Change can be difficult. Change can cause us to be afraid. Change can be overwhelming. We may not know how to make the changes we want to occur. After you decide that change is necessary for a healthier lifestyle, how do you find the motivation to make that change? I have discovered some great ways to determine the motivation to help stick to a habit you want to change or develop a new one and achieve positive results. Read on to discover why you must change your motivation to create new habits.
When you decide on the behavior or thought you want to change, you have to ask “what is my purpose for the change” to reverse this negative habit? Was swearing making me feel authoritative, was smoking giving me a sense of stress relief? Was procrastination really helping? What positive or negative feedback am I receiving from this habit? This is where we have to begin the process.
I have struggled in the past with procrastination and putting home maintenance off I did not want to do. After reflecting on why I was not motivated to tackle certain to do lists, I realized it was the fear of failure. I was already feeding myself negative thoughts that I could not do the task even before I tried. If I did not truly enjoy the thing I wanted to do, I would keep pushing it aside and doing other things that were easier and ones I liked. For example, I am not a real handy guy, I actually call Megan “the man of the house” as a joke. I am more of a creative person and house repairs do not come naturally or interest me.
Therefore, anything that needs to be caulked, patched, or repaired I tend to put off or not make it a priority. I figured out that action (moving through the fear or lack of motivation) can ignite a positive feeling by doing the task. If I did not push through and motivate myself, complacency and laziness would follow. Then the action continues to be placed further and further down the list. After completing the task, I realized that the activity itself was not as bad as I thought it would be. It gave me a sense of accomplishment and positive feelings after completion.
5 Reasons to Find Motivation to Make a Change with Your Habits
1. Discover What You Value Most
When you discover the convincing reason you want to change the habit, you are more likely to stay committed and take daily action. You have to identify why you want to change something. Instead of just wanting to lose weight for your high school reunion coming up, look for the deeper motivation and reasons to finally lose weight and keep it off for good. Continuing to be overweight can lead to health problems or not being around as long for your children and grandchildren. When you look for a convincing reason this can make the difference in creating and making a life long habit.
There has to be meaning behind the reason for change so it motivates you to take that first step. At first, take small steps to improve or change the habit. Then improve upon it and increase the amount of days you do the new behavior. You gradually build up to the goal and then can create lasting results. Eventually, stay with it long enough, the activity will become routine. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, start by eliminating soda and sugary drinks for 2 weeks, then get rid of the junk food in your home the next 2 weeks, and so on. By making little changes over time you are not setting yourself up to fail by taking on too many changes at once.
2. Accountability Partner
I am not talking about reporting to someone every day about your progress for changing a habit. There have been numerous studies done on motivation from 1926 to 2009 and results typically end the same. If you happen to tell someone else about your goal, you tend to lose your drive and are less likely to achieve what you want to accomplish.
The key is finding someone you like being around and enjoy doing an activity with. This can be your significant other, friend, neighbor or even your pet! Not only does it make the new activity fun because you are around a relationship that matters. It also inspires you to want to show up and not let the other person (or pet) down. This is good factor for motivation.
We take walks every weekend and it is harder to skip this activity because we do it together. Having someone to remain accountable to helps you keep going even when you don’t want to do it. This consistent practice to “show up” forces you to change the habit. You can feel good about coming through not only for yourself, but for the other person who is changing as well.
3. Find Enjoyment in Change
Motivation can have positive or negative feedback loops. When you are trying to change a behavior or start a good habit rather than a bad one, feelings can get in the way. We are going to fall short on some days and not do what we were supposed to do. But you cannot let negative emotions or guilt paralyze your progress and let negative self-talk prevent you from trying again. You cannot expect instant success. There will be days where we skip a day to change that habit. It is important to stay enthusiastic and enjoy the journey to keep moving toward your final destination.
Also, make an analysis of your environment to changing the habit. Are the people you are around supportive or influencing you in a positive manner? Or are they pushing you in an opposite direction of your values. Megan and I had to make decisions to refrain from certain relationships because they were not compatible with our values or interests. Look at the change you are going to make as a positive enjoyment in your life. The growth you will experience as you change can only increase your overall happiness.
4. Use the Calendar and Put in Schedule
Time can become an important factor to prevent us from staying on track to change a habit. We all know well about those New Year’s resolutions that people make and do well the first week. However, eventually everything else becomes a priority and lack of time is typically the excuse. Develop a schedule where you put that change in your calendar and the objectives each day to help you along the road so you have a destination in mind.
Opportunities for disruption may become an obstacle daily. You have to ask yourself, what small action can I take today that will move me closer to my goal. Placing some deadlines or goals in the calendar to motivate you can promote action. When you put rewards at the end of the month for meeting your weekly goals toward change, this can serve as a motivation to continue. After establishing the habit change, congratulate yourself with a massage, pedicure, or new outfit. Purchase something out of the norm or treat yourself to a relaxing day. This can be great motivation to keep it up.
5. Each New Habit Builds Confidence
Keep track of your daily wins and how you are making progress with growing toward that change of habit. Once you begin to witness some positive differences in your life or how much better you feel, this creates strength inside to be able to tackle other behaviors. It can become encouragement for yourself that you are actually meeting the end goal.
You can choose to continue or stop the habit you don’t like and how it impacts your life. As you become more motivated about the progress you consistently achieve, the more your self-esteem will increase and you’ll gain the confidence you wanted.
The overall goal is to find the motivation for that change in your life. It is the key to incorporate enthusiasm in creating a new habit. The road to success can be done by discovering what you value most. Find someone to break the habit with or include any one who has made that adjustment and learn from them. While you are making the effort to transition, enjoy the moment and create a positive feedback loop to motivate you. Schedule that change of habit and write down what will motivate you to keep it up. In the end, you will build new confidence and feel excellent about a new life habit.