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3 keys to hitting your goals

One of the most interesting parts of starting Slope has been the opportunity to research thebehavioural science behind goal achievement. One of the keys to goal achievement is keeping a positive environment. As geriatric millennials, we remember what it was like in the 80s and 90s. Back then it was commonplace for teachers, coaches, and parents to use negative motivational techniques to change behaviour. The focus was on the hard work, suffering, and not failing. Nowadays the focus is much more positive- do what you love, change the world, and enjoy the process.

This shift is supported by science. Studies show that participants achieve more when positive techniques are used. Techniques like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Motivational Interviewing are incredibly effective at helping people shift from negative perceptions to a more positive mindset when dealing with mental illness, stress, and addiction.

You don’t have to be dealing with such serious topics to benefit from them. Positive-association goals lead to better results in most endeavours.

Here are three keys to keeping your motivation high using a positive approach:

Make your motivation positive

The research overwhelmingly shows that if you have a positive association with your goals, then you will:

  • Have a higher probability of change

  • Do more of the new behaviour

  • Stay with the change longer

That is a recipe for success.

Sadly, much of what we see presented in the health and fitness world focuses on negative reinforcements. This is exacerbated by messaging in society and on social media. This generates anxiety, stress, and guilt for a lot of people who don’t look like a model or professional athlete.

Unsurprisingly, this is a terrible way to motivate people to change. It is why less than 20% of people use their gym memberships regularly. It is why so few people stick to a diet.

It is emotionally draining to chase a negative goal. Eventually, you decide to remove the thing that is making you feel bad.

Your activity should be fun

Most people hate working out. A large part of this is because they have been feed a steady dose of what counts as exercise- running, going to the gym, spin class, etc.

It is hard for anyone to keep doing something they don’t enjoy. It is so much easier to do something you enjoy. The best news on this front is that the things that count as exercise (activity that improves your health) are practically unlimited.

Like walking? Prefer to spend time in the garden? Want to run around the playground with your kids? All those things count, so find what works for you and have fun while you keep healthy.

Create a guilt-free zone

Again, so much of society and the industry’s messaging is focused on guilt. Didn’t get to the gym today? Didn’t go hard? Are you even trying? It might work in the short-term, but eventually it will wear you down.

This where the science is so helpful- you don’t have to go hard, and you don’t have go to the gym. What is important is moving as and when you can.

The best part is that the research shows that when you release your guilt, you increase the consistency and duration of your activity and your desire to do so. You’re doing it because you want to, not because you think you should.

We have used these insights as a key component of our product development at Slope and we look forward to sharing more soon. Until then we hope these insights help you achieve your goals.

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