How to Use the D.A.D Effect for Motivation
Motivation can help us achieve success in everything we do. But what if, occasionally, we lose our way or life sends us on a detour? Reminding ourselves of what motivation means can get us back on track, and help us to flourish in life, love, and finding happiness.
Even before I set my yearly goals, or started writing books, I was fascinated by psychology. Training in holistic health was another way to take a peep into people’s minds and discover who they were and why they did what they did, or why they responded in a particular way. Studying motivation came with the territory. I wanted to help as many people as I could to be the best version of themselves. That often meant I had to find a way to inspire my clients or motivate them to try a new treatment, or even change their negative thought patterns into positive ones. I read so many books and articles on the topic, and also tried out as many techniques as I could in the hope that something would click for me and I could pass it on to my spa clients. The way I see it, motivation falls into three stages, and I like to call it the D.A.D effect.
- D = Decision. Without the initial decision to try something new, or set a challenge, you can’t accomplish anything. The decision process is important, and that’s why planning, organising, and brainstorming are so vital when setting goals or resolutions.
- A = Action. You’ve made the decision to try something new, such as start your own business, write a book, or lose weight; now you have to persistently work towards that goal. This could mean arranging meetings with a financial advisor, plotting the chapters of your book, or joining a slimming group.
- D = Determination. You could even use the word dedication for this section, as without one hundred per cent dedication to achieving your goals you’ll never find the determination to see them through. Someone who is committed to their task will put in the time and energy, they will spend hours drawing up business plans, study the art of writing so they can evolve their own skills to write a better book, or become actively involved in their slimming group by helping out or even paying monthly, which confirms their loyalty to the task.
Over the years many psychologists have analysed the why and how of motivation, coming up with various theories including biological and behavioural instincts, such as the need for water when you’re thirsty, or the desire to keep your house clean.
They also view motivation in two very different ways. Extrinsic, which means our motivation comes from outside influences like winning a prize or receiving praise. The other way is Intrinsic which means all our motivation comes from within us, a bit like me writing my blog for personal gratification. When we set our resolutions/goals/challenges, we probably use a mix of both. When I set up my resolution challenge, I knew it was a personal journey with the ultimate aim of writing more (intrinsic motivation), but it was also about producing something worth selling at the end. At the time I didn’t know what that was because writing non-fiction books had never been on my to-do list. I did believe, however, it would give me another avenue to explore within my holistic business, such as running workshops (extrinsic motivation).
When you look at the goals you’ve set for yourself, think about the influences behind them and make sure they fit into the D.A.D effect for optimum success.
What decision can you make today that will drive your ambition? What action can you take today to commit to that goal? How determined are you (honestly) to achieve this?