Have you heard of the Hawthorne Effect?
In the early 20th century, the Hawthorne Works factory commissioned an experiment to determine if employees were more productive when the lighting was increased or decreased.
Much to their surprise it was discovered that workers would work harder no matter which way the light’s brightness was changed.
Apparently the workers realized that they were being observed with each change and therefore worked harder.
Over the following decades further research and experiments were conducted that confirmed the original findings. In the simplest terms, the Hawthorn Effects says that: measurement = motivation
Merely by measuring something, your motivation to improve it will increase. By taking simple measurements on a daily basis, you will end up automatically meeting your goal.
What can you measure?
This simple principle has recently helped us establish a few habits in our lives and marriage.
For us early mornings are not our thing. Really… we would rather sleep in.
And yet we knew we could accomplish much more if we would get up an hour earlier.
By setting up what we wanted to complete the night before helped us to rise early to tackle the task at hand.
Staying fit and health has been part of our lives, but with kids, sporting events, church, family activities, watching our favorite TV show (Agents of SHIELD) we can lose focus.
Having a calendar that lets us know what workout to do on a specific day has always helped. We can look to see which workout to do and then we make an “X” when it’s completed.
Change happens when you are consistent with your daily habits over time.
When we track what we say we will do it’s amazing how much more gets accomplished.
Change can happen in your life too!
Maybe you don’t want to make a lot of changes. Perhaps you just want to do one thing, like lose some weight, be able to do 20 push ups, or show your spouse that you love them each day.
Each of these and many other goals can be reached almost automatically with the Hawthorn Effect.
1. Determine what the minimum unit is to reach your goal
What is the smallest thing that you can do each day to move you toward your goal?
If you want to lose a few pounds that means you have to eat a little less every day, so skip dessert or the morning latte.
To reach 20 push ups start with 2-3 today and add 1 more push up each day. By doing this you will improve your fitness on a daily basis.
Showing your spouse that you love them might be as simple as complimenting them with encouraging words.
2. Complete your daily goal
These small, daily steps will only work if you continually do them.
Skipping dessert or the morning latte once or twice doesn’t do any good, but choosing not to have them every day will quickly show results.
Doing your push ups each day will help you move toward your goal of 20 per day (once it’s reached set a new goal).
Your spouse will appreciate you taking the time to share a compliment that will have an impact on their day.
3. Build on your daily goal
Your daily goal is the bare minimum. It may get you to your goal but it works best as a stepping stone.
As you become more conscious of what you eat the decision to have seconds might not sound as appealing.
By doing push ups every day, you will soon be able to surpass your goal and then set a goal of 40 per day.
Remembering that you haven’t told your spouse that you love them yet today while you are at the store might prompt you to find a fun way to give them a compliment.
4. Track whether you complete that goal every day
You don’t need anything fancier than a piece of paper where you can check off each day.
If you already have a calendar or planner then you can just put a check-mark on every day that you complete your minimum task.
Use a bright color and make big marks, though, so it’s immediately obvious if you have been successful or not.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do as much when you aren’t having a great day.
Maybe you just don’t feel like doing 20 push ups today. You don’t have to, but you can get 5 completed. The goal for the day has still been met and you will improve your fitness.
The Hawthorne Effect can help you make great changes in your life fairly easily.