To keep ourselves motivated, it is crucial that we stay focused on the good. I’m not saying ignore the not-so-good, just don’t let it outshine the positive. Science tells us that in order to achieve continuous motivation, we should use the 3:1 ratio as a standard for behavior management. Simply put, for every one opportunity we identify to better ourselves, we should identify three positives.
When we participate in negative self-talk, we have lower self-worth and feel defeated. This practice releases higher levels of cortisol which fires our fight-or-flight response and halts productivity, we stop. On the other hand, when we use positive self-talk or affirmations, our brain releases oxytocin resulting in feeling good about ourselves and promoting forward movement. In effect, the self-talk we choose to use has both a physical and emotional consequence.
We humans tend to hold on to more negative thoughts, emotions, and experiences than we do the good ones. Flipping the switch on this is imperative if we want to improve ourselves in any way. We can change our thoughts and behaviors when intentionally look for and focus on the good. The 3:1 ratio is great place to start.
Create a daily scorecard for yourself. Every day, write down three things you did well and one opportunity for improvement.
Here’s my scorecard for day one of BECOMING.
3 Wins: 1) I exercised. 2) I had no wine. 3) I was productive.
1 Opportunity: 1) Next time I’m faced with a half-eaten bag of potato chips, I will toss them in the garbage instead of eating them.