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Motivational Consequences

By January 16, 2009 No Comments

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
-Aristotle

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I have a bad habit of saying, “You know?” every other sentence. It’s just filler. It is me wasting time between sentences instead of getting to the point. It’s inefficient and ineffective and it makes me sound like a moron. I hate it. Listen to my Crossfit Radio Interview to hear me say it over and over again. Perhaps you have some quirky habit that you hate. What are you going to do about it?

I googled “breaking bad habits” and found a lot of excellent articles on how to effectively break bad habits. They sound great and empowering and really….um, lame. I mean those techniques might work for some habits that are more sinister or self-destructive. However, I do not need to do a lot of self-reflection and self-examination to find my motivations for saying “you know?” I do not have to resolve some great inner conflict. I just have to stop saying “you know?” every five seconds.

 

Coach B

I am going to try to apply a technique from the Coach Burgener school of attitude adjustment. Coach B likes to administer what he calls “motivational consequences” when his athletes step out of line. Like Ockham’s Razor, this is probably the easiest and most direct solution to my problem.

How this would work as a habit breaking technique is when I catch myself indulging in my bad habit, I administer some “motivational consequences.” Additionally, when other people catch me indulging in my bad habit, they too should administer “motivational consequences.” Thus I am being held accountable by myself and others to break my habit. If the “motivational consequences” are severe enough, I will quickly adjust my behavior to conform to the new higher standard of excellence I am trying to adopt.

Coach B uses burpees (shout: “Yay burpees!” as loud as you can) as “motivational consequences” and they are quite effective. They can be done anywhere and make you look like an ass if you have to do them in public…in winter…in a parka.

How this will work in my particular case is that when I catch myself saying “you know?” as filler (not as an actual question) then I will drop right there and do 5 burpees for each violation. And if you catch me saying “you know?” as filler (not as an actual question) then you will direct me to do 5 burpees for each violation.

With this plan in effect, I should effectively drop my bad habit in no time. The other options are that I will get better at burpees or learn sign language.

What are some habits that you want to break yourself of? Do you need some help with motivational consequences? Please let us know in the comments.

Good Sam

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