Psychological Self-Help

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STEP FOUR: Measure the results of your efforts.
Frequently review your reasons for your goals, the results of your
effort training, and other techniques for increasing your motivation.
Take pride in your successful self-help efforts. 
Time involved
The time commitment varies greatly depending on the methods
used. The listing and remembering of your reasons for changing or
achieving something would take less than an hour initially and only a
few minutes each day. The "effort training" approach involves almost
no extra time, just the arranging of effective rewards for special
efforts. 
Common problems with the method
The obvious difficulty is that the unmotivated person has been
rewarded for not utilizing all their potential and for not putting out
maximum effort. It is unlikely that their environment (or their values)
will change radically and quickly from accepting minimal efforts to
demanding hard, unpleasant work. If a dramatic personal revolution is
not possible, perhaps gradual changes would be possible. 
Effectiveness, advantages, and dangers
As with the methods for increasing self-efficacy, there is very little
research demonstrating effective procedures for increasing one's
motivation. It is obvious that motivation is vitally important; we are
just beginning to investigate practical methods for increasing
industriousness. It is hard to see how this could be dangerous, unless
there are health risks associated with high drive levels. 
This method is included here primarily to remind you that
motivation may be the most important and least understood aspect of
self-help, even when changing simple behaviors. 
Additional readings
Eisenberger, R. (1989). Blue Monday: The loss of the work
ethic in America. New York: Paragon House.
Meeting basic needs (so they won’t get in the way)
A major contribution of Humanistic Psychology is the idea that
basic needs must be satisfied before we can proceed on to other more
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