Motivation, something that diminishes as time passes for far too many of us, in spite if the best of intentions. Public health officials constantly educate us on the importance of motivating ourselves to significantly improve our physical and mental health. Stress is made on routinely increasing physical activity, decreasing stress levels, improving compliance with medical recommendations, reducing the rates of obesity, use of tobacco, alcohol, and other controlled substances. These changes would result in meaningful improvements in the quality of life of many. Yet, consistent follow through is affected by many factors. They include past acceptance of outdated ways of thinking. present resistance to any new ideas and fears of what the future will hold for you if you change.
This results is people not being motivated enough to make the necessary changes that would improve their lives. The reasons vary depending on the uniqueness of each individual. These include, but are not limited to;
- a fatalistic attitude that life is what it is and no personal change would have any affect
- bad things only happen to other people
- it’s too hard to continue to do something different, even if it is positive
- the outside environment places implicit and /or explicit pressure on staying the same
- the fear of failure or success is too great
- change will make you see yourself differently and that can be scary.
The list goes on. But lets look at things that can be done that can help break that pattern and motivate you into making real life style changes that will last.
- You need to truly believe that it is important and possible for you to change.
- You need a specific plan, with small steps, moving you toward final achievement
- Understand how not changing will negatively impact your life in a very real way.
- When the desired end is prevention, frame your goal into something positive that you want to achieve as opposed to what you want to avoid.
- In other cases, if the desired end is to avoid a real detriment, then frame your goal in a way that will avoid the consequence you don’t want to experience.
- Remember to have a goal that, that once achieved, will bring you a sense of satisfaction that you will want to continue to experience.
Motivation to change is an elusive subject. One shoe does not fit all. What works for one person does not necessarily work for the next person. That is why this writing merely scratches the surface. Motivation for change or lack therein, affects all aspects of our lives and deserves a more in depth focus. For this reason w will continue to write about motivation for change in future presentations.
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