Do you ever wonder why goal setting is preached over and over in the workplace, in the gym, on the field, etc? There are many studies that show goal achievement has a direct impact on motivation and willpower. Small, incremental, achievable goals are they key that lead to an ultimately larger goal. Little bursts of dopamine have been attributed to this:
“The brain can be trained to feed off of bursts of dopamine sparked by rewarding experiences. You create the dopamine environment, and the brain does the rest. One way to achieve this is by setting incremental goals, according to neurologist Judy Willis. In essence, what you are doing is rewiring the brain to attach a dopamine response to the task you want as a reward. Allow yourself to experience frequent positive feedback as you progress through a series of goals. Dopamine will flow as a result of your brain’s positive reinforcement every time you complete a step and meet a challenge.”
Here’s a quick tip: Don’t set too lofty health goals right out of the gate that may take a long time to overcome, or you will most likely fall short. Our brains need to feel those steady rewarding experiences. Plus, it’s all about the journey, not the end result!
In addition to goal setting, there are other ways to naturally increase dopamine, which is used to fuel motivation and willpower. In fact, nearly everything that the Prometa Health team preaches will naturally boost dopamine (natural/organic foods, exercise, meditation, sun exposure) which then can be used to increase productivity. If you think about it, health activities and motivation go hand in hand: perform healthy tasks to increase dopamine levels, which in turn increase motivation and willpower, so you can keep crushing the healthy tasks!
The key is consistency. Here’s another article that illustrates why:
“One of the most interesting discoveries of the last few years has been the realization that willpower is a finite resource. That is, you only get a certain amount of willpower on any given day, and once you’ve exhausted that supply, you’ll find yourself feeling much less able to do the right things and act on the motivation that you may feel.”
Science says willpower is strongest in the morning and fades later in the day. So get to work on your goals early in the morning and make sure to feed your brain later in the day to fuel your will power!! Here are some foods specific for willpower:
(You can’t go wrong with fresh fruits, veggies and avocados!)
Here’s a scientifically proven way to increase willpower: let’s say you want to accomplish a task or consume a product. By simply approaching it, putting yourself in that environment, you are more likely to proceed than walk away. The reason being the mind listen to what the body tells it (see below).
Think about it. You are more likely to workout on a “non rest day” even though you may not be feeling like it by simply going to the gym. You are more likely to eat the tray of vegetables at a work function if you physically approach it and put it within arms reach (unfortunately the same goes with the cookie tray!). You are more likely to perform the morning routine if you set your alarm, don’t hit snooze and get up!
The mind body connection is so real and such a powerful phenomenon! Get that just food out of the house or one you approach it to satisfy a sweet craving, it’s all over. Physically distance yourself from it and scoff at it if you can’t get rid of it (because of the significant other and/or kids) and your brain will listen to your body! It will be easier to avoid. Conversely, go physically pick up the apple or the grapes when you are hungry for something sweet and it will be a lot easier to consume vs the junk.
For more information on willpower, focus and accomplishing goals, check out:
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results – Gary Keller with Jay Papasan
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