Motivation Models & Hacks

ACH85ACH85 ✭✭
edited July 2014 in General Discussion

I’ve noticed a few posts lately, from both newbies and experienced BPers, claiming that they fall off the wagon, need more motivation, etc. 


 


For those who can make big, sweeping changes successfully, more power to you. I personally sometimes find that works best. If that’s not working, however...


 


I wanted to make 1) a thread that will contain various theoretical models for motivation and willpower hacks, and 2) a post about the models and hacks I believe are most accurate and powerful. 


 


I’m hoping people help me with #1 as they post in this thread. 


 


The below is all #2.


 




 


I’m a big fan of a Stanford professor named BJ Fogg. Interestingly, he’s already been mentioned twice on the forum, both times by BP staff. Dave, are you holding out on us? :) 


 


He’s got a behavior model, a tiny habits strategy, and likes feedback loops. 


 


A quick note: BJ Fogg studies behavior, and many of his ideas are applicable to things like e-commerce and user behavior online. In this post, I will include some examples involving those things, because I have a background in sociology and online marketing and find that stuff super interesting. Also because it adds proof of concept for this model. 


 


Let’s dive in...


 


Behavior Model:


 


Compact-FoggBehaviorModel.jpg


 


Take a look at that for a moment.


 


This is how we subconsciously decide whether or not to do something. This is also why Amazon.com offers one-click buying (ability = super easy) and hits you with so many emails and “customers who bought this also bought...” options (triggers.) Amazon is successful in part because they increased ability and triggers, making buyer motivation less important to the purchase process. Scary


 


Not shown is that the order of influence is: triggers, ability, motivation. That's right: your motivation to do something is least influential in whether or not you'll do it in many cases. Unless you have a life-changing moment, or your motivation is really high at the time of the decision.


 


Based on the above, when you fail despite your motivation, it is because you have been ( a ) triggered to do something that is ( b )  really easy to do. Example: you were motivated to eat a BP dinner when you got home from work, but you saw the McDonald’s golden arches (trigger) and the drive through was open (easy.) 


 


Therefore, your success strategy should involve making the better choice really easy to do (shop ahead of time, make BP meals in advance so you have them ready to eat right now) and trigger yourself early (set an alarm to eat your pre-made meal just a bit before you usually get hungry.) If you want to get hardcore, you can make sure you have no cash or credit cards in your wallet on your commute home, making stopping at McDonald’s quite a bit harder to do. 


 


The Behavior Model informs the...


 


Tiny Habits Strategy:


 


Big changes are hard. According to BJ Fogg's "tiny habits" strategy...


 


"Only three things will change behavior in the long term



Option AHave an epiphany
Option BChange your environment (what surrounds you)
Option CTake baby steps"


 


So, since in most cases it’s hard to change your environment (workplace, other people you live with,) and the health epiphany you've clearly had (by virtue of being here) isn't quite doing the job all the time, you must resort to taking baby steps. Baby steps is essentially from the Behavior Model: reducing ability to the point where your initial goal is ridiculously easy to achieve. The most famous example of this is: BJ Fogg did not floss enough, so he set a goal to simply floss the single gap between two teeth every night. It's a ridiculously low-bar goal, but of course most nights he ended up flossing every tooth. If he only flossed one tooth, he didn’t feel like a failure. Failure leads to a cascade of bad choices, so you should make success ridiculously easy. Later, you can ramp up your minimum goal that defines success. 


 


Let’s say you’re at work, planning to BP IF through the day, but you often mess up and go to the cafeteria. (Because you were triggered by the smell and the ability was high because it’s just down the hall. Here’s how you’d handle it: "Perhaps I will go to the cafeteria today, but first I will eat 1 raw almond." If that's what happens you met your goal. If you eat 10 almonds and still go, perhaps you’re not so hungry so you eat a bit less crap. Or, there's a decent chance you eat a bunch of almonds and end up not going to the cafeteria. The only way to fail is to not eat one almond. Next week, bring a BP meal, with the goal of eating just one bite before you go to the cafeteria. Similarly, chances are you’ll just finish eating that meal and not go to the cafeteria, but if you do, you won't experience a failure cascade. 


 


This is also the reason retailers will give incentives, insane deals, or free samples for your first purchase: they know they’ll get the most resistance before the first purchase, but once you make that initial purchase, you’ll be much more open to future purchases. They want you to establish a tiny habit of receiving products from them, even if they’re giving something away for free. 


 


His third big strategy for behavior change is... 


 


Feedback loops:


 


A feedback loop is a reasonably judgement-free system that says “this is what you’re supposed to do, and now let’s compare it to what you’re doing.” Have you ever seen one of these speed limit signs?


 


750px-Radar_speed_sign_-_close-up_-_over


 


Studies show these signs reduce speeding more than cop cars by the side of the road AND the reduced speeding behavior continues about 5 miles further down the road than for a cop car. The cop car is the possibility of punishment. This is just a gentle nudge, and it works better. 


 


Feedback loops are one of the reasons so many BPers use tracking/logging systems. Just the act of writing down what you ate makes you consider whether or not you’re glad you ate it. And, you can look back and see the data on what you ate vs. how you felt. For this reason you should still log what you ate even if you fell off the wagon. 


 


Putting it All Together:


 


Ok, let’s say you want to go full BP diet, and you’ve continually failed trying to do it all at once. According to these models, you need to:


 


- increase your ability to succeed (use strategies to make it easier like pre-cooked meals) 


- trigger yourself (alarms, text alerts, whatever works for you) 


- attempt to decrease your ability to fail (throw out junk food)


- become aware of triggers for failure, and try to preempt them


- establish small, attainable goals to start, so small you can’t fail


- establish feedback loops (tracking/logging, a friend asking you what you ate every day) 


- dial up your goals over time


Comments

  • RekaReka ✭✭✭

    Excellent, it was a pleasure to read, I hope this thread continues with lots of similar information.


    It doesn't get easier... It's you who gets better.

     

    Is your social worker in that horse?

     

    Success has a price, not a secret.

  • Nothing new or groundbreaking here but I find the app Lift to be incredibly helpful as a way to keep myself on track. As someone dealing with brain fog from mercury exposure and also someone who has a bit of obsessive tendencies researching and constantly adding new things to my to do list it can be difficult to remember everything I want to accomplish each day. Examples include... Only check emails 3 times per day, use my emwave, take vitamins, do yoga, use my sleep induction mat, write in my 5 minute journal, read, no blue light 2 hours before bed... you see where Lift becomes useful.


     


    I also find when I am craving sugar or other non bulletproof things most of the time it is because I am suffering from decision fatigue or something else has already dragged me down. In this situation I put my phone on airplane mode for 20 minutes, take a pump of glutathione and sit peacefully until the 20 minutes are up and reflect on my day. I find this to be extremely helpful.


     


    Looking forward to hearing from others, thanks for the great post.


  • WalterWalter ✭✭✭

    I too find Lift useful, even though I'm nowhere near having all the habits I need, it's the perfect reminder each day.


  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭

    Lift app = feedback loop + optional triggers (reminders.) You could also argue it tends to suggest smaller tiny habit style goals to start. 


  • Awesome! Great read, thanks for posting :)


  • RekaReka ✭✭✭

    I began using this to help eating less. So the plan is that after arriving home in the evening, I first drink 500 ml water or tea, and eat only after that. I drink so much during the day that I don't need more, but I hope it makes me less ravenous, in a similar way that the almond in the example.


    It doesn't get easier... It's you who gets better.

     

    Is your social worker in that horse?

     

    Success has a price, not a secret.

  • I have to completely agree with this post. I'm reminded of a fantastic book which was written by my mentor Darren Hardy. The book is called "The Compound Effect" where he speaks of small changes adding up over time. And, as well, he mentions the efficacy of adding in small habits at a very gentle pace. Instead of trying to take on the entire staircase, just take the next step. And the next. Gently. They'll create more positive cascades than trying to do EVERYTHING at once.


  • Instead of trying to add 'ALL of the habits you need', add 1. Work on that for awhile, until it's mastered, and integrated into your daily life, and it becomes routine. Once it gets to the point that it's automatic, then add another one. If you try to make major changes all at once..... many people backslide :) Add 1, perfect it, master it, streamline it... then add another. :)




    I too find Lift useful, even though I'm nowhere near having all the habits I need, it's the perfect reminder each day.



  • StevoStevo Upgrade in Progress

    The Compound Effect is a great book!


     


    I have a few but I think you generally covered them:


    - remove your human failure potential from the mix by automating some of the process. This could be using services like online supermarkets, regular vege box deliveries, Amazon subscribe and save, to make sure you always have the right food or supplement, etc when you need it.


    - remove causes for weakness. Some ideas might be, never go shopping while hungry or change your walking route to work to avoid the bakery, etc.


    - invest in your success. For example, my current workplace has NO KITCHEN. So I need to invest in certain equipment to enable me to have the right lunch and coffee choices. Don't be afraid to spend money on what you need to succeed.


     


    Great post by ACH!


  • Here's an article excerpt from a copywriting and marketing mentor of mine, that can be applied to anything in life.


    Click here for the full article.


     


    The Secret of the Red Shirts

     

         Let's imagine that you and I are sitting in a large stadium, watching a baseball game on a sunny afternoon in mid-July.


         I say to you, "Top Gun, look around the stadium. Take a good look and then close your eyes."


         You do so.


         Eyes closed? Okay.


         I then ask, "Top Gun, how many red shirts did you notice?"


         You think for a moment and reply,"Why, I really didn't notice any. I was looking at the crowd."


         Just what I thought. When it came to noticing red shirts, your eyes were wide open but you were still asleep.


         Alright, a second chance. Scan the crowd again, but this time, look for the red shirts.


         You do so and suddenly notice more red shirts than you can count.


         Instantly, you have just experienced a quantum leap in your ability to perceive red shirts.


         That's cool, you think. But why is this such a powerful secret for mastering marketing ... or anything else in life?


         Simple.


         For the words, red shirts, substitute blockbuster headline.


         Or irresistible offer.


         Or product that will make you rich.


         Or new report that will sell like wildfire.


         Or career of your dreams.


         Or love of your life.


         You won't likely stumble across any of these things by going through life staring blankly at the crowd. But you will spot them unfailingly once you look specifically, exclusively and persistently for each.


         In short, intention facilitates perception.


         "Seek and ye shall find" is one of the oldest truisms of life. But it works only when you seek for one thing specifically, exclusively and persistently.


     


    ___


     


    (bolding mine).


     


    If you look for ways to achieve what you want, you make it far easier that you'll get it. And, if you have a tendency to see how hard something is, or easy to fail, etc, you'll likely "discover" many reasons to do that, or give in, etc.


     


    So, by simply focusing on what you want, and keeping your focus there, you're stacking the odds in your favor for having, experiencing or reaching that goal, dream or desire you want.

  • 100% agree. Always have good foods on hand. Always. Always have water on hand.


    Automate, like you said.


    Also, go to the store with a LIST, and CHECK OFF the foods on the list, after you put em into your bag/cart. You'll get a slight dopamine squirt , and it'll keep you focused on what you need to get.


    Definitely never go shopping hungry. No bueno :P


    Where I work, there is a restaurant nearby, which was sorta tempting me w/ the smells, on Friday. Thankfully, I have a strong willpower, and know what type of results I want ;)


    And make it easy easy easy easy easy to succeed. Small baby steps. :D




    The Compound Effect is a great book!


     


    I have a few but I think you generally covered them:


    - remove your human failure potential from the mix by automating some of the process. This could be using services like online supermarkets, regular vege box deliveries, Amazon subscribe and save, to make sure you always have the right food or supplement, etc when you need it.


    - remove causes for weakness. Some ideas might be, never go shopping while hungry or change your walking route to work to avoid the bakery, etc.


    - invest in your success. For example, my current workplace has NO KITCHEN. So I need to invest in certain equipment to enable me to have the right lunch and coffee choices. Don't be afraid to spend money on what you need to succeed.


     


    Great post by ACH!





  • Instead of trying to add 'ALL of the habits you need', add 1. Work on that for awhile, until it's mastered, and integrated into your daily life, and it becomes routine. Once it gets to the point that it's automatic, then add another one. If you try to make major changes all at once..... many people backslide :) Add 1, perfect it, master it, streamline it... then add another. :)




     


    I think you're right, I tried too much at once. I'll stick with eating BP, sleeping at set times and meditation for a while.

  • The stair metaphor is perfect.


     


    You can't take on an entire staircase in a single bound. You can probably do two stairs at once, maybe even three. But try to leap over any more than that and you're going to fall on your ass.


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