Women focus sport

How motivation works on different levels

If you want to find ways to live a better life, achieve your goals, realise your dreams, and be the best you… there is no shortage of people willing to relieve you of a few thousand of your dollars for a weekend’s worth of wisdom. If you want to save a few dollars though, a new study has found which motivational techniques really work.

Saying "I can do better" will help you do better and imagining it happening will also help.

The study involved 44,000 people who were given various motivational techniques and then tested to see how well they would perform in an online game. The motivational techniques used were self-talk, imagery, and if-then planning. These were then matched against four parts of the game: process, outcome, arousal-control, and instruction.

The greatest improvements in performance were seen in self-talk-outcome (telling yourself “I can beat my best score”), self-talk-process (telling yourself “I can react quicker this time”), imagery-outcome (imagining yourself playing the game and beating your best score), and imagery-process (imagining yourself playing and reacting quicker than last time).

It seems from this that focusing on both the outcome and your process is what leads to better performance and that your self-talk can improve these for the better. So saying “I can do better” will help you do better and imagining it happening will also help.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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