Friday, December 13, 2013

A Recipe for Motivation


         As a health educator, I believe one of my strongest talents is motivating others.  What I mean by that is I help others find their motivation.  Humans are creatures of habit, if we do something one way and like it, we are going to stick with it.   If health and fitness isn't part of your daily routine, then you're probably lacking motivation.  If you start eating healthy than two weeks from now you give up, it's your motivation that's hindering your success.
     While interning with a weight management center this summer, I had numerous clients eager to start on their lifestyle change.  The first meeting they were all more than willing to sign their life away to reach their personal health goals.  However, a week or two into the program, the "newness" and "freshness" begins to wear off and it can be challenging to stick with the new routine.  In order to be truly successful, you need someone to "feed" you inspiration.  Talk to someone about why you want to develop a healthier lifestyle. DO NOT TALK ABOUT NUMBERS ON A SCALE!  That is trivial and will leave you discourage.  Instead, talk about changing to decrease medication use, lower cholesterol/blood pressure, or perhaps just setting a good example for your kids.  Whatever it is, it needs to be personal, and you need to want it.  Your "feeder" person will remind you of why you want to change when you are discouraged.  They will help you reinforce your goals and make them real.  Even have them help you visualize yourself at your goal in your head. Think about how good it will feel when you reach it and how far along you already are. 
    It is great to think about your goals.  Make them real by writing them down and place them somewhere to constantly remind you of what you are working towards.  That will help keep you on track to progress until you succeed.  You also what to make sure you are reinforcing good behavior.  Positive feedback can be a positive weapon when used correctly.  Make note of your good efforts and accomplishments.  Set smaller goals with shorter timelines and reward yourself with a new bag, jewelry, or a pair of jeans when you reach them.  By reinforcing the things you are doing right, it will help instill good habits which will translate to more results! And remember, everyone has set-backs at some point. It is natural and normal when working towards your goals. Just remember it is only temporary and you are in control! 

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