STEP ONE: Read about motivation in chapters 4 and 14, looking
for methods that might help you achieve your goals.
This reading will underscore that increasing motivation may involve
a wide variety of self-help methods: decisions about values, goal-
setting, scheduling, self-confidence, assertiveness, rewards, intrinsic
satisfaction, fantasies, "games and life scripts," thinking about
"ultimate consequences", etc. See chapters 3, 4, 8, 9, 13 and 14 for
In addition to the many suggestions already given, three more
methods for increasing motivation will be briefly described here: (l)
making a list of reasons for changing, (2) thinking of the ultimate
consequences, and (3) effort training.
STEP TWO: Be very clear in your mind why you are eager to
accomplish your major goals and keep the desired final
outcome firmly in mind.
Lloyd Homme (1965) believed thoughts triggered habits or actions.
He also thought thoughts could be modified just like behavior is
modified. So he devised ways to change our thinking (our
motivation?). We all know reasons why we shouldn't overeat, for
example. The problem may be that we don't think of those reasons
very often or at the right times, e.g. when taking a second serving or
snacking late at night.
Horan (1971) studied the effects of Homme's motivational
approaches on loosing weight, using four groups: (l) no treatment, (2)
given a 1000 calorie diet and asked to count calories, (3) asked to
make lists of positive consequences (look better) for loosing weight
and of negative consequences for staying heavy (shorter life); asked
to repeat 1 positive and 1 negative reason seven times a day, and (4)
asked to make the same lists; asked to pair thinking of 1 positive and
1 negative consequence with a frequently occurring behavior (drinking
something) at least seven times a day. The percent of each group who
lost 1 pound per week or more was: (1) 5%, (2) 20%, (3) 21%, and
(4) 52%. The dieters who thought the most about the consequences,
lost the most weight. Vivid emotional fantasies of the consequences
might also help. The point is: unless your needs compel you to think
about your major serious goals many times a day, you need some
method (like that in group 4) of keeping your "good intentions" in the
forefront of your awareness.
STEP THREE: Learn to be hard working.
There is a law of least effort in psychology; it says we try to get
the rewards we want with the least possible effort. That makes sense.
But in real life, greater effort usually leads to a bigger pay off. If that
were always the case, we would all have become hard workers