Set a financial penalty.
I got this one from my former pastor. He was like any other father, sometimes he would get mad and yell at his kids and he wanted to change that behavior. So, he decided that he would have to pay them a dollar any time he yelled at them. He had four kids and a pastor’s salary, so this was a really good incentive for him to change his behavior. Another version I’ve heard is to give money to a cause you really dislike. That could be a very good motivator, but you’ve got to have someone to act as a referee to keep you honest and make sure you actually follow through on your donation or pay your penalty.
Enlist a Coach or an accountability partner.
This one is a little bit tricky because you have to find someone who is willing to be a little bit mean to you, or at least very strict with you. You don’t want a person who is going to cut you a break or let you off the hook. I have a co-worker who has agreed to do this for me and my plan to take better control of my work hours. She hasn’t had to yell at me yet because I’ve been doing really well for these first two weeks, but she has been checking in with me every day and praising me for the good job I’m doing on it and I know she will get on my case if I start slipping up.
Rig the System in Your Favor.
The flip side of this is to get a partner to reward you rather than yell at you. I did this for my husband when he had been dragging his feet on finishing up some household projects. I had a $20 gift card to his favorite restaurant that I’d won somewhere, so I tacked it up on the fridge with a note that if he completed the projects by the end of the week, he could have the gift card to enjoy a nice lunch. The projects got done in record time.
One of my decluttering clients tried this with great success. Her husband had been after her to clean out their guest room for weeks. She asked him if he would take her out to dinner if she completed the project. He said he would be delighted to. She completed the project in just a few hours and then they enjoyed a nice dinner together, so it was definitely a win-win situation for both of them.
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If you are really serious about change – I have a bonus tip for you. I am the queen of self-help books. I have a whole shelf full of them, along with videos, CD’s and audio tapes from every motivational expert under the sun. However, the best one I have found so far is a new book called “Change Anything”.
It is by the author of Influencer, The Power to Change the World. Influencer is also a terrific book, but it deals with large scale situations like preventing AIDS, prison reform, and eradicating diseases in 3rd world countries. Change Anything is more directed towards personal change like losing weight, stopping smoking, etc. I am a HUGE fan of these authors – I read their newsletters, attend their sessions (luckily, they are local), take their classes, and I read and re-read their books. They are truly brilliant at this stuff and I’ve learned a ton from them! You can view them for yourself at Changeanything.com.Motivate yourself by giving money to a cause you really dislike as a penalty Click To Tweet
Extra bonus tip
I just found this on the interwebs the other day and I wanted to share it with you. I draw these beautiful little intricate black and white drawings called Zentangles. They are supposed to be calming and I like to do them in boring meetings.
This lady figured out a way to use them for her debt payment strategy. Every time she paid $25 on one of her credit cards, she got to color in one little section. I thought that was a brilliant strategy! Here is one of my drawings – I can see exactly how much fun it would be to color in one section every time you pay a bill.
I hope these ideas will help you. Be sure and drop me a line to let me know how you are getting on with it. Or if you have any great ideas to share also. I’d love to hear them. I am always interested in more great motivational ideas.
Photo credit: Whitneylayne @ Fiverr.com
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