you’re tracking.
When you see clear progress, you can’t help but keep on progressing because you won’t want to lose that progress.
That’s how you make psychology work for you (see point #4 above).
Tactic #7: Change Your Flawed Way Of Thinking 🤔
Whenever you fail or feel lazy, think from different perspectives:
- What would you say to your friend?
- What would my higher self do?
- What would [insert your favorite superhero] do?
So often, we identify ourselves as a kind of person who is lazy, not good enough, a failure, etc.
Such self-talk is not only harmful, it is not even true.
Every person fails, feels lazy and doubts themselves. You’re not alone in this.
Your feelings don’t define you.
When you separate negative habits or traits from your personality, you identify yourself differently.
When you identify yourself differently, you do things differently. As a result, you become a new person.
As you become this new person, your values and priorities change.
You get a mindset shift.
What you used to dread becomes a source of pleasure.
You stop saying “I should do X because it is good for me”. ❌
You say “I GET TO do X because that makes me happy.” ✅
And ultimately, that’s the only way to sustain a behavior change in life.
The sooner you do it, the less you’ll struggle to make a positive change in your life.
Transformation does not happen in one night.
But when it happens, it’s always worth it.
Before You Click Away
I know you’ve tried to change many times before.
Let this post be the excuse to give more shots.
Start with one change and when that change becomes your habit, move on to the next level.
If one tactic doesn’t work, try another. Experiment. Get feedback. Rinse and repeat.
The perfect time will never come. THIS is the “perfect” time you were looking for.
Do your best with what you’ve got today and get better along the way.
I know you got this.
Success is a result of daily actions…
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