Getting Motivated to Change
If you are struggling to follow your weight management program, it may be because you are having difficulty maintaining motivation and commitment to weight control. Understanding the process required to increase your motivation may help you put your knowledge into action.
Motivation is more complex than simply wanting to do something. Your motivation to pursue a particular behavior is a reflection of your biological programming and psychological factors, such as your value system and the price you attach to success.
The Five Rs of Motivation help you determine how motivated you are to lose weight. Ask yourself:
- Relevant – How is weight management relevant in my life?
- Risks – What are the risks in my life if I do not manage my weight?
- Rewards – What are the rewards if my life if I manage my weight?
- Roadblocks – What are the roadblocks to weight management in my life?
- Remove – How can I remove the roadblocks in order to manage my weight?
It’s important to acknowledge the cost of making a change so that it does not subconsciously undermine your motivation to change. It’s even more important, however, to focus on the value of the change in terms of your overall lifestyle. Motivation needs to be combined with readiness to change in order to stimulate action. Change rarely occurs in a straight line, and you may move back and forth through stages of readiness to change before you commit to making a lifestyle change. There are five stages of readiness for weight control – precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. These stages of readiness can be helpful to long-term weight management and lapses.
Lapses are a normal and common part of changing behavior. The important thing is not to give up simply because you’ve had a setback. Every step, even a step backward, is informative if you analyze and learn from it, using it to help you move toward the point where you can maintain your commitment to weight control.
*from the OPTIFAST Lifestyle Education Series™ 'Motivation to Change'