By Ricardo Gomez
Staying motivated is the key to getting what you want out of life. If you’ve struggled to feel energetic day after day or if you have a tendency to procrastinate, then you are slowing down your progress on meeting your goals.
One reason many lose their motivation is from being overtaken by all the thoughts, activities and responsibilities around us. We stay busy, but all of this activity distracts us from getting the things done that matter the most.
What if you could get a jolt of motivation, any time you need it? There is one very simple technique that takes a few minutes to learn and only five seconds to employ, any time you need it.
As many of us know, there are many books and videos that promote different ways to get the most out of every day, from making lists and prioritizing the big tasks first to daily exercise, meditation and a good night’s sleep.
There are times in our lives when we naturally feel motivated – January new year’s resolutions, pre-summer diets and exercise regimes – but what happens to those new commitments we make to ourselves?
Life happens. For some people, it is tuning into their favorite TV show or binging on sports at tournament time. For others, it may be grabbing drinks at happy hour during stressful times at work or scrolling through endless news feeds on social media. For many, it is the combination of work and family responsibilities.
The question to ask yourself is: are my activities getting me closer to the things I thought I really wanted?
Chances are, they are not. You are simply missing a vital resource.
That resource is anchoring. Anchoring is the act of connecting a stimulus to a certain emotional response. It is comparable with the work of Pavlov’s (Winner of the Nobel Prize) experiment on dogs. Pavlov sounded a bell as the animal was given food. The animal salivated when they saw the food. After some connection between the bell and the food, the activation of the bell alone, triggered salivation on the dog.
Most of us have involuntary reactions to “anchors:” the smell of a specific dish brings back memories, the melody of music can remind us of a certain event, a touch can bring us back to a specific moment in our past with a person we care about. Those anchors work naturally and you might not even be aware of them.
You can also create an anchor for yourself anytime you need it.
When you need a jolt of motivation, find a quiet place and think of a moment from your past when you were at the peak of a motivating experience. Then apply a specific physical stimulus while you think of that moment. You can touch a knuckle on your hand, or squeeze the lob of your ear. Hold it for 5-15 seconds. Then, the two are linked neurologically – your motivating thought with your anchored touch.
Now, change your state. Think about something else or move your body to get out of that state. Test your anchor, by firing the anchor to make sure you respond to this new state. Do you feel motivated now? If so, it is a strong anchor.
Fire up that motivating thought through your anchor anytime you need it. Repeat it as much as necessary until it is strongly anchored.
Now, imagine if every morning when you wake up, you could start your day like this. And what about the power of firing up your anchor before a project meeting or presentation?
You can anchor yourself over and over again for as many positive states as you want, such as being happy, excited, relaxed, peaceful, confident, grateful, clear, optimistic and more. Have fun with it!
Ricardo E. Gomez, NLP and TLT Coach is a business trainer and executive coach based in the Washington D.C. area. Ricardo’s specialties include personal, relationship, and breakthrough coaching, healthy lifestyle guidance, and, for executives, goal setting, decision making, leadership and communication skills. Of Spanish descent, he was raised in Paris and has lived in the United States for 20 years; Ricardo is fluent in English, Spanish and French.