How to Spark Motivation with One Simple Graphic

Fundraisers. I always picture an oversized thermometer slowly creeping upward as donations came in. Perhaps you recall the Cliff Hanger game on The Price is Right: Try and get that little mountain man as close to the top as possible without falling off!

We love these images. Our desire to complete a picture inspires us to help get the marker to the end, fill up the glass, or push the character to the top of the scene. I was lucky to have creative teachers in school who designed boards just like these… Remember?

There is another reason why these images spark behavior: Humans respond to feedback. Consider those radar tracking signs. Simply telling us our speed and the desired goal helps us change behavior. It also reminds us that someone is watching. Our performance matters.

Today I received an email from my exercise app. One simple image:

I was sick for 2 weeks in January. I got behind my goals. This one image with the cheesy little weightlifters sparked a surge of motivation, and I got back on track with another HIIT session.

If you want to inspire people to act or change, consider the power of a single image about progression, because we all need feedback, it helps to know someone is keeping track, and we love to complete a picture.

Thoughtfully yours,
Jeff Skipper