Goals, motivation and the art of self-talk

It's February and you're now on the second month of pursuing your goals for the year. Hopefully, your goals are humming along nicely and every opportunity to make them happen is lining up quite well.

But what if it's not? Maybe too many kinks here and there keep cropping up, obstacles every so often, and you're starting to lose steam. What can you do?

There are a number of things you can do, but if it's motivation you're looking for, you might have to rely on that person you see in the mirror: you.

Yes, you.

There was a research study that tested the effectiveness of self-talk versus imagery, versus "if-then" planning. Self-talk is using positive words directed at oneself. Imagery is visualizing your desired outcome. "If-Then" planning is identifying a condition for a positive outcome, like "If I finish this book, I know I'll ace the test."

The study which involved 44,000 participants found that people who used self-talk to motivate themselves before a task or challenge performed the best; imagery performed next best, and "if-then" planning last.

Self-talk is a simple trick, and something we already use, and its effectiveness is possibly because of this very simplicity and the organic nature of this skill. It comes naturally! 

Your words do have power. Better watch what you tell yourself.