Monthly Motivation from Ready Resilience – January

Ready Resilience helps organisations thrive during times of change and challenge, using practical neuroscience-based resilience tools that have been proven to offer in-the-moment solutions and long-lasting results. January motivation

Is your willpower wilting already despite only being a few weeks into the new year? We have all been there. You start strong out of the gate, then you find yourself tripping over daily life and the stresses of work. Your good intentions fly out the window, as does your motivation to get fitter or cut back on takeaways. Psychologists have previously coined a term for this all-too-common phenomenon = willpower depletion. It works on the premise that the more you rely on your willpower to get motivated, the more it gets drained. The result can be less self-control to resist pleasurable temptations. You end up eating junk food and binge-watching Netflix, instead of a healthy meal and hitting the gym. While the jury is still out on how quickly motivation does deplete, being able to improve your level of self-control can be a way to stay more motivated. One the ways you can do this is to watch for cues in your environment that trigger your brain into certain unhelpful behaviours. When you walk in the door after work, your brain’s association cortex processes the incoming sensory information and generates related behaviours. That comfortable couch and easily reached junk food creates an emotionally pleasurable association that your brain remembers and wants to repeat. One approach to help overcome this is to associate your ideal behaviour with its own emotional reward. The pleasure of listening to a engaging podcast or motivational music as you exercise. The enjoyment of cooking with someone, or the feedback you will receive when you serve up everyone’s favourite meal.

Consider a behaviour you would like to do more of this year, then decide how you could link it with a pleasurable emotional reward. It will give you a better chance of self-control and staying motivated.

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