"Pinterest Positivity" doesn't work

Do you know what I mean when I say "Pinterest positivity"?

It is the term I use to describe the advice that says envisioning yourself living your dreams will increase your motivation.

Yes, imagery and visualization are very powerful uses of your mind. Setting high, hard goals and having a clear vision for your life are critical to optimizing performance and life. But when it comes to motivation (actually mobilizing energy toward a goal), seeing yourself living your dreams (already having accomplished them) can actually backfire and reduce motivation.

Extensive research by Gabriele Oettingen and others has shown that only envisioning the goals you want to achieve can trick your body in to a state of relaxation. Seeing yourself having completed the task makes your body think you've already done it. (Yes, your mind is that powerful).

According to the applied research, the best way to use your vision as motivation is to pair the image or goal with the obstacles that stand in your way. This process refocuses your brain on the work that needs to be done to achieve your goal and reignites the fire of motivation, the mobilization of energy.

Here's a really common example: Fitness. You've been thinking you really want to be more active, but just can't seem to fit exercise into your day. Back the process up from seeing yourself at the gym or on a run to seeing yourself in your average day. What is getting in your way? Is it work calls with awkward breaks between them that aren't long enough for a workout? Is it keeping your house running (chores)?

Refocusing on the obstacles isn't to bring you down, it is to shift your mindset into making a plan to overcome the obstacle. Your lack of motivation isn't about "not wanting it enough" it's about not having a plan to overcome the barriers.

Where could you use this #motivationscience to your advantage?