Motivation Is Garbage

I came across a really interesting interview / conversation with Mel Robbins. It’s 50 minutes long, in my opinion that’s a good investment of your time. I think motivation is overrated. Mel Robbins takes it one step further and says that motivation is garbage. “You are never going to feel like it.” Mel Robbins also talkes about her 5 second rule which is a really interesting concept.

Video: Motivation Is Garbage | Impact Theory

You can waitch the video below or at YouTube Mel Robbins on Why Motivation Is Garbage | Impact Theory

Which are you core values?

Values (per Collins English Dictionary) are the moral principles and beliefs or accepted standards of a person. Another definition is that a value is a principle or standard, as of behaviour, that is considered important or desirable

Core values

A core value is only a true core value if it has an active influence and if you manage to live by it. Going against a core value shall be rare and require a conscious decision.
Most people consciously or unconsciously use their personal core values when they select friendships, relationships and business partnerships.
Your core values are a natural selection tool. Is this action/person/job aligned with my core values or not?
Our core values can often be deal breakers, if people don’t share them it becomes harder to relate.

Away-from values

An away-from value, for instance dishonesty, is usually something that breaks or blocks trust.

How do you work with this assessment?

1. Pick your core values, no more than five. See list with examples of values below.
2. If you want to, pick some away-from values, what are you not willing to accept. Maximum three.
3. Define what YOU mean for each chosen value, write 1-3 sentences for each.
Why do I state a maximum number? It’s like setting priorities, everything can’t be top priority. Your core values shall be values you live by, things that really matter to you.
Our core values shall be our guiding light and help us stay on a course that’s right for us. Too many core values lead to conflicts of interest, which value overrules another.
Since the values are not unambiguous, we interpret words differently, I want you to explain what the values you have chosen mean to you. It is also a way for yourself to get a deeper understanding of your own core values.

Cluster values

It’s OK to cluster values if you consider some values as integral parts of another value. Make that clear in your description of what your core values mean to you.
To me honesty, authenticity and fairness are integral parts of integrity.
Love to me includes compassion and kindness as well as self-love.
Open-minded to me includes curiosity (inquisitiveness) and a willingness to learn and grow.

Examples definitions

Accountability: Responsibility of your actions
Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

Check your values

After you’ve selected your core values it’s time to check them against your life and your vision.

  • Do your selected core values make you feel good about yourself?
  • Can you (and do you) live by them?
  • Would you feel comfortable telling people you respect and value about your core values?
  • Would you stick to your core values even if your choice isn’t popular?

When you consider your core values in decision making you’re true to yourself. It shows integrity, it helps you achieve clarity and you act in line with what really matters to you.
Making choices based on our core values may not always be easy. However, making a choice by our true core values is easier and feels better in the long run.

Do the work

You can download a list of values and the text above here: Value assessment sheet

Habit List app

The app Habit List with the tag line “Build a better you” is an exellent assistant when you want to create new habits or maintain existing habits.

In Strides, Habits and Goals I wrote about my test of the app Strides: Goals & Habits Tracker that I used for a while. The Strides app does more than I need so I returned to using Habit List.

Here’s a list of the habits that I track using Habit List, in no specific order. I limit it to ten habits simply because that’s the maximum I can see at the same time on my phone. For some of the habits I have added time. That time is a goal – it matters more that I at least spend some time on the habit each day.

  • Create 1 hour – write, draw or whatever, something creative
  • Reflect – what works, what doesn’t work, changes needed?
  • Meditation
  • Read books 1 hour
  • Study 1 hour – Udemy and any other courses
  • Gratitude – it’s important (at least to me) to be grateful for what I have and can do
  • Interact & connect – online or offline, it’s important to interact with family, friends etc.
  • Walk daily
  • Exercise daily – gym or my own practice at home
  • Yoga & stretch daily

Those ten habits covers what’s important to me. I revise them now and then, I just replaced two of them.

Habit List is only available for iPhone, similar apps can be found for Android.

Good relationships matter!

This TED-talk turned up in my Facebook stream today. It’s a great presentation about what really makes a good life. The video is well worth an investment of 13 minutes.

Watch it and consider what YOU might want to change and improve in your own life.

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.

Video: What makes a good life?

Watch the video below or at TED: Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness

The Tail End (decide what matters)

Wait But Why is a great blog with lots of interesting posts, many of the very long. The Tail End is fairly short and to the point. I usually dislike the angle “Time is running out so…” but this post is very well done with a brilliant use of graphics.

It’s a reminder that we need to prioritize what we do. Being busy isn’t what matters, the question is what’s keeping you busy. Two of his three ending points are generic (comments are mine):
Priorities matter. (in everything)
Quality time matters. (in relationships as well as in everything else)

The text for priorities (in relationships of any kind) is this:

Your remaining face time with any person depends largely on where that person falls on your list of life priorities. Make sure this list is set by you — not by unconscious inertia.

Instead of spreading yourself thin, decide who really matters in your life and spend more face time with them.

The Real Law of Attraction

The word attraction ends with action. That’s a hint to what’s needed to achieve what you want.

The Real Law of Attraction

Attraction + Action = Result

Step one is to define what you want. Be precise and phrase it positively.

Whether you use The Secret, The Law of Attraction, Cosmic ordering, positive thinking or SMART goals is up to you. Pick a concept that works for you, you can even pick and mix.

The next step is action. Sitting on your butt waiting yields no result. It’s up to you to do your part of the work. Action is required in order to achieve what you want.

Be agile

Keep in mind that you might have to adjust your plans.

Plans are nothing; planning is everything. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Questions for you

What do you want to attract/achieve?

What do you have to do in order to get it?

When will you start?

The Real Law of Attraction

Chopsticks and Writing

Chopsticks and penChopsticks and writing are both about attitude.

I have a book project, That elusive book of mine. Every other week my writing partner and I have lunch in an Asian restaurant. When we started with our lunch sessions I used fork and knife. Last Friday I used chopsticks, not like a pro but good enough to manage with them. She of course got curious about the change.

The story behind it is that a month ago I should go out and have sushi with my youngest son and his girlfriend. They teased me in advance and told me that sushi is supposed to be eaten with chopsticks. I used to cheat and use either fingers or fork and knife. That time I decided it was time for a change and to their surprise (and my own) I did eat my sushi with chopsticks.

I have problems getting started with my writing. My writing partner´s question was quite obvious. “Why don’t you get the same attitude about writing as you now have about chopsticks. Just do it!” I still owe her an answer to that. It’s all in my mind, I need to clear out some obstacles I have created myself.

Question for you.

Do you have anything you say “I can not” to that can be changed to “I can”?

Strides, Habits and Goals

Keys to creating and maintaining habits is to be accountable and to be persistent. There are apps that help us be accountable, persistence is up to us.

I have used Habit List for more than two years in order to keep track of my habits and it works really well. Now I want an app that helps me keep track of both goals and habits. I found Strides: Goals & Habits Tracker which seems to match what I want. It has several options (Target, Average, Milestones & Habit) that makes it easy to define what we want to track. I love the dashboard and its graphic overview, it’s very easy to see current status.

What do I track?

As an example, here are the goals and habits I have at present in Strides.

  • Plank (exercise), once a day or more.
  • Pushups (exercise), 25 or more a day.
  • Squats (exercise), 50 or more a day.
  • Situps (exercise), 75 or more a day.
  • Walk at least 30 minutes, daily.
  • Yoga, daily.
  • Meditation, daily.
  • Enjoy and gratitude (mindset), daily.
  • Interact and connect, daily.
  • Eat healthier (health and mindset), daily.
  • Write, an average of 200 words a day.

It’s the goals (how many a day) that made me decide to test out Strides. For my exercises it fairly simple, I want at least a certain number each day. My writing will vary a lot from day to day, that’s why I go for an average instead of a fix number of words per day.

Know your limits. Then crush them.

Everybody get stuck from time to time, even us professionals. I was stuck on two issues and then I got this image:
Know your limits. Then crush them.

Know your limits. Then crush them.

Our obstacles are often more mental than real. Our minds are great at creating stuff, not always to our advantage. When we ge stuck we have problems to on our own see the obstacles from another perspective.

It’s hard to coach yourself even when you know how to coach others. I took help from a friend, we had a conversation that focused on me and my two issues. A conversation with someone that really listens and who helps you find your solution to the problems makes a huge difference.

One of my issues was my writing. My obstacle was the idea that if I couldn’t write well from start then it was better to not write at all. That wasn’t exactly productive. The conversation helped me see things in a proper perspective and the next day I was reminded that Bad writing precedes good writing. In other words, sit down and write without judging what you write. Editing can be done later.

My other issue has to do with my personal spiritual development. I was locked in the concept that what how it worked in the past was how it still should work. The conversation helped me open up and realize (again…) that since I have changed so have how things work for me.

Questions for you

Are you stuck on something? If so, how can you get a new perspective on it?

Who can help you change your perspective?

Who can help you change according to your new view?

Are you really motivated to change?

We have all been there. Something need to be changed or added in order to improve our life. All that’s needed is to get that done. That’s where the hard part starts. Just like in sales, our worst competitor is status quo. Doing what we already do is so much easier than making a decision to change and then act on that decision.

Action speaks louder than words

What’s needed?

There are a few things needed in order to actually make the changes we want.

  • A goal, what do you want to achieve.
  • A reason, what motivates you to actually change?
  • A plan, when during the day can you do it? Where does it fit in without complicating life too much.
  • Action and perseverance.

Change requires a goal

We need a goal, a colourful attractive goal that works like a lighthouse and shows us where to go. What do you want to achieve? Ignore what others want, changes are all about you and your own motivation.
Write down your goal in just a few words, put it somewhere you can easily see it and be reminded of it.

If needed, break down your goal into sub-goals and steps before planning.

Change requires a strong reason

Change requires action, perseverance, grit and above all a solid to us attractive reason. What’s the reason for us to get up and start doing something? Our reason shall keep us on track and actually do what’s needed. A weak reason makes us try a few times and then it all fades away.

We need a reason so strong that it kills all the excuses we can come up with to get off the hook and do nothing.

Change requires action

Action speaks louder than words. Change requires action. The decision to make a change and thinking about doing it amounts to nothing without action.

Change requires perseverance

Change is like learning to ride a bike. For most of us it takes more than one try. You fall, get up, dust yourself off and get back on the bike. It will work better this time. Changes work the same way. Sometimes we forget or it goes wrong. The key here is to try again, next time will be better.

Make the decision

Making the decision is the easy part. The decision in itself requires no action. Our brain is lazy. It’s pleased by making the decision and doesn’t care much about actually carrying it out. The brain makes us feel pleased and satisfied with making the decision. Once we have made the decision our brain wants to move on to other things. “We’ve made the decision, now let us move on.”

Start small!

When it’s time to actually change our brain gets very creative with excuses to avoid it. “There’s no time today. Let us wait until tomorrow.” “I’ll do it later.” If our goal seems too big we never will get started. It’s too scary, too much effort is required and it will turn into a someday project. “I’ll do it someday.”

The trick is to start small. Our intention is to create a lasting habit. Once that’s done we can expand on it. Start small, your resistance is low and excuses are hard to make up. Instead of saying I want to walk an hour a day, aim for five minutes. Once you’re out it might be more. Instead of saying I want to get 30 minutes of intense exercise each day (starting with none at all), start small with five minutes light exercise to create the habit to exercise each day.

Examples

My morning yoga

Many say you need to do yoga for at least an hour or it will have no real effect. That’s placing the bar high, how many can squeeze an hour of yoga into already busy days? Five minutes of daily yoga practice is far better than no yoga at all. What actually gets done makes more difference than tons of good intentions.

Ten years ago I asked my yoga teacher for a five minute program I could do at home. It’s hard to honestly claim that five minutes of time is impossible to find in a day. I started doing it in the morning, day after day. It turned into a habit and later into a craving, I need it to get a good morning. Over time it has expanded and is now 15-20 minutes each morning. The program has changed over the years. The reason I continue is still the same, I want an agile body.

My daily exercise

Exercise for me has nothing to do with looking or feeling younger. My goal is to exercise daily, my reason is that I want an agile and stronger body as I grow older. The exercises I pick shall require nothing but my body and be able to do anywhere. Knowing it takes time to create lasting habits I added one exercise at a time. By starting small I have over time created a great morning routine.

Nine months ago I started doing squats in the morning. I started with few squats in order to create the habit. By now I do 50 each morning.

Eight months ago I started doing situps every morning. My goal was to create the habit, not setting any records. I started with few situps, the important thing was doing them at all. It has grown over time, now I do 50 situps each morning. That’s something I thought was far out of reach when I started. If my goal had been to do 50 situps I would have given up early, it was too much for me when I started.

Many of you have probably seen the 30 day plank challenge. You start with 10 seconds and then add until you do 3 minutes a day. That kind of challenge does not work for me. A month ago I started doing the plank in the morning. I had the benefits of doing situps for a longer time so once I got started with the plank it was easy to continue.

It’s about you!

What can you do to make your changes easier? To make them at all and then stick to them.