Sunday, February 7, 2021

Motivation vs. Habit

 As I grow older, I realize that motivation is difficult to sustain and if you plan to do things because you are motivated, you generally are setting yourself up for failure. Of course, there are few awesome people out there in the world who do things out of motivation and passion, but for the rest of us a lazy weekend or a bout of Netflix is enough to kill that motivation. And then being the self-proclaimed "God of procrastination" doesn't really help me much in that aspect as well.

Over the last few years, I have realized the easiest way to work towards a goal is by forming a habit. I know I have written about habits before, but I realize I understand them better; only now. If I had discovered this trick a few decades ago, I would have been a better person. Just to give you context, I will provide two examples from my life:

My company gives me access to LinkedIn Learning. It is a treasure trove of amazing videos to learn about almost anything under the sun. Now if I set a goal like "I want to get certified in xyz", it is too far-fetched and insurmountable because of the number of lessons required to be taken and the discipline/ motivation required to study through them. However, if I set a habit like - I will listen to 15 minutes of LinkedIn Learning lessons everyday, then in a matter of 1 month, I can do almost 7.5 hours of lessons - a respectable amount of time to study a lot of things (most courses are less than 12 hours).

Another example would be my resolution to read more books. Like everyone else, I am distracted, I binge watch and then I surf aimlessly. Reading books is a boring task that requires motivation and will-power. Now how about this - at the beginning of the year make a list of books you want to read. Arrange them in this order - Jan - Book 1, Feb - Book 2 etc. Then see the number of pages in Book 1 (e.g. 300). Resolve to read 10 pages a day. Viola, you can read a book in a month.

I think forming habits is the lazy man's way towards a resolution.

No comments:

Post a Comment