Melancholy about change? Know these guiding principles before you begin!

This week we continue our theme: PODCASTS. But, today, I’m so excited to share with you a specific podcast, a specific episode: “The Science of Achieving Your Goals…” #232 of the SOMETHING YOUR SHOULD KNOW It’s all about research-based information supporting how best to achieve your goals.

It was last month when I stumbled upon the episode and heard the interview with author, Jon Acuff, who wrote the book called Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done. What I loved about the interview was it reinforced much of what I knew as a student of psychology, and observer of human behavior. 

The episode really aligned with the program I created last year called, Dream Habits: Your ideal behavior change in 30 days even if you failed before, gave up or don’t think you’re ready. Because in my course you go from feeling melancholy and unmotivated, to feeling empowered, ambitious and worthy as you experience behavior change and transformation in small steps, with permission to be imperfect and without giving up on yourself.

I want to share with you some of the principles from the episode and I also encourage you to go over to this link and listen for yourself.

Here are some of the principles

The self-help space can be filled with bad advice

I thought this was so interesting since I live in the self-help world. I love the self-help world. But what he cautions is that a lot of time advice and courses are based on single anecdotes versus research.


Fun matters

Since not everything can be fun, it takes some exploration to understand how to makes some things fun for yourself. The first step is to understand the guiding force of your motivation system. Jon Acuff recounts that research indicates that people are guided by either consequence or rewards.

If you are guided by consequence it means you’re more motivated by deadlines and accountability. However if you are more inclined to complete a task, or execute a behavior because of the treat you’ll get, you are guided by rewards. Like going for a run, and then watching your favorite reality TV show. Or maybe writing that blog post and then having a piece of chocolate after you posted it to your website.


Make the right size goal

Here Jon Acuff talks about how often people create a goal that is way too big. For instance, I don’t run. Therefore, I wouldn’t start with a goal to run the marathon. Instead, I’d be better off choosing a 5K race as my goal. Even better, just running 5 minutes a day to start.

Motivation is temporary

This is exactly what I help you plan for in my program, an accountability system to override waning motivation .

“the day after perfect” as coined by Jon Acuff

It was this part of the podcast episode that I was most excited to hear. I was talking back to the podcast in my car saying, YES. I didn’t know there was research to support it but I knew it from my years in academia, and my experience in the field.

This principle is all about expectation management. It’s about how you respond to imperfection. It’s all about forgiving yourself. It is the special sauce in my program for you. I dedicate an entire a section of the online course, Dream Habits, to guiding you to permit yourself to be imperfect on your path to behavior change, to keep taking action, to not give up on yourself.


You remember the things you left incomplete versus the things you do complete

Research indicates that a person’s brain will really perseverate on incomplete tasks. This really resonated with me because of a mantra I’ve been sharing with my Reiki clients for about six years. I created this mantra to help people be easier on themselves when I observed their self-critical voice really taking a toll on their wellbeing. Give yourself credit for the things you do.

It really goes to show that our brains are hardwired in many ways. The more insight, knowledge and wisdom we have about the natural functions of our brain, we can then employ daily actions to support our self growth and circumvent some of these naturally-occurring sabotaging factors.

P.S. Which ideal behaviors would you start to implement in your life if you knew you were allowed to be imperfect about them?

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