If I told you that just two words were proven to increase your motivation would you try them out just to see if they would help you?
Recent research suggests that if you answered yes to the question above you are far more likely to follow through than if you hadn’t been asked the question.
This question is just a longer form of the question “Will I?” (the two words I promised to tell you about). And here’s how researchers know you can use it to increase your motivation.
They asked two groups of college students to complete anagrams. One group was told to just wonder about whether or not they would complete the anagrams. The second group was asked to tell themselves they would complete the anagrams.
The first group that asked themselves a question, solved many more anagrams than the other group.
A similar experiment was done with another group of students this time about exercise. One group read the words “I will” and another was exposed to the words “Will I.” Each group was asked to say how many hours of exercise they would do that week.
Those that were exposed to “Will I” intended to do a lot more exercise than the “I will” group. And based on a questionnaire they were given they were also more intrinsically motivated to exercise as well.
This shows that questions motivate us far more than statements do. It makes me think that we could all replace the Nike slogan “Just Do It” with “Will I Do It?”
So how can you use this information to improve your own life?
Consider asking yourself questions instead of giving yourself commands.
If you want to balance your checkbook ask yourself “Will I balance my checkbook?” If you want to go to the gym 3 times this week ask “Will I go to the gym three times this week?”
So the real question is will you try this technique three times today? And will you leave a comment below telling me how you’ll use this information to improve your life?
Reference for the study: