Well, it turns out I might be extrinsically motivated.
I mentioned this to Jesse (same Jesse I mentioned in a previous post) – another millennial – and he responds, “externally?”. Ya, exactly!
All the boomers reading this just said “ha! I knew it!”
Yesterday I installed an app on my phone called “HabitShare”. It’s an extremely simple app. You open it up, login with Google (top-tier feature) and add a Habit. Right now, I have “5AM Club”, “Clean”, “Running Club” and “Blog”. I’m looking at it right now and there’s just little circles that represent each day of the week for the last week. A green dot represents a day where you did said habit, a light grey dot means you have yet to input whether or not you’ve done it, and a dark grey dot is a “skipped” day.
The idea here is to track whether or not you’re doing a habit.
More importantly, perhaps, is you can add friends and add them to a habit. So I have an accountability partner, who’s been in my corner of the ring for almost a year now. He’s changed the trajectory of my life. I texted him yesterday and he installed the app. We give each-other full access to each-other’s lives, so he sees my three above and I seen his four.
I might add more, but it’s a start.
The whole concept here is the psychology of streaks. Now, anyone with Snapchat will be familiar with this concept. And for all you boomers, I had no idea what streaks were until a Captain I was flying with (fits into the baby boomer generation) added me on Snapchat and sent me two messages a day. That’s how you get “streaks” going, at least on Snapchat.
On HabitShare, all you have to do is get green dots in a row. So my 5AM Club has a Streak of +2, Running Club +1 (we only run three times a week), both sitting at 100%.
Now, I totally realize this is an adult-version of your teacher putting gold stars on a calendar.
To say I’m disappointed in myself would be an understatement. I’ve never been the guy who boosts a strangers car and then tweets about it (modern day version of looking around to see who noticed), or posts a picture of me being at the gym on Instagram. I’ve ran many kilometers (I live in Canada) by myself, but I do record most of them on Strava.
Do I really need a bunch of green dots and an accountability partner to get out of bed at 5AM? I’m a grown adult, I should be able to do it. But some of the most disciplined people in my life have it, and some of the world’s leading experts on leadership, habits and discipline.
Instead of fighting this, I’m starting to embrace it. If I take the time to setup the right structures in my life, will I be more motivated to do the right things. Do the ends justify the means?