Everyone seems to be up for a challenge … until it presents itself fully … then most aren’t willing or able to move forward unless it’s within an optimal zone of difficulty.
The Goldilocks Rule, named after the fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and coined by Author of Atomic Habits, James Clear, states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.
This “Just Right” paradigm implies that we like to consume information that’s not too long, detailed, and complex, yet not too short, simple, and watered down … an explanation that is just right.
Tasks that are well below your current abilities are boring. Tasks that are well beyond your current abilities are discouraging. But … tasks that are right on the border of success and failure are motivating and empowering. The perfect blend of hard work and happiness results in optimal performance … popularly known as being in a state of “flow” or “in the zone.”
One of the threats to your success is not failure, but boredom or burn out. As habits become routine, or too overwhelming, they become less viable. You will be more able when you feel capable, motivated, and when you are rewarded for your positive choices and work. This will give you the skill to keep going when the practice or task-at-hand isn’t necessarily exciting or fulfilling in the moment. Think long term!
Wanting to improve how you feel, look, and live is easy. Deciding to be ready to do the work is a different story. The reality is that making change in your life starts with making a decision to do better … the solutions and “right things” are all around us, but can require us to buck status quo, go counter-trend, and get off The Wrong Bus. A lot of people get stuck because they don’t know “where to start” or “what to do.” The simple answer … do any one simple thing, starting now. It will be self-empowering – you will see!
Bottom line: If you want to stay motivated and discover your Wellness Intelligence, and be “just right”, challenge yourself with something that is manageable and rewarding, and pay attention to how you feel … and repeat continuously. You have unlimited potential!