Stop telling yourself to stop doing bad things

Positive messages always trump negative ones.

This very easy principle can also be implemented in our self-motivation. Instead of telling yourself that you shouldn’t be drinking so much alcohol in the evening, you could give yourself the positive alternative of drinking a fancy fruit smoothie or some high quality bed-time tea. Instead of telling yourself that you shouldn’t be spending so much time in bed in the mornings why not motivate yourself to do something you like directly after getting up? And the mother of all self-motivation task, the avoidance of procrastination may be a lot easier if you give yourself the task to make breaks every hour or so to go out of your office into the green or have a coffee.

This guy probably said to himself “I would love to make a handstand now instead of sitting inside watching a movie.”

The rule of yes-goes

While these little things may be a first step, this way of thinking goes even further. Most of the time it only needs a tiny bit of pushing-yourself to not do the habit you want to be avoiding and doing something else which you would prefer yourself to be doing. But in order for this pushing-yourself to be happening, you must first lay the groundwork and know the alternatives. Try to ask yourself “What are the things I would really like to do if I had a bit of time?”. Try keeping this list up-to-date and adapt it to what you actually enjoy doing. If you have this list in the back of your head at all times it really only takes a tiny bit of momentum to say “Yes, instead of watching a Netflix series now, I will go outside and draw this tree because afterwards I will feel much happier.” And as soon as this happend a couple of times it will be a natural process. You have taught yourself like a child — motivated by positive encouragement.

--

--

Trying to make sense of quantum physics with the help of green tea.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Alex Schuckert

Alex Schuckert

Trying to make sense of quantum physics with the help of green tea.