You know, former procrastinators, even experts in their fields don’t agree. Stephen Guise encourages such small goals that performing them takes very little effort – so little that it’s actually easy to exercise will power and do them. (Read two pages in a book, do one push up.) In The Compound Effect Darren Hardy says, no, will power won’t carry you through. You have to have motivation. Hardy’s not talking about mini goals but “regular” size ones. Still, we have two folks who both offer us great help, and they disagree.
I’ve concluded that it takes both – will power and motivation. I’m not copping out. Sometimes will power carries me through and sometimes motivation does. We need both and we’re blessed to be able to take advantage of both. God has designed us so that will power and motivation serve us.
Hardy asks, What will keep you going when enthusiasm for your newly chosen habit wanes? (It will wane.) Hardy says it’s your why power. The wisest and most motivating choices are aligned with your purpose and highest values. When your actions don’t line up with your values, you’re frustrated and unhappy. (Amen.) Guise agrees.
What reason in your values makes you want to make the necessary change? What fuels your persistence?
The motivation behind the change may not necessarily be noble, Hardy says, but it moves you to action. Exercising to maintain the temple God has given me would be wise. For now, I’m exercising to be strong for an upcoming trip. Find your why power to help you persevere.
As we persevere, we meet someone Hardy calls a great friend, Momentum. Remember pushing friends on a merry- go- round at the park? It’s reeaally hard to get that thing to move. You have to dig in and puuush. But once it’s going, it’s easy to keep going. It even picks up speed. Making a change is hard from scratch but easy to maintain. That’s why Hardy says routine is critical. If we walk away from that merry -go- round and break the routine, Mo walks away too and things come to a halt.
Hardy also illustrates with a well pump. It takes a long time of pumping to create the vacuum that draws the water up. (Priming the pump.) When only a little dribbles out, some people will walk away; wise ones keep pumping until there’s a steady stream. To keep the flow steady, just pump the lever consistently. The compound effect.
One more. You and Hardy each fly a plane from LA to Manhattan. You fly 500 miles per hour stopping in each state in between. He flies 200 miles per hour with no stops. He will beat you by a big margin. It’s easier and requires less energy to take off once and maintain a regular (even slower) speed along the way.
What’s your why power for change? How can you keep pumping so momentum shows up?