Resolution and Motivation

How do you motivate yourself to do something? For some, it may be the threat of physical punishment. For example, if you don’t do something, you get punished. This form of punishment is very common in schools, where teachers use the threat of detention to coerce students into behaving properly. “If you don’t keep quiet, you are going to spend all the time you have wasted in this lesson staying in during the break time. If you waste twenty minutes of this lesson, I will make you waste twenty minutes of your lunch hour!” Outside of school, of course, adults are withheld pay or privileges if performance falls. Many working adults face being fired if they do not meet targets set by their employers, but that is another story for another day.

What if you wanted to make yourself do something you would normally not? This activity may be something like going for a run, living more healthily, or making some changes for the better. Usually the reward in itself may be enough to justify finding the willpower to do so, such as being more healthy if you could only just kick yourself out the front door to go running. But if that is difficult, giving yourself a reward may also be an option. For example, if you dislike running very much – or any form of sustained physical exercise – going out for a run and then telling yourself you’ve earned the chocolate bar for tomorrow because you’ve burned off the calories may be one way of doing so.

So it is a new year and the time to live positively.

The classical composer Camille Saint-Saens is known as a serious composer, but he seized the opportunity to try something new by writing Carnival of the Animals, a light-hearted piece, on a whimsical new year’s resolution. (Read more about it here from the Piano Lessons Crouch End website.) It turned out to be one of his more famous works!

Let that be your new year motivation!