Motivation vs. Habit

Every time I complain about my lack of progress toward my goals, I’m told I need to get motivated.

<insert term meaning fecal material from a male bovine>

Motivation is NOT what I need. I need BETTER HABITS.

Personal development coach Jim Rohm once wrote:
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
He’s right.

Motivation is temporary. It can start you on the right path, but it dribbles away in the face of boredom, discomfort, and distraction. I was wonderfully motivated when I got up at 6am. By mid-morning, my get up and go got up and went. I still haven’t completed any of the tasks I set for myself today, although I’ve started at least four of them.

Instead of motivation, I’m going to cultivate habits, one at a time. It worked for household tasks when I started following Flylady several years ago. I need to get back on track with that, and then figure out how to make the same system work for professional projects.

Baby steps.
I can do anything for 15 minutes at a time.

About Kat

Cat lover, singer, early music addict, reads a lot. Former R&D chemist with an obsessive need for variety. Now active as a freelance technical writer and editor, web designer, photographer, computer coach, and trainer. Owner, MasterWork Consulting (
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2 Responses to Motivation vs. Habit

  1. Arlen says:

    There’s a good book, The Power Of Habit, that talks about this. Starts out with a quote from a marine, “There’s nothing you can’t do if you get the habits right.”

    Habit is what makes things work for you. If it’s not a habit, you need to think about it to do it, which means sometimes you won’t do it.

    Good Luck. I’m trying to rewire some habits myself.

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