Tag Archives: Goal setting

Why Incentives Do Not Always Motivate Employees ?


Intrinsic motivation is what works once people get enough money to have their basic needs met.That is the principle of the Maslow’ Pyramid of needs.

Some people think that Maslow’s theory is not valid anymore, yet I agree with Tom Fisburne on his analysis of relation with what  brands offer, pricing and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

If we assume that we are talking about an environment where people have  enough money  for “paying the bills”, then external rewards of any types wont’ motivate people on the  long run. They will expect to get more each time and ultimately lose interest if rewards don’t increase. It is a kind of “incentive addiction”, it destroys more than it stimulates.

Any goal setting exercise should start by the end : What benefits  do you expect if you reach a specific goal ? or only half of the goal or making the efforts but not succeeding ?

Visualization of achieving a goal can help better define:  Why do you choose this goal specifically ? What benefits will you get versus the energy you invest to this particular goal rather than another ?

Read our previous article on Why people don’t Do What you Tell Them To Do “

If you don’t know why you are doing what you do and nobody tells you how you contribute to the big picture, if nobody encourages you and say thank you from time to time or if you don’t have the resources for doing your job well, then external reward only will demotivate people. I think it is impossible to make someone passionate against his or her will, but it is very easy to kill the fire within passionate people.

What Keeps YOU Motivated ?

Related Articles:

What to Do With Your Broken New Years Resolutions – Lifehack

See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

New Years Resolutions broken already? Don’t worry, New Years Resolutions are deeply flawed, so here’s what to do instead.

Anne Egros‘s insight:

You cannot force somebody to do something he or she doesn’ like : Same rule apply to yourself, you have much more chance to stick to your goals if you are rewarded by taking action and enjoying what you are doing in the moment rather than doing it expecting a hypotethical reward such as better health, being thinner or quitting smoking.

Your goals should fit in your vision and your true purpose in life

See on www.lifehack.org


Will You Make New Year’s Resolutions in 2013 ?

Do you make New Year resolutions in January? Are you thinking about doing something new, stopping a bad habit or be a better person?

I usually write some goals and ideas around January 3rd as I feel relaxed, but full of energy.

Most people fail to stick to their yearly goals because they are either unrealistic or they don’t have the resources or they fall into the category of things they think they should do to please others, but don’t really feel intrinsic motivation to change.

Another reason for failure is to be too impatient and try to change too many things at the same time like quitting smoking and losing weight or changing job and starting a family. That’s why most people quit their good resolutions within the first 90 days of the new year.

So should we stop doing New Year resolutions? I think YES, if we stick to the definition of a resolution: “a firm decision to do or not to do something”. If we think that way it sounds like success or failure are only the results of willpower.

However, willpower is very limited as our brain is looking for rewards and instant gratifications as a result of specific behaviors especially when we are under stress. So if we want to quit smoking for example, it doesn’t help to know that we may increase the risks of getting cancer compared to the instant relief of anxiety that smoking can provide.

Before setting any specific goals for the new year, I suggest you think about moments of your life when you felt truly happy to understand what behaviors and environments make you emotionally and physically satisfied. Then, list actions and activities that you can include in your life that will reproduce those moments. It is also important to identify situations that make you unhappy and that you want to eliminate.

Make a list of five areas of your life you want to change such as self-development, career, family, etc. Select three goals for the year and associate what rewards do you expect based on the list of what makes you truly happy.

If you have difficulties to make this exercise and identify your priorities, maybe you can talk with your partner or a coach to make sure that you plan for success and do not make new year resolutions that you won’t keep.


Contact Us For a Free Consultation: aegros@zestnzen.com

Motivation: Why People Don’t Do What You Tell Them To Do ?

Today is going to be a very short blog as part of the January’s Motivation theme:

Do you know where you motivation comes from ? 

Think about how you feel when you speak to someone about a problem and the person gives advises. Do you really want to follow them ? Well most of the time the  answer is NO ! Right ?

Why is it that our first spontaneous answer is NO to advises even if the solutions offered really work ? My theory based on my observations, is that knowledge is not the issue , the issue is TO DO the things we need to do and you cannot move someone else into action.

“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”

Wild Horses

So that means you can give the opportunity to someone to do something by telling some tips,  but you cannot force them to do it if they do not want to  !

Want examples ?

What about quitting smoking ? You know that it gives cancer and you can die from heart attacks. Is that stopping smokers to smoke? NO ! Why ? because for most people those reasons are not intrinsically motivating and there is no instant rewards to stop smoking, only hypothetical long-term promises that we are not going to die but  we will all die sometimes anyway!

Let me confess,  I smoked for years but quit cold turkey when I was pregnant and never smoked again, I cannot even stand the smell of smoke around me. When I started working, smoking was a great way to socialize at work at the smoking corner so that was one reason that drop when I had my son because I quit working in the corporate world at the same time. Something also might have happened during my pregnancy that made me quit for the benefit of my baby.

Hope this short example is giving you the opportunity to think about what really motivates you when you set a goal to change your life forever.

Hint: What do you SEE, FEEL, SMELL, HEAR when you think about reaching your goal ?  Visualization is a powerful tool used by athletes and successful people.

Do you want to share what works for you and get a chance to inspire others ?

The Reward Is In The Goal: How Making Things Happen Makes You Happy

Post-it To-Do 2.0

Image by rintakumpu via Flickr

For expats like me moving to a new place this summer, they might think that it is already Christmas when they get  their stuff delivered in boxes of all shapes in their new home. Well, for me that feeling did not last long.  From 8:30am until 5pm from Monday to Friday I managed to unpack 659 boxes with 7 movers and two professional organizers specialized in helping people de-cluttering, downsizing while giving a brand new look to your home.

Some boxes were 20 year old, never opened, that went straight to the storage room with guilt in the back of my mind. Then like for New Year I made a new resolution for that move that I will take time to sort the good things from the sentimental crap such as old business cards, some books totally wrong like those predicting the supremacy of Japan over the U.S., old theater tickets or sets of unmatched  silverware.

I am a big fan of Steven Covey and I rely very much on his methods he described in his books: “First Thing First” and “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. However, like most people,

I can be lost in procrastination!

So the problem is not that we don’t know how to manage our time or what we need to do to become more efficient in our life and our work, the issue here is how to stay motivated on the long run, dealing with multitasking or time-consuming activities and losing momentum not focusing on the most important things.

The idea is to start first to identify one goal that you can achieve in one week that is not a “should” or a “have to”. Then  list the benefits for YOU, tangible or intangible but  it is very important that you do something that you have 100 % control (means: don’t try to change others) and you know that you can do it and will improve your life significantly. Then cut this goal into small steps you can achieve in one day and make a realistic “to do” list. It is also important that you identify resources that will help you stay committed like the organizers for me this week. For your daily action plan, better under-promise  and over-achieve than the opposite. So here is my philosophy about getting things done:

The reward is in the goal itself, you don’t need external motivators, carrots or sticks, to make you feel happy and proud of yourself when you overcome challenges and make things happen

My goal this week was to get rid of all the empty cartons. I succeeded and get a space I can already enjoy everyday with no more clutters and junk stuff. I have now the main level looking just perfect, making me really happy: the kitchen, the living room, the family room and the dinning room are all with decorative items artistically positioned, frames and pictures. This result cheers me up when I see other parts of my house such as the basement which is still a mess but actually less challenging than dealing with my extra kitchenware.

My goal for next week is to sort many unfitted clothes and organize my mew closets with some empty spaces, a real challenge for me but I know I will feel really good. The first step is getting rid of clothes that are too big now that I lost weight or simply too old like T-shirts I kept for sentimental reasons with name of places I went 20 or 15 years ago . I think it is very manageable for one week.

I am also thinking to hire an image consultant since my mother lives in France and I cannot get her opinion, for a total relooking.  I will probably need one day  to learn wich colors , shapes and fabrics are suitable for my lifestyle and body shape and eliminate more clothes. I will then go get a new hair cut and color to fit  the “new me”. Again the reward is in the goal, taking care of me to feel great about myself sounds much better than “getting my closet organized” .

What do you think ?

Can you switch your perception to see good outcome from the most daunting task?

Looking forward to get your comments here.

Related articles:

Quick Goal Setting In Seven Steps

1-First write your goals down, sort short term, long term goals

2-List your personal benefits of reaching those goals, what do you get?  tangible  and non-tangible benefits

3-Assess your readiness, do you have the right resources: time, energy, health, people, support, money,environment, timing ?

4-List what is holding you back, eliminate goals you always put on your list but never succeed to achieve

5-Cut big goals into  small, easy steps:  decide the rewards you will give yourself for achieving those small steps and the big goal.

6-Give a realistic deadline (better under-promise then over achieve than the opposite)

7-Get a “buddy”:  having someone who is not judging you and with whom you can share your goals and achievements increases your motivation and chances of success. Tract your actions, failures and progresses  in a journal and change your priorities and actions accordingly.

Tip: Decide one day in the week to dedicate 1 hour maximum to review your goals and do your weekly planning . 


%d bloggers like this: