Many people want to make changes, but they don’t necessarily want to put in the work to make the changes, or they don’t know how to make the changes.

We live in a quick-fix society where we typically want immediate, easy changes and instant gratification.

To bring about lasting change we must be willing to put in the effort and make changes at a rate that will work for us and keep us motivated.

Motivation can come from a few factors:

  • We might have seen the doctor and received some bad news on some recent results which need urgent lifestyle changes
  • Our children may have started producing grandchildren and we want to actively participate in their lives; or we may just have become parents
  • We may be tired of lugging a heavy, tired, and sore body around

Whatever the reason, we need to find the motivation to be able to make lasting changes.

Will-power will last for a few days, but motivation will help us reach and maintain out goals. 

Once we’ve decided to make some changes, we will need some help. Coaching can be invaluable when making lifestyle changes because it equips a person with the tools and knowledge required to make effective changes.

I like to determine exactly where my client is in terms of skill and will. Firstly, they need to be equipped with the knowledge and information to make the changes. Without the necessary information they will become despondent and will give up.

Secondly, when they have all the knowledge it’s then necessary to determine whether they are just lacking the motivation to change or if there’s something else stopping them. Getting to the root of this is a little trickier than just supplying information. I need to help my client figure out what’s getting in the way and what limiting beliefs they may have that’s preventing them from progressing.

I think that the average person wants to believe that they can change, but they can underestimate how hard it might be. They may also have tried multiple times and been unsuccessful, which makes them skeptical and doubtful about whether they can actually be successful.

Every person has something that motivates them, but motivation needs to come from a place of self-desire for change.

If someone else wants you to change or tells you that you must change, it’s not going to be easy to find the motivation to do so.

An effective way to make changes is to break a person’s health care goals into small, manageable goals and to tackle them one layer at a time. If you look at a big goal it can be completely overwhelming if you think about all the steps needed to get you there, whereas, small steps are much more achievable and can be used as motivators as you achieve them.

Goals also need to be realistic. Coaching can help a person to determine whether their goals are realistic or not and get to the root of the motivation behind the goals. Sometimes the motivation is there, but it’s coming from the wrong place.

Helping a person to feel positive about the changes they want or need to make goes a long way to motivating them. Self-punishment or negative self-talk breaks a person down and is not a helpful motivator. Keeping a diary of victories can also be a motivator. We all have bad days and our perceptions can be skewed by negativity, whereas when you have a record of evidence it helps a lot to keep you going.

Listen to my interview with Brad Kirsten from Radio Cape Pulpit on 8 April 2021 to learn more.

Listen to my next interview on Thursday at 7.45am