It's estimated the motivational speaking industry is worth about £2 billion per year, with tens and tens of thousands of speakers.
But (according to a study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology) listening to a motivational talk makes you slightly less likely to achieve your goals than simply thinking about them!
It also shows there’s one critical factor that nearly triples your chances of success.
A Revealing Study
The study, designed by behavioural psychologists, set out to measure the impact different stimuli have on participants’ level of exercise. The researchers divided a random sample of participants into three groups.
For the first group, (the control group) the researchers asked the participants to track how frequently they exercised. They were told to read a passage of an unrelated book before beginning their new exercise regime.
For the second group (the motivation group), researchers wanted to measure the impact that motivation would have on their exercise levels. They were asked to track their workouts but also to read some motivational passages on the benefits of exercise. The researchers also explained how exercise could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and improve heart health.
The third group (the intentional group) was given the same information as the second group. The researchers also asked them to write down their intentions, using the format: “I will partake in at least [NUMBER] minutes of vigorous exercise on [DAY] at [TIME] in [PLACE].”
The Surprising Results
When the researchers analysed the results, they were surprised to find that among the motivated group, just 35% exercised once per week. Even though they’d read they motivational passages and had the motivational talk they were slightly less likely to exercise than the control group!
They were stunned, though, to find that 91% of the Intentional group had worked out. The only difference between groups 2 and 3 was that the third group were asked to write down their goals.
That simple task seems to have almost tripled their likelihood to succeed.
The researchers concluded that motivation alone has virtually no impact on our actions. Instead, it is motivation coupled with a written action plan of how you’re going to achieve your goals that has the most significant impact on your results.
According to James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, “there are more than 100 studies in a wide range of experimental situations have come to the same conclusion: People who explicitly state when and where their new behaviors are going to happen are much more likely to stick to their goals.”
Which is why the vision, goal and the action plan form an essential part of how I work with clients to increase their company value.
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