The study began with random assignments given to 248 adults divided into three groups. The first group was the control group. They were asked to keep records of how often they exercised over the next two-week period. Before they went home, they were given an unrelated book and told to read the first three paragraphs.
The second group was called the “motivation group.” Like the control group, they were asked to keep track of the frequency of their exercise routines for the next two weeks. They were given a pamphlet to read on the benefits of exercise for reducing the chance of heart disease later in life. The members of the second group were also given a talk discussing how a regular exercise program for young adults can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. These tactics were employed to give these people the motivation to exercise on a daily basis.
The final group was the “intention group.” After being told to track their exercise patterns for the next two weeks, they were given the motivational pamphlet and the same talk as the motivational group. However, they were also given the additional request to create an exercise plan for the following week. The plan included time, place and type of exercise they intended to perform. After receiving their instructions, all three groups were allowed to leave.
The Final Results
Two weeks later, the results were in. The control group was found to have a 38 percent success rate at exercising at least once per week. The motivation group had a 35 percent success rate. The star of the show was the intention group. A whopping 91 percent of these people exercised at least once per week.
Put Into Practice
With the simple practice of writing down a specific plan for how and when you are going to invest in your goals can go a long way towards helping you actually achieve your goals. As proven by this study, motivation did not have a significant effect on behavior and follow-through.
If circumstances prevent you from working out at your chosen time and place, have a back-up plan. If a meeting runs late and you can’t hit the gym, get up early tomorrow and knock out some pushups and squats with your Blood Flow Restriction Training Bands to amplify the results. If you’re feeling under the weather and can’t workout, do a little extra tomorrow. While desire and willpower are necessary to achieve a goal, it is the intention-setting that gives your plans wings to fly.