The Motivation Minute: Kill Your Inner-Sloth in 60 Seconds

I often get emails from Comfort Pit readers telling me they have no motivation or a lack of motivation and don’t know what to do about it.

I’ve written about the most widespread motivation myths, but I’ve yet to write an in-depth guide explaining exactly how one can increase their motivation.

This was going to be that article, but as I started to re-read some old notes on motivation I had three rapid realizations:

1) The time it takes to digest an idea is not always a good measure of its usefulness.

2) The longer it takes to digest an idea, the less likely the reader will act on that idea.

3) The more complex an idea, the less likely the reader will incorporate it into everyday life.

While those three points seem obvious, in the context of motivation, they’re crucial to understand and very often overlooked. If someone lacks motivation, the worst thing you can do is give them a set of techniques which requires lots of motivation to digest and lots of motivation to implement—that’s like putting a treadmill atop a mountain, self-defeating.

I believe a good motivation technique must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be simple.
  • It must be quick to learn and implement.
  • It must be something easy to do every day.
  • It must be extremely powerful.

Sadly, I could think of no technique which matched those requirements. I’m generally not an advocate of magic-pill solutions, and I began to wonder if my search for the perfect motivation technique was slipping into that category of flim-flam.

But then I realized I had been doing the kind of technique I was looking for every day for the last six months as part of my meditation practice. The technique helped me transform from a meditation-dabbler into an amateur monk. Thanks to this motivation hack, I now meditate for more than an hour each day and don’t feel as though I’ll ever stop.

Best part is that this technique only takes up sixty seconds of my day.

What is this too-good-to-be-true mind-trick?

I call it:

The Motivation Minute

And this is how it works:

(“X” will refer to whatever behavior you want to be motivated to do, e.g., weight loss, reading more, meditation, etc. )

  1. Set a timer for one minute.
  2. Start the timer.
  3. Close your eyes.
  4. In your mind, clearly state your intentions for wanting to do “X.”
  5. Think about how your engagement with “X” will benefit people you care about.

Motivation Minute: how to get motivated

Pro tip: spend roughly thirty seconds visualizing self-benefits and thirty seconds visualizing other-benefits. Don’t worry about having the “perfect visualization.” Focus on feelings and images. Incorporate this into your daily routine by following my guide here.

How Does the Motivation Minute Provide Lasting Daily Motivation?

There are two premises underlying the Motivation Minute which makes it so powerful. The first is simple: if you can’t meditate on your motivation for a mere sixty seconds each day… you will never be able to achieve the goal you want motivation for. Second, self-affirmations and visualization techniques show mixed results. I believe this is because they’re too self-centred and too vague. The Motivation Minute is closer to a Buddhist meditation than a self-affirmation, and the sixty-second structure offers a concrete framework which leaves no room for wishy-washy intentions.

I highly encourage you to make the Motivation Minute part of your daily routine. Taking just sixty seconds out of your day to reevaluate why you want motivation and how this motivation can benefit others can have truly life-altering effects.

Please hit me up with any questions or ideas in the comment section below!

Note: I first heard about this technique from Andy Puddicome in his book Get Some Headspace. You can read the abridged, insight-only version for free here on Blinkist.

Meet the Creator

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the author of ComfortPit and the co-creator of HighExistence. He researches the practical ways art, science, psychology, technology, history, and philosophy can help us live more skillfully. To support his work, you can get him a coffee here.

12 comments… add one
  • Faraz Mar 21, 2016, 8:46 am

    It’s an awesome idea and I’m going to start practicing it with my meditation routine..

    However, I think the best motivation is your inner beliefs and principles. Split second decisions cannot be given 60 seconds of motivation.

    Faraz

    • Jon Brooks Mar 21, 2016, 7:13 pm

      Hey, Faraz. I agree that ultimately motivation comes from your identity and value system, but how do you alter your identity and value system? It’s not always possible to “think” yourself to a state of mind. The Motivation Minute is not meant to be done once. It’s a daily habit, and over time it will change your identity and value systems.

  • Dennis Mar 21, 2016, 6:44 pm

    Nice trick Jon, do you do this just before an activity related to your goal (like before excercising, before reading, before meditating, etc), or the time of the day doesnt matter?

    BTW, I really love articles where is just about “just tell me what to do”, is a great approach I’m trying to adopt as well. Thumbs up!

    • Jon Brooks Mar 21, 2016, 7:20 pm

      Hi, Dennis. Thanks for taking the time to read the post! I’m pleased you found it useful. With this technique I recommend doing it as early in the day as you can. When I do the Motivation Minute for meditation, I do it just before I meditate. It stops me from merely going through the motions, and I end up treating the practice with the respect it deserves.

  • Nyika Buys Apr 4, 2016, 8:03 am

    60 second challenge accepted. It’s not even a challenge. I’m pretty sure I can incorporate this technique into my life. Hope to see the results soon.

    • Jon Brooks Apr 4, 2016, 1:52 pm

      Hey Nyika,

      This technique is very effective. Stay with it for 30 days to give it a full test.

  • Nemanja May 28, 2016, 10:22 pm

    Are you familiar with school of life website and youtube channel? I seen there philosophical meditation video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlckdvjK0Io . I’m really interested in your opinion because i just love highexistence and your website 🙂 I’m practicing Andy’s headspace meditations and this article is helpful.

    • Jon Brooks May 30, 2016, 10:34 am

      Yeah. I absolutely love School of Life. Alain de Botton is a favorite author of mine. 🙂

  • anshultyagi Jan 31, 2017, 11:11 am

    hey ! Loved your post for self-meditation.Will follow this trick immediately and easily.!
    Thanks a lot.

  • anshultyagi Jan 31, 2017, 11:12 am

    hey ! can I stay motivated every single day after doig this trick?

  • Nilla Mar 19, 2017, 4:27 pm

    Excellent! I will definitely take up tis challenge as I do need motivating.

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