Adoree Durayappah, writing for Psychology today, points out a study that demonstrates how motivation can be tied to anger. In the study, the subjects were shown an object. Right before they’d see the object, however, a face would flash before them. That face would either appear angry, fearful or neutral. If the subjects wanted the object, they were instructed to squeeze a hand grip. They were also told that they harder they squeezed the more likely they’d win the object. Most of the subjects who wanted the object also saw the angry face. Not only that, they squeezed hardest, demonstrating how an emotion can be tied to an object and become a motivational factor.
How can you use this to keep your resolutions? Take your frustration with your slow computer, messy house, overweight body or whatever, and target that anger at your task. Get upset about how it’s not the way you want it and then use that motivating anger to work towards your goal. Don’t blame yourself for the problem, but simply focus the anger on the problem you resolved to fix. If you can channel this anger properly, you may find it easier to get the job done.
Want to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions? Get Angry! | Psychology Today