This sponsored column is written by Peter Bui, founder of The Honest Teacher. An Arlington native and former teacher, Peter offers private tutoring services that focus on the individual needs of students and emphasize the core values of confidence, independence and resilience.
According to Dr. BJ Fogg of the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University, there are three core motivators: sensation, anticipation and belonging. Each motivator has two sides: pleasure/pain, hope/fear, and acceptance/rejection. What is more intriguing and insightful about Fogg’s approach to motivation are his challenges to the current paradigm of motivation.
In his lecture, which can be found in the link above, he corrects “motivate behavior change” to “facilitate behavior change.” A subtle yet dramatic difference in interpretation. Trying to motivate someone to change their behavior is often quite difficult. It requires a constant injection of one of the core motivators. However, if behavior change is truly the goal rather than a change in motivation, facilitating the behavior change by utilizing, as Fogg states, the “current motivation” is much more effective at long-term change.
Motivation comes in waves rather than always being high. Although there are individuals who are always highly motivated, most people typically reside in the low areas of motivation with peaks of high motivation. These areas still allow for behavior change but only the easiest kind, such as tasks that require very low ability or effort. Social media has both a low level of ability and provides belonging, a core motivator. It becomes clear based on Fogg’s framework why so many people choose to use it when they are bored or have low motivation. So how do we harness these natural waves of motivation to produce positive behavioral change?
At times of low motivation, structured behavior, tiny habits and baby steps are still possible. Structured behavior is behavior that is daily and routine. School provides a great deal of structure for students but can vary from class to class, which then takes longer for some students to build the feeling of routine. Habits and routine take time to build and also require occasional reinforcement.
Tiny habits require trusting that they will grow naturally into larger habits. A tiny habit can be as simple as “flossing one tooth” which then grows into “flossing all your teeth.” Starting just one homework assignment when a student comes home could grow into completing all the assignments.
Baby steps are important for providing effective, long-term change. Making a commitment like running every day is a daunting goal, but making it into walking outside once a day will have a longer lasting effect and result. Reading notes for the most difficult class is a baby step towards consistent study habits, which can lead to focusing more in class due to the lowered need for ability or effort in order to comprehend the new concept.
At natural high points of motivation, reducing barriers to behavior is the most versatile tactic. After a good day of school, try getting all the homework in a pile or maybe just having a tiny habit like quiet time. When these natural high points occur is still unknown, but as students develop their own routine, taking advantage of these high points can provide a great deal of change.
The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
In loving memory of Joseph Robert Kapacziewski, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 41.
In loving memory of James Stuart Edmonds, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 84.
A man was shot in front of a lounge on Columbia Pike early this morning, continuing a string of violent incidents.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 17124 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
YULA’s ultimate frisbee spring season is now open for registration. We offer programs for middle and high schoolers – open to all players, whether they are new or have previous experience.Middle SchoolIn the Middle School league, mixed-gender teams practice once during the week and have games on Sunday afternoons. Spring league is a fun, safe, and positive environment. The season begins mid-March and wraps up with a tournament in early June. There are several options for practice days, so we can often work around schedule conflicts with other sports & activities.High SchoolThe High School program is organized by school of attendance and teams are classified by gender. New players will learn the basics in a supportive, welcoming environment. Experienced players will continue to develop their skills, and enjoy competition with other high school programs. The season concludes with a state level championship tournament in late May.All players are guided by experienced coaches who emphasize sportsmanship and good spirit. Ultimate is a fun sport with great camaraderie!YULA does not want finances to limit anyone from participating. Our middle school program offers a “Pay What You Can” cost structure and our our high school program is offering a $50 discount to new players.Visit our website to register and learn more. Sign up with a friend, but don’t delay, the season starts in March!http://www.yula-ulti.org
The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village