30-Day Challenge: Declutter Your Life

When you look all around you, do you see stacks of mail that need to be processed? Perhaps you've got books laying around along with a million miscellaneous scraps of paper with scribbled notes on them. Remember that thing you were going to fix that you put aside until you had more time...and now you're tripping over it every day?  Whether you want to be more disciplined, more organized, or just plain happier, clearing out the clutter and freshening up your environment will make a huge … [Read more...]

FYI: Happiness Set Point

Happiness Set Point is your overall happiness average. Imagine a graph that looks like a roller coaster; a line moves across the page dipping down and swinging back up, then dropping again. The high points are when you're happiest. Obviously, the low points represent when you're a bit depressed or just not really all that happy. As with graphs that chart trends, your happiness set point sometimes trends upward, trends downward, or may stay mostly the same over time. We all face challenging … [Read more...]

FYI: Negativity Bias

Negativity Bias is a tendency to notice, pay more attention, or give more weight to negative experiences or information over positive. Does this sound like you? When you pay more attention to negative information in all its many forms, you're setting the stage for pessimistic thinking. Since your thinking affects your behavior, you may feel like a storm cloud is always following you around. Negativity Bias Example No. 1 At parent-teacher conferences, your child's teacher has made … [Read more...]

10 Things You May Not Know About Motivation

We are naturally motivated by default. It's only when obstacles appear that we lose our motivation. You're not lazy. People like to claim that they are just lazy or that other people are lazy. When related to motivation, saying that someone is lazy is just another way of saying that they are unmotivated. Confusion is an obstacle. Often, we fail to take action on our goals because we're confused about what the next step is or we're confused about which tools we need to use in order to take … [Read more...]

When Goals Get in the Way

I admit, I'm pretty motivated and driven to accomplish some goals in my life. That doesn't mean I live and breathe every moment for those goals. It does, however, mean that I make tough choices so that I'm making my goals a very high priority, as they should be. Why do we set goals? Obviously, we hope to make our lives better in meaningful ways. Some goals have the potential to radically improve our lives, while others may just offer a little happiness or a bit of sunshine in an otherwise … [Read more...]

The Unofficial Guide to Motivation

I have something to share with you. It's big! In fact, it was over 20 years in the making. Okay, not actually 20 years of labor, but it took over 20 years to decipher the motivation code. I'm talking about something radical, and potentially life-changing. Today is the one-year anniversary of Behavior and Motivation. And to celebrate, I have released The Unofficial Guide to Motivation (abridged edition). And it could change your life! Today, most websites offer their best content in the form … [Read more...]

Motivating with Token Reward Systems

Over the years, I've successfully used points, stickers, stars, candy, and other various tokens to motivate kids. A token economy (which is the more formal name for a reward system using tokens) can be very simple or deeply comprehensive. But no matter how simple or complex, it can bring remarkable results. For example, I was a self-employed piano teacher for ten years. During those ten years, I created a point system for motivating my students to practice every day. If you've ever taken … [Read more...]

Finding Moments of Your Perfect Day

If I asked you to describe what a terrible day would be like for you, do you think you could do it? Personally, I've never met a person who couldn't. I've noticed that people are very clear about what they don't want to happen in their lives. I'm sure that most people would rattle on for hours about things that would make for a terrible, worst-day-of-your-life scenario. People aren't always so clear on what a perfect day would be like. They tend to be pretty general and vague about it, saying … [Read more...]