Schedule Your Motivation

Motivation: The Scientific Guide on How to Get and Stay Motivated

Motivation is a powerful, yettricky beast (хитрый зверь). Sometimes it is really easy to get motivated, and you find yourself wrapped up (быть охваченным, быть погруженным) in a whirlwind(вихрь, ураган) of excitement. Other times, it is nearly impossible to figure out (понять) how to motivate yourself and you're trapped (быть заключенным/ загнанным; trap- ловушка) in a death spiral of procrastination (procrastinate= postpone). This page contains the best ideas and most useful research on (обратите внимание на preposition!) how to get and stay motivated.

We're going to break down the science behind how to get motivated in the first place and how to stay motivated for thelong-run (in the long run- в длительной перспективе, продолжительно).


Motivation: What It Is and How It Works

Scientists define motivation as your general willingness(желание; will to do sth- желать что-то сделать) to do something. It is the set of psychological forces thatcompel (urge to do- побуждать)you to take action. That's nice and all, but I think we cancome up with(придумать) a more useful definition of motivation.

So what is motivation, exactly? The author Steven Pressfield has a great line in his book, The War of Art, which I think gets at the core (лежать в основе)of motivation. To paraphrase Pressfield, “At some point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it.

In other words, at some point, it is easier to change than to stay the same. It is easier to take action and feel insecure at the gym than tosit still(неподвижный) and experienceself-loathing(отвращение к себе; loath= disgusting) on the couch (диван).It is easier to feel awkward while making the sales call than to feel disappointed about yourdwindling bank account (уменьшать банковский счет).

This, I think, is the essence (сущность)of motivation. Every choice has a price, but when we are motivated, it is easier to bear the inconvenience (переносить неудобство) of action than the pain of remaining the same. Somehow we cross a mentalthreshold (порог)—usually after weeks of procrastination and in the face of animpending (impend- навигаться)deadline—and it becomes more painful to not do the work than to actually do it.

Now for the important question: What can we do to make it more likely that we cross this mental threshold and feel motivated on a consistent (permanent)basis?


One of the most surprising things about motivation is that it often comes after starting a new behavior, not before. We have this common misconception that motivation arrives as a result of passively consuming a motivational video or reading an inspirational book. However, active inspiration can be a far more powerful motivator.

Motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. You don't need much motivation once you've started a behavior. Nearly all of the friction in a task is at the beginning. After you start, progress occurs (= happen) more naturally. In other words, it is often easier to finish a task than it was to start it in the first place.

Thus (Таким образом/ отсюда..), one of the keys to getting motivated is to make it easy to start.


How to Get Motivated and Take Action

Many peoplestruggle to (изо всех сил стараться) find the motivation they need to achieve the goals they want because they are wasting too much time and energy on other parts of the process. If you want to make it easy to find motivation and get started, then it helps to automate the early stages of your behavior.


Schedule Your Motivation

During a conversation about writing, my friend Sarah Peck looked at me and said, “A lot of people neverget around to (do something that you have intended to do for a long time- приступить к) writing because they are always wondering when they are going to write next.” You could say the same thing about working out, starting a business, creating art, and building most habits.

If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede (помешать, быть помехой) your capacity to do the work.

Setting a schedule for yourself seems simple, but it puts your decision-making on autopilot by giving your goals a time and a place to live. It makes it more likely that you will follow through regardless of your motivation levels. Stop waiting for motivation or inspiration to strike you and set a schedule for your habits. This is the difference between professionals and amateurs. Professionals set a schedule andstick to it (пидерживаться (schedule)).Amateurs wait until they feel inspired or motivated.

How do some of the most prolific (продукивный) artists in the world motivate themselves? They don't merely (едва) set schedules, they build rituals.

Twyla Tharp is widely regarded (считается)as one of the greatest dancers and choreographers of the modern era. In her best-selling book, The Creative Habit (audiobook), Tharp discusses the role rituals, or pre-game routines, have played in her success:

«I begin each day of my life with a ritual; I wake up at 5:30 A.M., put on my workout clothes, my leg warmers, my sweatshirts, and my hat. I walk outside my Manhattan home, hail a taxi (ловить такси), and tell the driver to take me to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st street and First Avenue, where I workout for two hours. The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual.

It’s a simple act, but doing it the same way each morning habitualizes (вводит в привычку- крутое слово!)it — makes it repeatable, easy to do. It reduces the chance that I would skip it or do it differently. It is one more item in my arsenal of routines, and one less thing to think about.



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