How to Trick One’s Weaker Self or How to Keep Motivated

Whenever we set ourselves any goals we’d like to reach – either to lose some weight or to change bad habits – we generally begin motivated. We strive to achieve our goal as quickly as possible, and with as many measures implemented as possible. Inevitably, after a few weeks, we hit a wall called procrastination. Suddenly, many days go by and we haven’t learned a word of the language we desperately wanted to be able to speak. Too many other things become more important – and we always find something that is more urgent to do at that moment, than learning and developing our language skills. Our subconscious mind takes over and tells us that we should do something else – like watching a movie or visiting some friends – since those are activities that our limbic system knows make us happy, or at least we don’t find them exhausting.

How can one outwit the limbic system?

I would like to show you how you can manipulate your subconscious to support you in reaching your goals.

Step 1:    Go to the website https://ismz.ch/ZRM/7.html and send your brain on holiday. 

Step 2:   Follow the instructions provided, e.g. ‘I want to learn German’. 

Step 3:    Choose the picture that gives you the best feeling, keeping in mind your question. For  example, which picture could best support you on your way to speaking fluent German? 

Step 4:  Associate nouns or adjectives to that picture – whatever comes to your mind  (don’t forget your initial question).  

Step 5:  Choose the most relevant answers (about three, that attract you most). 

Step 6:   Create a positive sentence. E.g., I want to speak German like a leopard running through the grass: lightly, full of energy and always goal-oriented.

The sentence should contain the words you have chosen beforehand; the tense must be present tense – and it should create a picture in your head that makes you feel happy. 

Step 7:    Print out the picture, along with your sentence, and stick it in a prominent place, for instance, on your bathroom mirror. This is the best chance to see the picture daily and help keep your subconscious mind on track. 

This picture is called a prime. It helps you to stabilize your motivation. Every day your stamina will be supported, and the crash into the dreaded wall of procrastination will be avoided. Your subconsciousness supports your learning progress, and you will learn joyfully and therefore successfully.  

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