Motivational Methods Self-Assessment

Think back to when you have attempted to achieve an important goal or ambition. Perhaps losing some weight, getting a new job, revising for an exam or preparing for a key interview. What sorts of techniques did you use? Take a few moments to read each of the following statements, and then tick the box next to the technique(s) you tend to use.

Don’t spend too long thinking about each statement, and answer as honestly as possible.

When attempting to change an important aspect of my life, I tend to:

  1. Make a step-by-step plan.
  2. Motivate myself by focusing on someone I admire for achieving so much (e.g. a celebrity role model or great leader).
  3. Tell other people about my goals.
  4. Think about the bad things that will happen if I don’t achieve my goal.
  5. Think about the good things that will happen if I achieve my goal.
  6. Try to suppress unhelpful thoughts (e.g. not thinking about eating unhealthy food or smoking).
  7. Reward myself for making progress towards my goal.
  8. Rely on willpower.
  9. Record my progress (e.g. in a journal or on a chart).
  10. Fantasize about how great my life will be when I achieve my goal.

The quiz contains the ten techniques that people use to motivate themselves most frequently. Some seem like common sense, others frequently appear in self-help books and training courses.

However, although they appear credible, based upon large scale and long-term studies covering thousands of people, half will significantly increase your chances of being successful while the other half are ineffective.

The question is: which is which?

In studies, those trying to achieve their goals that endorsed the even numbered items (2, 4, 6, 8, 10) were unlikely to achieve their goals. E.g. pasting a picture of Claudia Schiffer or Alan Sugar on the fridge door statistically tended not to drop their dress size or achieve their business goals. Similarly, those who focused on will-power not to do things or daydreamed were also wasting their time.

Summed up, the even numbers are examples of motivational myths.

When we come to those who tended to use the odd numbered techniques, (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) each one significantly increased the likelihood of people successfully achieving their aims.

New Line Ideas offers practical, implementable solutions that can help both you, personally, and your team with their motivational drivers, focusing in-depth on embedding effective motivational techniques as seen here.

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