Activation energy. What is it?
Basically any and all barriers for starting your chosen activity, making it more difficult to start. The most given example of reducing activation energy for working out is sleeping in your workout clothes so you can get those early workouts in without any friction between you and your activity. Another is planning out your meals and actually having the ingredients ready to go.
Motivation. What is it And where does it go?
Needs, desires or wants that drive a person towards a goal. For exercise the most common goal is weight loss. Motivation ebbs and flows within a person daily or even hourly. When it is high during January you can see lots of people starting new things like hitting the gym. But once motivation drops, so does the attendances at the gym or the cooking at home fad ends.
The largest reason for drop offs in motivation are not setting the correct goals or breaking down large goals. At the end of January the aim of “getting fit” hasn’t been achieved, sure a bit of weight has been lost but the “fit” body isn’t anywhere near being as sculpted as invisioned. So after the “New Year New Me” novelty wears off at the end of January people that have broken down their goals into chunks are much more likely to continue, creating a new habit rather than just a fad.
Combining the two for success
When motivation drops the first thing that happens is obstacles to starting a chosen activity become magnified. The cost suddenly becomes too much to bear. The time spent travelling could be reallocated to something else like an old habit that you have been missing, usually one that was part of the new resolution to give up.
This is when reducing activation energy comes into play. If you reduce the friction between you and the exercise its much easier to maintain a new activity even with low motivation and give it a chance to become a new habit.
Our examples from before, the cost can be countered with committing while motivation is high. Paying up front for a gym membership or a course of classes. Paying for a repeat appointment with someone is one of the best ways to keep yourself accountable, such as working with a personal trainer.
Also reducing the time to travel to the gym or class location is a key factor. Or optimising the time while travelling like listening to language lessons or audiobooks in the car, or using duolingo or writing while on public transport so you don’t fell like the time is wasted.
If you would like a free print out for reducing activation energy in the kitchen and to increase your chances of success please drop us an email asking for the slim by design checklist.