The last time you pried yourself out of bed at 6AM for that morning workout felt great: You heard birds chirping; coffee tasted especially amazing; you had the energy to run laps around your family and coworkers.
In the absence of self-motivation, a good habit, or an inspiring deadline, your brain will choose its default path. You might think that path leads to the most self-indulgent, pleasurable choice, but it really only leads to the easiest one.
When you set a goal for yourself, you might be tempted to picture an end result that you want to achieve. While ambitious, that also leaves quite a few steps out. Instead, focus on building habits that get you there.
Motivation can be tricky, but studies show that there's one important factor that can be hugely effective in cultivating it: Making decisions. As psychologist and author Angela Duckworth explains, this is why it's important to offer people choices when you're trying to motivate them.
Every year at Halloween, parents allow their kids to consume truckloads of candy. If they enjoy it, why not do it every day? Because it would destroy their health and ruin the experience. That same principle applies to us as adults.