My response is unambiguous because I am a person who has witnessed the tangible significance of motivation, amongst both my mentoring clientele and in the academic studies that I have conducted (as well as in the scientific knowledge of others). “Not! The majority of individuals need to be motivated.
This shift in focus away from motivation is telling me something very specific about the situation. This tendency to downplay the motivational factor in implementing sustainable improvements in healthy lifestyle choices could be coming from behavioral patterns specialists or experts who don’t understand how to assist individuals to nurture the level of motivation that forces the confident decisions that are the foundation of meaningful change. This is something that I am beginning to believe more and more.
This Way of Thinking is Completely Understandable
It is natural to think that motivation as a whole should be overhyped if you haven’t yet observed the full potential of motivation when it turns into a profoundly captivating daily driver of wholesome decisions. My position is as follows: Just as in any other area of study, the way we perceive the world, what humans anticipate will occur, what actions (or inactions) we take, and what we consider to be conceivable are all determined by our view of the world.
The value of our decisions, and inevitably the outcomes that we get, will be defined by what we think we must accomplish to generate an enduring behavioral shift to maintain wholesome alterations in self-care behavioral patterns such as exercising and eating.
Developing Your Ability to Judge
How can you develop into a more considerate user of guidance on changing behaviors so that you can effectively decipher whether or not it is the right match for your requirements for change? To begin, try to answer the following questions for yourself:
- What exactly is the narrative that I am supposed to alter my behavior because of?
- Does the execution of these techniques presuppose the existence of ideal conditions?
- Does it make allowances for the chaos and unpredictability that numerous of us survive with every day?
Am I to understand that a specific method for changing behaviors will function just as effectively across a wide range of various kinds of behaviors? Think about the fact that something that helps you brush your teeth each night is likely not going to assist you in remaining physically active regularly in the same way. Is there any research that supports this claim that has been made public? The value of many different stories about changing people’s behaviors is predicated solely on the dubious pledge of “rational thinking.” If the narrative is backed by research that has been printed, there are two crucial questions to consider:
- (1) Did this research take place among participants who lead lives that are comparable to mine?
- (2) Does the study look at either the short-term or the long-term effects of the intervention?
Have I ever utilized a tactic that is even remotely comparable to this one? If that’s the case, how well has it worked for me over the long haul, or do I always have to begin over? Does this method for changing behavior appear to be one that might endure the recurrent transitions in priorities that are often demanded by daily life, taking into consideration not only my own experience in life but also that of my friends and relatives?
I would like to state very clearly that, just as is the case in every other industry, all behavior-change practitioners and experts have beliefs that affect the questions we ask in our studies, what the results of our resulting research indicate, and, inevitably, the recommendations we offer to individual people, companies, and the mainstream press. Therefore, it is essential that we are open and honest about the beliefs that we hold, so that others can comprehend the basis upon which our recommendations are based.
Making Changes That Are Long-Lasting
My beliefs continue to develop as a result of the information I glean from the continued research that I and others carry out, as well as from the experience I gain as a mentor and from having lived my own life. Nevertheless, the following is a list of my existing fundamental beliefs concerning how to bring about adjustments in lifestyle habits that are self-sustaining:
- Alterations to one’s eating habits and physical activity levels are very unique from any other kind of behavior change, even though they differ from one another in significant ways. I think that giving impartial advice that disregards the unique connection that eating and working out have to “weight loss” (and the common negative emotions that are affiliated with it) is likely to leave people stuck in a self-perpetuating loop of failings.
- The majority of us are unable to make a change that is both long-term and viable in our eating and exercise habits unless we also change our beliefs regarding and our connection with these behavioral patterns. Although strategies are important (such as “start small”), they are only the beginning when it comes to creating lasting development.
- The advancement of our understanding of behavioral changes is facilitated by studies on university students. But the life experiences and day-to-day responsibilities of typical college students significantly decrease the validity of this research to those of us who have full-time employment and/or are responsible for the care of kids, family members, or other people.
- The majority of individuals who will be successful in making long-term changes in their lifestyle habits need to comprehend how to sustain their behaviors while they are going through the evolving environment of their weeks have fundamentally adaptable strategies, and trust that “accomplishment” is remaining on the journey over time rather than striking a bullseye every time.
- Folks need a motivation that is personally meaningful to them and captivating to make the daily decisions that are in their best interest in terms of their health, well-being, and self-care. Most of us haven’t understood how to have this kind of profoundly persuasive motivation because the traditional methods in which we’ve been socially constructed to confront behaviors like exercise and eating have prevented us from doing so.
- Many of us secretly wish to avoid engaging in physical activity and consuming food more deliberately. The good news, however, is that despite appearances, changing one’s motivation is not nearly as difficult as it might appear. It isn’t that difficult at all.
Nothing is ever going to be true for everybody, as I always say when I give keynote speeches. Even though I have these belief systems regarding what will support the majority of individuals to succeed with continuous improvement, I am aware that there are certain individuals (a minority) who already are capable of maintaining a transition using very various strategies, such as pure tenacity or the formation of habits.
What’s the Takeaway Here?
It is up to each of us to engage in critical reflection on the advice we receive regarding how to change our behavior to determine whether or not that guidance coincides with what we already believe to be true about ourselves and our personal lives.