I love to use “if/then” statements to motivate myself (“if I do this, then I get to do that”). Heck, that’s even how I motivated myself to read the Great Gatsby in the 11th grade (“If I read one chapter of the Great Gatsby, then I can read 3 chapters of a book I actually like” – nerd alert, I’m pretty sure the incentive in that statement was actually the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand – yep, I was a moody, nerdy teenager for certain!)
And I’ve found those “if/then” statements work the best if they are both things you are trying to motivate yourself for. (Note: they are least effective with something like this: “If I run a mile, I can gorge myself on brownies until I’m in a food coma”… that probably won’t help if weight loss is your goal, just saying!) For example, last week, I told myself that I could try running on Friday because I was going to yoga on Saturday (and could stretch out any minor aches and pains I might have been feeling if the run didn’t go well.
I had been nervous about the running so the incentive was perfect to get me on the treadmill and it ended up being a great experience! Then, I didn’t want to get out of my warm and cozy cocoon (blankets and a cuddly cat with me on the couch) on Saturday morning to go to yoga, but I used the running as the reason I absolutely had to go to yoga.
And I’m glad I did that, too! I finally had a great time at yoga! The Saturday morning group is way more chatty and friendly than the weeknight class. Plus, I was feeling so good about myself after the running that I wasn’t feeling crazy awkward in the class. (I think I might actually be starting to enjoy yoga! *gasp!*) It’s funny how one’s own perception of themself in a situation can color the perception of the situation. But I was finally feeling good about me and it made me feel better about yoga. It might also really help that I had the same instructor two classes in a row (now 3 in a row, wow!) and I’m finally learning some of the poses.
I’m psyched when metaphorical carrot motivators help everything turn out well. Now, I just need to stop with the running a mile and then eating brownies version. 😉
What “carrots” do you typically use to motivate yourself?