Each day an email lands in my inbox from Eat This, Not That, priming me to make healthier choices each day. It works.
Advertisers learned long ago that priming is the foundation of what makes ads work. Priming also plays into our motivation. Good or bad. For example, studies have shown that simply saying words that are associated with being old (Florida, raisins, wrinkle, etc.) makes youthful adults act old.
Taking the time to observe the environment around us may uncover many things playing into motivation levels. What might be impacting your life without you knowing? Drawing from Creating Your Best Life, here are a few:
- Sad movies
- Photographs and names of supportive people
- Achievement pictures
- Junk-food advertising
- Music (can be positive or negative)
- Words (as mentioned above)
Now that you know this, the key is to create your own primers to aid motivation. A few that work for me are the above mentioned newsletter, setting passwords to reflect my goals, and creating a visual “Primers” board on Pinterest. Some additional creative suggestions, again from Creating Your Best Life, are:
- Fantazein clock: flashes messages as goal reminders
- New email address: I use my passwords instead as they change more often
- Vanity license plates
- Mobile ring tones
- Happy pictures
- Vision Boards
Remember that primes can also be negative, so be sure to look around to see if there are any anti-motivators at work as well. Conflicting primes can also cause us to spin, whether we are aware of their power or not.
Priming is a way to remind us of our goals in creative and constant ways, motivating us to do what is important in our lives.
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