I am an admitted amateur on the subject of motivation which is to say I know how it works for me but I am not qualified to tell someone else how to do it. I was reminded of this earlier this week when someone asked me how I found time to read a new book every week.

No, I don’t read during work hours. It’s important but not at the expense of getting work done. The answer really is, I just find a way to do it.

It took me a while to figure out exactly what this meant to me but I figured it out. I have labeled myself as the kind of person that reads a new book every week. If that’s the kind of person I am, then I have to live up to it.

The motivational experts say that we shouldn’t label ourselves and I’m not arguing that they’re wrong, but I know that for me, the key is making those boxes work in my favor.

I recently told my story as part of a contest speech about my battle with my weight and how eventually, I lost 100lbs. The part of that story that I didn’t share was it wasn’t really that hard. 

I had put myself in a box and labeled myself as a person that doesn’t eat carbohydrates. I didn’t have to find the motivation to diet, simply saw myself differently and stuck to it. I put myself in a box of someone that lifts weights six days a week. All of a sudden, skipping a workout was as crazy as skipping a meal. These changes weren’t hard to sustain because it was the person that I had become.

As I say, I’m an amateur on the subject of motivation and maybe my approach won’t work for everyone, but what are you out if you try?

Pick an area that you struggle with and change the way you see yourself. Maybe you’re the kind of person that reads a book a week, the kind of person that makes 100 prospecting calls every day, the kind of person that works out every day. Whatever it is, try giving yourself a label and see if it changes your behavior. It has worked for me every time I use it but as an amateur, that’s good enough for me.

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