While we all have goals and aspirations in life, conceiving these is far easier than executing them. In this respect, learning how to motivate yourself is central to the accomplishment of goals, while it is also one of the hardest things that you can ever do in life.
The main reason for this is that anything truly worth accomplishing is difficult to achieve, meaning that you are likely to endure hardship and setbacks along the way. Let’s say that you start a specific diet, for example, and showcase incredible enthusiasm in the first few weeks. As the excitement begins to fade and the realities of a stringent diet take hold, however, it is easy to lose motivation and lose sight of your long-term goal.
The Goldilocks rule: What is it and how does it manifest itself?
While hardship and setbacks can impact on your level of motivation, so too can the nature of the goal itself. This is something that can often be overlooked when you learn how to motivate yourself, despite the fact that studies have consistently found that the establishing goals of manageable difficulty is central to remaining focused. This is commonly referred to as the ‘Goldilocks Rule’, which stipulates that our ability to stay motivated will falter when pursuing goals that are outside of an optimal range of difficulty.
To explain this further, let’s continue with the example of starting a diet. Within a short space of time, you may find yourself losing weight and approaching the initial goal that you set. As the pace of your progress slows and the difficulty eases, you are likely to find your motivation wane accordingly. Similarly, those who have a huge amount of weight to lose to achieve their goal will struggle to remain motivated from the outset, as the scale of their task makes it seemingly impossible.
The Goldilocks rule applies to the pursuit of every goal, even in instances where you must also consult your values and morals. We have seen a huge rise in the number of academic essay writing tools, for example, which allow students to outsource their dissertations and coursework requirements. The popularisation of essay writing services can be largely attributed to the principle of the Goldilocks rule, as students tend to outsource simple pieces that they deem non-challenging or complex and crucial posts that are exceptionally difficult to complete within the given time-frame.
Apply the Goldilocks rule and learn how to motivate yourself
As we can see, the Goldilocks rule establishes an optimal range of difficulty that distinguishes positive and attainable goals. This taps into the concept that humans are at their most motivated when they undertake tasks that are on the very edge of their ability, as they seek a balance between challenging themselves and making progress along their specific course. Understanding this is the first and arguably most important part of learning how to motivate yourself and successfully pursuing goals, as otherwise you will constantly find yourself either lacking in mental stimulation or overwhelmed by the task in hand.
Following the Goldilocks Rule also enables you to unlock another motivational key, which lies in the measurement of your progress and development as an individuals. It is through the accomplishment of manageable challenges that we are able to achieve happiness, for example, as they provide us with an opportunity to make progress in life and experience the diverse benefits of this. If we are able to measure our success and personal development on a regular basis, we can achieve a positive mental flow that enables us to embrace challenges, drive consistent performance and achieve our goals over a concerted period of time.