“I want to… but I just don’t have the energy.”  “Doesn’t he even care about doing a good job.”  “These millennials aren’t serious about work.” “It will be different this time…. at least I hope something will change.” “There’s no way….”It’s that time of year. Many of us have been looking back at 2018 (which was gorgeous at Six Seconds), and looking ahead at 2019… some are making New Years Resolutions (which don’t work well for most people). Whatever your tradition, if you want to make change in the new year, it’s going to take work. Which takes energy.

Where will you get it?Each calendar quarter, the Six Seconds community focuses on a theme. For quarter 1 of 2019, our theme is motivation… and the role of emotions in fueling our energy. Here’s my view:

Emotions are signals to focus us on what’s most important. With emotional intelligence, feelings energize us to nourish and protect our highest goals.

There are three “lenses” that I’ve found helpful in strengthening motivation, and how I use these as a coach:

  1. Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation
  2. Practical vs Idealistic Motivation
  3. The Vital Signs of Motivation

Many of the articles I read about motivation offer fairly generic-but-good tips like, “break the task into small pieces,” or “write down your goal.” Great. But which of these practical tips apply to your specific situation?

Let’s suppose that despite my earlier advice, you’ve decided to set a New Year’s Resolution. If I were coaching you, and you told me that you were not quite sure about this commitment, I might ask you three questions:

How important is your goal?

How clear is the path to achieve this — is it doable?

To what degree do you believe that the path will work for you?

 

Going in the “way back machine” to Victor Vroom’s research on “expectancy theory,” these three questions reveal how likely it is that you’ll follow through on the goal. For example, if you rate each on a scale of 1-10 (where 10 is highest), and then multiply your scores, you get a total value from 1-1000. Anything over 700 is a win. You’ll quickly see that if any rating is below 7, it’s not possible to get over 700.

What’s valuable in these questions is that they don’t just tell us about a level of motivation: They usually diagnose where the challenge sits. From there, we can design a solution. There’s a guide you can download from this page which offers example strategies for each of the areas. In each area, there is an aspect where emotional intelligence is the key. For value, we need to FEEL the purpose. For practicality, we need CONFIDENCE in the steps. For self-belief, we need to TRUST ourselves. Which is hardest for you? For me it’s usually the third that’s “the real kicker” (a kind of painful-but-freeing realization).

Once you see the challenge clearly, you can look at your situation through the three lenses of motivation to craft a solution:

It’s that time of year. Many of us have been looking back at 2018 (which was gorgeous at Six Seconds), and looking ahead at 2019… some are making New Years Resolutions (which don’t work well for most people). Whatever your tradition, if you want to make change in the new year, it’s going to take work. Which takes energy.

Where will you get it?

Each calendar quarter, the Six Seconds community focuses on a theme. For quarter 1 of 2019, our theme is motivation… and the role of emotions in fueling our energy. Here’s my view:

Emotions are signals to focus us on what’s most important. With emotional intelligence, feelings energize us to nourish and protect our highest goals.

There are three “lenses” that I’ve found helpful in strengthening motivation, and how I use these as a coach:

  1. Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation
  2. Practical vs Idealistic Motivation
  3. The Vital Signs of Motivation

Many of the articles I read about motivation offer fairly generic-but-good tips like, “break the task into small pieces,” or “write down your goal.” Great. But which of these practical tips apply to your specific situation?

Let’s suppose that despite my earlier advice, you’ve decided to set a New Year’s Resolution. If I were coaching you, and you told me that you were not quite sure about this commitment, I might ask you three questions:

How important is your goal?

How clear is the path to achieve this — is it doable?

To what degree do you believe that the path will work for you?

Going in the “way back machine” to Victor Vroom’s research on “expectancy theory,” these three questions reveal how likely it is that you’ll follow through on the goal. For example, if you rate each on a scale of 1-10 (where 10 is highest), and then multiply your scores, you get a total value from 1-1000. Anything over 700 is a win. You’ll quickly see that if any rating is below 7, it’s not possible to get over 700.

What’s valuable in these questions is that they don’t just tell us about a level of motivation: They usually diagnose where the challenge sits. From there, we can design a solution. There’s a guide you can download from this page which offers example strategies for each of the areas. In each area, there is an aspect where emotional intelligence is the key. For value, we need to FEEL the purpose. For practicality, we need CONFIDENCE in the steps. For self-belief, we need to TRUST ourselves. Which is hardest for you? For me it’s usually the third that’s “the real kicker” (a kind of painful-but-freeing realization).

Once you see the challenge clearly, you can look at your situation through the three lenses of motivation to craft a solution:

Josh Freedman

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