I am driven by external motivations and not an internally motivation-driven person. So, what exactly is this external motivation? It is definitely not asking someone to keep reminding or asking you. Yes, that is one type of motivation that works for some people, but not for me. I consider that nagging. For some, this would be an accountability partner. For me, accountability partners have offered limited value.
So what type of external motivation works for me? I have different types of accountability approaches for different tasks. Many of these include not breaking chains. These are similar to Horcrux’s in the Harry Potter books. It is my job to make sure that these are not lost or stolen, by keeping the chain alive.
My Horcrux’s that keep my motivations alive:
For writing these daily posts, I check them off in Streaks an iOS app that I find useful. 101 days today.
For tracking my food habits I log what I eat in MyFitnessPal. I have been logging continuously without breakage for over 2,915 days now. I also log my weight once or more per week in this app. This chain has been for over 8.5 years. This again ties into Streaks mentioned above to make sure that I do not exceed 2,000 calories of eating a minimum of 5 days a week. A chain that has been sustained for the last four months.
My walking, stairs, heart rate, and exercise are tracked in FitBit and Apple Fitness/Health. Closing the Apple Fitness rings also helps. These chains are broken and I am in the process of rebuilding them again.
My task chains - daily and weekly repetitive are still spread amongst various apps - right now on Things3, WaterDo, and ToDoist and I am in the process of bringing them together. These integrate with my Google Calendar and Apple Calendar apps for calendar management.
It also begs the question “If a particular type of app helps in one type of motivation, why not use it for all types of motivation? Steaks for example” - Nah, I have tried and it just doesn’t work. My brain likes variety and is easily bored, so it needs options and variations. What it (the brain) wants, is what it gets. And I am not trying to use this as an excuse here. The trick is to find something that is appropriate to the tracking required at hand.
So, the point of this really is that there is no one way to hold on to my accountability to something in one singular way. There are a variety of methods that I use to meet my motivation challenges. And that also means in order to meet my variety of goals that I talked about yesterday, it is imperative that I find a method for each one to be acted upon on a daily or weekly basis so that there is progress, outcomes, and the impact that are useful to me.
I continue to work on my abstinence from the various News and other apps. It is three days now and I am still struggling a lot with the emptiness that I am trying to create. My brain screams bloody murder. New distractions tried to come by - like the Wikipedia app (which I deleted), links from family members on COVID (some of which I read), and the Chrome browser showing news articles on its main page (which I turned off). As I slowly clear the timepass addictions that I have accumulated over a long period of time, away, I am planning to start building new habits and things to do slowly that will now take over some of this available time, with potentially new ways of externally motivating myself by some form of tracking what I do with my time.
The motivational challenges and the journey to overcome them continue…