Finding motivation and staying motivated for change can be hard. Whether you're trying to lose weight, improve your work performance, or become more focused in your sports training, these tips can help. How do we know this? These principles are drawn from a form of psychotherapy or counselling called motivational interviewing. The evidence shows that it can help with the hardest of changes, like getting an alcoholic to stop drinking, a heroin addict to stop shooting up, or even with stopping smoking cigarettes (which is more addictive than alcohol or heroin!) If this approach can work with these issues, then do you think that maybe it can help get you to the gym? You might want to try these tips in the order presented.
Tip 1: Explore the Ambivalence
Be honest, you want this change that you're thinking of, but you also don't want it. Change would be nice. If you get fit you might feel healthier, more sexy, your mood might improve from the endorphins, you might attract a partner, and lots of other benefits. Make a list of all of the benefits of making the change you want.
BUT! Making this change also won't be nice. Exercise is hard. At times you won't feel like it. You might feel awkward at first, or might be afraid of failure. Make a list of all of the reasons not to make this change. Be honest, there's a reason you haven't done it yet.
Now sit back and weigh up the pros and cons of change. It's not a guarantee that you'll pick change, but it will probably help you to move out of stuck ambivalence, which is tiring and frustrating.
Tip 2: Feel the Discrepancy Between How Things are and How You'd Like Them to Be
Our motivation comes from this discrepancy - things aren't how we'd like them to be... otherwise, we'd have no motivation to change. Spend some time reflecting on, or telling a friend about how things are and how you'd like them to be. You might start with the facts of the situation, but what really motivates us is feelings. When you can feel your dissatisfaction, rather than ignoring it, you're much closer to being ready to change. This might be a bit painful or scary or frustrating, but if you're focusing on something that's good for you, it may be worth it.
Tip 3: Focus on What's Possible
You might have done the above two steps and feel really fired up about making your change, but not do the necessary actions to make that change real. Why? If you don't think it's possible for you to succeed, you probably won't try. Make a small, realistic goal, or problem solve the challenges until you feel confident enough to actually try.
Good luck for making your changes!
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