Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on twitter or identica.
Quick intro: I first intended this Top 20 list to be in a single post, but I decided that breaking them into separate posts would allow me to concentrate on each a little more. So, I present my list of the Top 20 Motivation Hacks.
A number of people have commented that I must be dedicated to achieve some of the goals I’m going for: exercise, frugality, organization, healthy eating, etc. Well, I don’t believe in someone being naturally “dedicated” … it’s all a matter of motivation. You can achieve anything if you motivate yourself enough.
Motivation Hack #6: Make it a rule never to skip two days in a row.
This doesn’t mean calendar days, but days in which you are supposed to take action towards your goal. For example, if you planned to work out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, don’t skip two of those workouts in a row (if you skip Monday, be sure to work out on Wednesday). The same would be true of any other scheduled goal tasks. If you are trying to eat healthy every day, and eat McDonald’s today, be sure not to cave in tomorrow as well.
This rule takes into account our natural tendency to miss days now and then. We are not perfect. I certainly am not. But missing one day should not cause us to get sidetracked for good. If we miss two days in a row, soon we’ll miss three days in a row, and we’re sliding down that slippery slope.
Don’t allow it to happen. It’s harder to start back up after a long break than it is after just missing one day. If you just miss one workout, for example, you’ve still got momentum going. Keep it going.
It’s not impossible to start back up if you’ve missed a week or a month or more, and in fact I urge you to do so if you have missed that much time already. You just have to start slow. But you’re much more likely to stick with it if you can be consistent, and you’ll see much better progress towards your goal too. Consistency is important in improvement.
So, you missed one day … now the second day is upon you and you are feeling lazy … tell yourself NO! You will not miss two days in a row! Zen Habits says so! And just get started. You’ll thank yourself later.