The Zone - Volume 106
How do we assess our level of motivation?
Realizing that we only have a finite amount of time and energy to give to self-care, it is important to be able to identify what is our level of motivation to implement changes that we are thinking about. Sometimes we know what it is that we need or want to accomplish, however, we just don’t seem to have enough of what it takes to move forward.
At this point we basically have two avenues of behaviors that we can choose. One is the self-doubting, self-incriminating voice that beats us up because we just can’t move forward. This negative self-talk does little to assist us in our endeavor for better health. In fact, this negative self-talk mostly serves to dig the hole of frustration deeper and deeper.
The other avenue we can choose is one of positive or encouraging self-talk and processing. Drawing from various theoretical and practical applications to assist individuals’ motivation to change, some of the following questions may be helpful to better understand personal barriers to change.
1. On a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest, which number bests represents how important it is to you to make this change?
2. On a scale of 0 to 10 rate, what is your level of confidence in being able to make this change?
These two questions are important to ask yourself to help clarify where your hurdles may lie so that you can move forward with the change. Knowing that something rates as a 10 for importance and low for confidence to making the change, changes the internal conversation. For example, once you have ranked your confidence level as let’s say a 5, but importance is still at 10, then ask yourself why a 5 and not a 0? This begins a new positive self-talk on how you already have a level of confidence and have identified strengths that you can build on.
A final question that you can ask yourself is, what needs to happen to move you from the let’s say 5 to a 6? This question helps clarify the next steps you need to take to the change you are trying to make. For example, you may decide that in order to feel better physically, mentally and spiritually, you have to increase your walking distance. Your confidence in being able to accomplish this is a 5 and not a 0 because you have already increased your distance from when you began. When asking yourself what needs to happen to move your confidence from a 5 to a 6, you would identify the steps that need to be taken to bring this about. With the hours of daylight extended, either getting up earlier in the morning or staying out later in the evening, may be two possible answers to your question.
Having this internal conversation within a positive/encouraging voice, can bring about new insights to one’s self-care practice.
Identifying barriers allows us to better utilize our energy to change.
The direction of our self-talk has powerful consequences.
Being candid with yourself is important.
Make time for reflection and add it to your daily schedule.
Periodically evaluate your progress.
Keep your energy level up.
Things to Limit
Setting unattainable goals.
Quote of the Week
“I‘ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
In summary, the quality of our self-talk holds the key to motivating us to make the changes that we need and desire. Spending time to reflect on our level of motivation by asking probing questions can offer each of us a storehouse of energy to move forward.
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The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P and Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Helen E. Battisti PhD, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.
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