Top 20 Motivation Hacks – #9

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 #9: Get a coach or take a class.

Yeah, I know. Too much trouble. Well, stop making excuses! 🙂

Having a swim coach has been very motivating for me. Not because the coach yells at me like a Marine drill sergeant, or encourages me every step of the way … but I show up simply because I know the coach is there waiting for me, and I try hard because of course I want to look like a good student. And then there’s the added motivation that you’re paying for this, so you better not waste it!

I’ve only missed a couple session with my coach, and they were both cases of life getting in the way (my daughter’s soccer game, for example), not of me not being motivated. Yes, there have been times when I didn’t feel like doing my swim workout for the day, but I went anyway, because I had made a commitment to my coach.

This can work for many goals. Want to get your finances in shape? Meet with an advisor. If nothing else, it will force you to sit down and take a look at your finances, and think about some strategies that will work for you. Want to learn computer programming? Take a class. Not because you need a class to learn, but because you will be motivated to actually show up, and to do the reading, and to do the work required to learn the skill.

This works with just about any skill — learning Spanish, to play a guitar, to learn clay modeling. Want to lose weight? Get a personal trainer. He or she will not only motivate you to work out, but motivate you to eat right too, especially if you have to report your progress to him.

This might be one of the more expensive ways of motivating yourself, but it works. And if you do some research, you might find some cheap classes in your area, or you might know a friend who will provide coaching or counseling for free.

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