The phantom goal of MOTIVATION plagues many a would-be innovator. The quest was made even more daunting to me when I learned about behavioral models that suggest that motivation is either present or it is not. It cannot be manufactured. It is too closely tied to the individual’s choice.
In my continued search to reinforce the other components of behavior (ability and trigger), I have returned again to motivation. My latest understanding does not contradict behavioral scientist concerning the primacy of individual choice. But, it does provide more tools in the quest to remove all other variables and isolate choice. The question: Are you active in your accountability?
I have long coached that sustainable success is a daily work of drive, direction, discipline, and doing. I understood the equation Behavior = Motivation * Ability * Trigger. What I have now understood is that the DOING, as I explain it, is not simply a bid to overcome mental and emotional obstacles, it is the specific, active engagement in production. Seems simple enough, but often my clients have trouble carving out the time to be specific and active. Other things get in the way, take precedence, or just overwhelm.
My new consultation is to re-learn accountability. Most people consider the setting of a deadline as enhancing accountability. Advanced clients have added an accountability buddy. What I am adding is direction on what to do with deadlines and accountability buddies. Stated simply, DO THE WORK WHILE THEY WATCH. It can be a person that sits with you. It can be a timer you set. It can be a TV program muted in the background. It only needs to be an external prompt that you WORK.
A unique breakthrough realization? Maybe not. But, potentially life altering just the same. As I contemplated this piece, I realized that this is exactly the technique I employed when my children were 0-3 years of age. I would state what I wanted them to do. I would then get close to them and ensure that they were active toward satisfying my request. Now, all over the age of 7, my requests are met with immediate action or (in the case of my teenager) dialogue for clarifying the request.
Improve your motivation. Take your accountability to the next level by setting the deadline, mapping the small steps, engaging the accountability buddy or setting the timer, but MOST IMPORTANTLY work while the accountability mechanism is present.
[ Michael A. Wright, PhD, LAPSW is a leadership coach and organization consultant based in Nashville, Tennessee. With over 16 years of experience guiding individuals to their goals, Michael has the techniques and patience to help you succeed. Follow @MAWMedia on Twitter or connect for a consultation at MAWMedia.com ]