I made a big change recently.
For quite some time, I'd been letting my emotions dictate the way I spoke to my wife.
I know, I'm sorry.
I wasn't annoyed at her, I was just venting to her.
The problem was that I felt comfortable venting to her about everything that was on my mind, and I was doing it too much. It was quite easy for me to get stuck in a rant for ten minutes about something that had upset me, making myself and her stressed out in the process.
It was a bad habit.
I knew I should stop, but honestly, it felt easier not to.
Have you ever experienced something like that?
Where you know you should do or change something, but you don't.
- I should lose weight
- I should exercise
- I should save money
- I should study
- I should eat better
- I should quit smoking
I'm sure you know what I mean. We've all find ourselves here from time to time.
But why, when we know what we should be doing, don't we always do it?
The best answer I've heard to that question is from Tony Robbins. He says that every human decision is made with the desire to experience pleasure and avoid pain.
In other words, we like the easy option.
Even though we know we should go outside for a run because it will benefit our health, we choose to stay inside for a movie and the ice cream because in that moment, that option seems far more enjoyable. Though avoiding the short term pain of doing what we don't feel like doing seems inviting initially, making decisions like this on a regular basis has a negative impact on our health, energy and well-being.
So I made a deal with Jessie.
The deal was, that the next time I started ranting about something, I had one minute to deal with the emotion that was upsetting me and change my state to a more positive one. If I was ranting for one second longer than the minute I'd allowed myself, I had to eat a can of dog food.
It fixed me.
As a vegetarian and a person who has never loved eating dog food, I learnt to immediately snap out of my negative state.
I had discovered a nice little hack.
I had to switch my should into a must.
The only way to make our should a must is to make the conditions of not following through with the goal more painful than sticking to our goal. It looks a little like this:
- Decide what you want to change Get clarity on exactly what you want to change. When you know exactly what you you're trying to achieve, the action you need to take to get it done becomes more clear.
- State the benefits of achieving the goal Let yourself know what you will gain from making the change. If you are trying to lose weight; you're not just losing weight, you're changing the way you feel, improving your health, having more energy for the things you love.
- Set a time frame What date will you know if you've reached your goal? Don't be vague about when you want to see the results. Decide a date that you can say that you have either done it or haven't.
- Find an accountability partner: Tell someone you trust to keep you accountable what you're going to do. Make a deal with them that if you don't get it done you will pay a price. E.g. Give them $500, eat a can of dog food, get punched in the face, shave your head. The options are endless.
- Suffer consequences or enjoy rewards On the date that you have set to have the results you set out to achieved, you will speak to your accountability partner. if you have don't what you set out to do, congratulations. If not, you need to go through with your end of the deal.
This is the perfect way to get the results you have been dreaming about. But it will only work if you follow through on the consequence you set yourself. There are only so many cans of dog food you will eat before you decide that the pain from eating that food is worse than not following through with what you set for yourself.
It's the ultimate motivation hack if you do it right.
Give it a go.