Ayelet Fishbach || How to Motivate Yourself

January 20, 2022

In this episode, I talk to award-winning psychologist Ayelet Fishbach about the science of motivation. How do we motivate ourselves to do anything? From her extensive research, Ayelet shares with us four crucial strategies for successful behavior change: identify the right goals, avoid the “middle”, resist temptations, and seek social support. And equally important, she gives tips on how to sustain motivation for longer periods of time. We also touch on the topics of reinforcement, flow, deliberate practice, self-control, and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. 


Dr. Ayelet Fishbach is the Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the past president of the Society for the Study of Motivation and the International Social Cognition Network (ISCON). She is an expert on motivation and decision making and the author of Get it Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation. Dr. Ayelet’s groundbreaking research on human motivation has won her several international awards, including the Society of Experimental Social Psychology’s Best Dissertation Award and Career Trajectory Award, and the Fulbright Educational Foundation Award.

Website: www.ayeletfishbach.com

Twitter: @ayeletfishbach


  • What is motivation science?
  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as motivation
  • Choosing the right goals 
  • Goals aren’t chores
  • Quantify the goal-setting process 
  • The effect of incentives on motivation
  • Ayelet’s view on SMART Goals
  • Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
  • Flow, deliberate practice, and discomfort 
  • Sustain motivation with feedback
  • Overcome the “middle problem”
  • Learn to balance multiple goals
  • Identify and resist temptation 
  • The glass half-empty mindset
  • How to learn from negative feedback
  • Do relationships affect our pursuit of goals?

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