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Posts Tagged ‘Motivation’

Who Needs Motivation? The Rewards of Doing ‘Something’

Posted by Sun on June 13, 2012

ScienceDaily (Apr. 29, 2011) — People don’t really care what they’re doing — just as long as they are doing something. That’s one of the findings summarized in a new review article published inCurrent Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

When psychologists think about why people do what they do, they tend to look for specific goals, attitudes, and motivations. But they may be missing something more general — people like to be doing something. These broader goals, to be active or inactive, may have a big impact on how they spend their time.

Author Dolores Albarracin of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says she started paying attention to people’s different levels of activity in various countries and saw how much busier people are in the US relative to other areas. “People have this inclination to do more, even if what they do is trivial,” she says. In recent years, she has been doing research on how people feel about activity, including how easily she could change the level of activity that people aimed for. In one set of experiments, for example, she found that getting people to think about physical activity made them more interested in political activity.

Experiments have shown that the desire for activity is quite strong; people will go to a lot of trouble to maintain their desired level of activity, which can include unhealthy behaviors. Many psychologists have “the idea that people have these highly specific goals,” Albarracin says. “But quite often some significant proportion of our time is engaged in this global level — we want to do something, but what we do ends up not mattering much. You could end up with productive behavior, like work, or impulsive behavior, like drug use.”

Albarracin co-wrote the review article with Justin Hepler and Melanie Tannenbaum, also of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Helping Latinos Quit Smoking: Studies Offers New Insight

Posted by Sun on May 20, 2012

ScienceDaily (June 3, 2011) — Latinos looking to quit smoking are more successful when they have a significant other and partner support, say researchers from The Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine. According to the study, published in the May/June issue of theAmerican Journal of Health Promotion, this support can also buffer the demonstrated negative effect that depression can have on smoking cessation.

Latinos are the largest, fastest growing minority population in the country, based on U.S. Census data. Smoking prevalence among Latinos is 15.8 percent and is even higher among those who are more adapted to U.S. culture. Overall, Cubans have the highest rates of smoking, followed by American-born Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Central and South Americans, immigrant Mexicans and Dominicans.

Although previous research suggests that social support appears to facilitate smoking cessation, other factors, such as depressed mood, can hinder those efforts, since depression and depressive symptoms are associated with lower likelihood of quitting. Given that Latinos have slightly higher rates of depressive symptoms compared to other racial or ethnic groups, they may have particular difficulty quitting smoking.

The study included 131 Latino smokers who have children with asthma. The majority of participants were Puerto Rican (52 percent), Dominican (23 percent) and Central American (11 percent), while nearly three-quarters were female. Participants reported smoking an average of 10.8 cigarettes per day with an average of three quit attempts.

Overall, approximately 46 percent of participants reported having a significant other, defined as being married, engaged or living together. Questionnaires determined their perceived levels of social support, which was defined as having someone to talk to about their problems, people with whom they can do things, tangible or material support and self-esteem support. Participants also reported on perceived supportive and non-supportive smoking cessation-related behaviors from their significant others. A separate assessment measured participants’ levels of depression and depressive mood.

Approximately 30 percent of participants with a partner quit smoking compared to 14.3 percent of those without a partner. More than 43 percent of those with high levels of perceived partner support quit smoking, versus 17.4 percent of participants with low levels.

“Simply having a partner, regardless of the type of support they offer, may be important to Latino smokers who are trying to quit smoking,” said Belinda Borrelli, Ph.D., senior author on the study and a psychologist with The Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine.

The study also examined whether or not having a partner buffered the effect of depressed mood on quitting smoking. Among smokers without a partner, quit rates were higher for those with low levels of depressed mood (37 percent) than those with high levels of depressed mood (9 percent). Depressive symptoms did not affect quitting smoking among those with a partner. According to researchers, this finding suggests that simply having a partner, regardless of whether that partner offers positive or negative support, buffers the effect of depressive symptoms on smoking cessation.

“Latino smokers who are depressed and/or those without a partner may need to be connected to additional supportive resources to successfully quit smoking,” says Borrelli. Although she says the study provides a first step in exploring possible factors — such as social support and depression — that may either help or hinder smoking cessation, future research is needed to discover ways to capitalize on the social context of Latinos to promote smoking cessation.

Are there differences in smoking behavior and attitudes among Puerto Rican, Dominican and non-white Latino smokers?

In a related study, also published in the May/June issue of theAmerican Journal of Health Promotion, Borrelli and colleagues set out to determine whether smoking behavior and attitudes differ among Puerto Ricans and Dominicans and if so, how do they compare to non-Latino whites (or Caucasians).

Researchers focused their study on 225 smokers who are also caregivers of children with asthma. They examined smokers’ motivation to quit, risk perception, social support, depressed mood and perceived stress because these factors are associated with poor smoking cessation outcomes among the majority population.

“No studies have examined the differences in smoking attitudes and behavior between Dominicans and Puerto Ricans,” said Borrelli. “Exploring differences between these two subgroups as well as how each differs from non-Latino whites is important for determining whether smoking cessation interventions developed for the majority population are relevant to specific Latino populations.”

Overall, researchers say there were important differences between Dominicans and Puerto Ricans compared to each other and with non-Latino whites that make it less likely that evidence-based treatments that are effective for the majority of adult smokers will be equally effective for Latinos, suggesting the need for cultural adaptation of smoking cessation treatments for Latinos.

Borrelli and colleagues also note that Puerto Ricans appear to have more factors associated with risk of smoking cessation treatment failure, such as less motivation and confidence to quit, lower levels of social support, and greater levels of U.S. acculturation and depressed mood. On the other hand, Dominicans appear to have the most protective factors among the three groups to facilitate quitting, including low nicotine dependence and high motivation to quit, and they also identified more negative consequences of smoking.

Only 13.3 percent of Dominicans lived with another smoker, compared to 35.8 percent of Puerto Ricans. 60% of Dominicans had a household ban on smoking, versus 44.8% of Puerto Rican smokers.

“Although it may not be feasible to have numerous smoking cessation treatments for different subgroups, we found meaningful differences between subgroups that could be used in treatment tailoring,” said Borrelli. “We need to examine the role of these smoking attitudes as potential moderators and mediators of smoking behavior in order to guide the cultural adaptation of evidence-based treatments.”

Both studies were funded by grants from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Smoke Free Families Initiative to Borrelli. Brittany M. Brothers, Ph.D., from The Ohio State University, co-authored the paper titled Motivating Latino Smokers to Quit: Does Type of Support Matter? Co-authors of the second paper, Differences in Smoking Behavior and Attitudes among Puerto Rican, Dominican and Non-Latino White Caregivers of Children with Asthma, included Elizabeth McQuaid, Ph.D., from the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center; Kristin Gregor, Ph.D., of The Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine; Rashelle B. Hayes, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts Medical School; and Christina S. Lee, Ph.D., of the Center for Alcohol & Addiction at Brown University and the Institute on Urban Health Research at Northeastern University.

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Belief in God Cuts Two Ways, Study Finds

Posted by Sun on May 20, 2012

ScienceDaily (Oct. 27, 2011) — Being reminded of the concept of God can decrease people’s motivation to pursue personal goals but can help them resist temptation, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

“More than 90 percent of people in the world agree that God or a similar spiritual power exists or may exist,” said the study’s lead author, Kristin Laurin, PhD, of the University of Waterloo in Canada. “This is the first empirical evidence that simple reminders of God can diminish some types of self-regulation, such as pursuing one’s goals, yet can improve others, such as resisting temptation.”

A total of 353 college students, with an average age 19 and 186 of whom were women, participated in six experiments to determine how the idea of God can indirectly influence people’s motivations, even among those who said they were not religious. The students did not have to have an opinion on the existence of a god or any other spiritual power. The findings were reported in the online version of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology®.

In one experiment, engineering students completed a “warm-up” word task. They were asked to form grammatically correct sentences using four words from sets of five. Some students were provided either God or God-related words (divine, sacred, spirit and prophet), while the control group used more neutral words (ball, desk, sky, track and box). Next, each student had to form as many words as they could in five minutes, using any combination of specific letters. The researchers determined the students’ motivation level by the number of words they produced. The more motivated they were, the more words they produced. They were told that a good performance could help predict if they would succeed in an engineering career.

Several weeks before this experiment, the students had been asked if they believed outside factors (other people, beings, forces beyond their control) had an influence on their careers. Among participants who said outside factors such as God might influence their career success, those who did the God-related word task performed worse than those who used neutral words. There was no difference in performance among the participants who did not believe outside factors influenced their career success.

Researchers also measured the importance participants placed on a number of values, including achievement. Participants reminded of God placed the same value on achievement as did participants primed with the more neutral words. “This suggests that our findings did not emerge because the participants reminded of God devalued achievement,” said Laurin.

A second set of experiments looked at participants’ ability to resist temptation after being reminded about God. In one study, participants who said eating healthy food was important to them ate fewer cookies after reading a short passage about God than those who read a passage unrelated to God.

Participants who read a short God-related passage reported greater willingness to resist temptations to achieve a major goal, such as maintaining a healthy weight, finding a long-term relationship or having a successful career. This effect was found only among participants who had previously said they believe an omniscient entity watches over them and notices when they misbehave.

The level of participants’ religious devotion had no impact on the outcomes in any of the experiments, according to the researchers.

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Obese Dieters’ Brain Chemistry Works Against Their Weight-Loss Efforts

Posted by Sun on May 20, 2012

ScienceDaily (June 23, 2011) — If you’ve been trying to lose weight and suspect your body’s working against you, you may be right, according to a University of Illinois study published in Obesity.

“When obese persons reduce their food intake too drastically, their bodies appear to resist their weight loss efforts. They may have to work harder and go slower in order to outsmart their brain chemistry,” said Gregory G. Freund, a professor in the U of I College of Medicine and a member of U of I’s Division of Nutritional Sciences.

He particularly cautions against beginning a diet with a fast or cleansing day, which appears to trigger significant alterations in the immune system that work against weight loss. “Take smaller steps to start your weight loss and keep it going,” he said.

In the study, the scientist compared the effects of a short-term fast on two groups of mice. For 12 weeks, one group consumed a low-fat diet (10 percent fat); the other group was fed a high-fat (60 percent fat) and had become obese. The mice were then fasted for 24 hours. In that time, the leaner mice lost 18 percent of their body weight compared to 5 percent for the obese mice.

Freund said that there is an immune component to weight loss that has not been recognized. “Our data show that fasting induces an anti-inflammatory effect on a lean animal’s neuroimmune system, and that effect is inhibited by a high-fat diet. Some of the brain-based chemical changes that occur in a lean animal simply don’t occur in an obese animal,” he said.

This breakdown occurs because obese animals resist down-regulation of genes that activate the interleukin-1 (IL-1) system and associated anti-inflammatory cytokines, he said.

The scientist also studied differences in the behavior of the two groups of mice, monitoring how much they moved, administering tests to discern the animals’ ability to learn and remember, and noting whether the mice exhibited signs of depression or anxiety.

The results suggest that beginning a diet with a fast or near-fast may alter brain chemistry in a way that adversely affects mood and motivation, undermining the person’s weight-loss efforts.

“The obese mice simply didn’t move as much as the other mice. Not only was there reduced locomotion generally, they didn’t burrow in the way that mice normally do, and that’s associated with depression and anxiety,” he said.

Beginning a weight-loss program in a depressed frame of mind and with decreased motivation doesn’t bode well for the diet’s success, he noted.

Funding was provided by grants from the National Institutes of Health, including the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

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Easy to Visualize Goal Is Powerful Motivator to Finish a Race or a Task

Posted by Sun on May 20, 2012

ScienceDaily (Aug. 15, 2011) — Whether you are swimming in the Olympics or saving for a vacation, being able to see progress toward your goal will help you reach it. “The easier a goal is to see, the closer it seems,” said Rajesh Bagchi, assistant professor of marketing in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech.

Amar Cheema, associate professor of marketing with the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, and Bagchi studied the effect of goal visualization in abstract contexts and report that making goal attainment visual provides motivation for reaching abstract goals just as with physical destinations. The research appears in the March issue of the Journal of Marketing.

Being marketing professors, they suggest a scenario where salespeople are offered a trip to Hawaii if they achieve sales 20 percent above the annual target. If progress is reported visually by showing a bar filling, the sales staff will be more energized than if progress is reported numerically, as dollars or percent of sales.

“The same thing happens if you are saving for a vacation with a definite goal and you see an image of a piggy bank filling up, instead of the dollar total only,” said Bagchi.

Cheema suggests that even drawing a graph representing your savings will provide motivation.

Cheema and Bagchi tested visualization with experiments requiring physical effort and experiments involving customers waiting for service and sales people completing deals.

The physical experiment conducted in the lab required individuals to sustain their grip for 130 seconds on a hand dynamometer, a gauge that records force exerted. Half of the subjects could see a bar on a computer screen fill as the 130 seconds passed. The other half saw a stopwatch; however, 130 seconds required 4.33 cycles of the watch hand, “so it was not so easy to visualize progress,” said Bagchi.

“As individuals approached the goal, effort declined more steeply for participants who had the stopwatch image. While fatigue led to a decline in the force exerted over time, the decline was less steep for the people who could easily visualize the goal relative to those who could not,” said Bagchi.

“Progress is important,” said Cheema.” When what is left to be filled in the bar is smaller than what has been filled, that is when the motivation happens.”

The marketing experiments included the all-to-realistic likelihood of waiting for software support via a live chat with a technician. “Among participants near the goal, those in the easy-to-visualize condition (a filling bar vs. a countdown) are more likely to persist than those in the hard-to-visualize condition,” said Bagchi. “More significantly, participants who are near the goal reported greater progress.”

“This research provides one way to provide information about wait time that can reduce tension,” said Bagchi.

In the final study, salespeople were told to finish selling to 20 clients as soon as possible. A second part of this study looked at the effect of setting subgoals. “Unpacking a goal into subgoals can make the tasks more manageable and may increase effort and performance,” said Cheema. “On the other hand, subgoals may also shift motivational focus away from the main goal. We found this to be the case when distance to the goal is well-known and information is certain, such as in selling quickly to 20 clients.”

The sales experiment once again demonstrated the motivational effect of goal visualization and proximity, where participants had a financial incentive to perform well, and demonstrated that a well-visualized abstract goal, such as making a sale, elicits commitment as if it were a physical goal.

“Our research results suggest that we process visual representations in a manner similar to distance, influencing perceptions of proximity and effort as we pursue everyday tasks or make decisions about investing time and effort for a particular outcome,” said Bagchi.

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Listening to Your Favorite Music Boosts Performance

Posted by Sun on May 20, 2012

ScienceDaily (Apr. 17, 2012) — Whether you like classical, death metal or skiffle, listening to your own choice of music could improve your enjoyment of taking part in competitive sports and improve performance, a study has found.

This finding is presented April 18 at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference held at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London (18-20 April). The research was carried out by Dr Alexandra Lamont with Rachel Hallett, Jonathan Castro, Charlotte Fowell, Kelly Richardson and Rhian Taylor, all from Keele University.

Dr Lamont said: “By playing their favourite tunes, we found that participants’ exertion levels reduced and their sense of being ‘in the zone’ increased, when compared to listening to no music at all. The greatest effects were found for music used during training.

“So, if you are a Rihanna fan, for example, putting on her latest album could boost your performance and reduce perceived effort during training and before competing.”

For this study, three competitive sports groups — with 64 participants in total — were compared: football, netball and running. The groups were first polled to establish their favourite type of music, which was different depending on the sport. Female netball players, for example, preferred RnB music.

Each group was assessed before and during training, and before competitions or races, with and without their favourite music. Each session was rated by the participants for perceived motivation, focus, enjoyment, challenge, awareness and rate of perceived exertion.

Listening to favourite music improved ratings of being ‘in the zone’ across all groups, with the biggest effects occurring during training sessions. A reduction of perceived exertion happened during most sessions.

Previous studies have shown that motivational music in general boosts performance, but have not looked at the effects of participants’ favourite music on their performance.

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Dopamine Impacts Your Willingness to Work

Posted by Sun on May 19, 2012

ScienceDaily (May 1, 2012) — Slacker or go-getter? Everyone knows that people vary substantially in how hard they are willing to work, but the origin of these individual differences in the brain remains a mystery.

Now the veil has been pushed back by a new brain imaging study that has found an individual’s willingness to work hard to earn money is strongly influenced by the chemistry in three specific areas of the brain. In addition to shedding new light on how the brain works, the research could have important implications for the treatment of attention-deficit disorder, depression, schizophrenia and other forms of mental illness characterized by decreased motivation.

The study was published May 2 in the Journal of Neuroscience and was performed by a team of Vanderbilt scientists including post-doctoral student Michael Treadway and Professor of Psychology David Zald.

Using a brain mapping technique called positron emission tomography (PETscan), the researchers found that “go-getters” who are willing to work hard for rewards had higher release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in areas of the brain known to play an important role in reward and motivation, the striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. On the other hand, “slackers” who are less willing to work hard for a reward had high dopamine levels in another brain area that plays a role in emotion and risk perception, the anterior insula.

“Past studies in rats have shown that dopamine is crucial for reward motivation,” said Treadway, “but this study provides new information about how dopamine determines individual differences in the behavior of human reward-seekers.”

The role of dopamine in the anterior insula came as a complete surprise to the researchers. The finding was unexpected because it suggests that more dopamine in the insula is associated with a reduced desire to work, even when it means earning less money. The fact that dopamine can have opposing effects in different parts of the brain complicates the picture regarding the use of psychotropic medications that affect dopamine levels for the treatment of attention-deficit disorder, depression and schizophrenia because it calls into question the general assumption that these dopaminergic drugs have the same effect throughout the brain.

The study was conducted with 25 healthy volunteers (52 percent female) ranging in age from 18 to 29. To determine their willingness to work for a monetary reward, the participants were asked to perform a button-pushing task. First, they were asked to select either an easy or a hard button-pushing task. Easy tasks earned $1 while the reward for hard tasks ranged up to $4. Once they made their selection, they were told they had a high, medium or low probability of getting the reward. Individual tasks lasted for about 30 seconds and participants were asked to perform them repeatedly for about 20 minutes.

“At this point, we don’t have any data proving that this 20-minute snippet of behavior corresponds to an individual’s long-term achievement,” said Zald, “but if it does measure a trait variable such as an individual’s willingness to expend effort to obtain long-term goals, it will be extremely valuable.”

The research is part of a larger project designed to search for objective measures for depression and other psychological disorders where motivation is reduced. “Right now our diagnoses for these disorders is often fuzzy and based on subjective self-report of symptoms,” said Zald. “Imagine how valuable it would be if we had an objective test that could tell whether a patient was suffering from a deficit or abnormality in an underlying neural system. With objective measures we could treat the underlying conditions instead of the symptoms.”

Further research is needed to examine whether similar individual differences in dopamine levels help explain the altered motivation seen in forms of mental illness such as depression and addiction. Additional research is under way to examine how medications specifically impact these motivational systems.

Robert Kessler, professor of radiology and radiological sciences, Ronald Cowan, associate professor of psychiatry, Joshua Buckholtz, assistant professor of psychology at Harvard, Neil Woodward, assistant professor of psychology, Rui Li, senior research specialist of radiology and radiological sciences, Sib Ansari, associate of radiology and radiological sciences, Ronald Baldwin, research associate professor of radiology and radiological sciences, and research assistant Ashley Schwartzman also contributed to the study. The National Institute of Drug Abuse funded the research..

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What’s Motivation Got to Do With Weight Loss?

Posted by Sun on May 18, 2012

ScienceDaily (Apr. 26, 2010) — Energy in, energy out, it’s the basic equation to weight loss, or is it? With more than two thirds of Americans classified as overweight or obese, a study in the May/June 2010 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior examines how motivation might be a large contributor to sticking with weight loss programs.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill examined two types of motivation, autonomous and controlled, and their relationship to adherence and weight loss in a 16-week Internet weight-loss intervention. To measure the 2 types of motivation, a Treatment Self-Regulation Questionnaire was used to identify those participants motivated by intrinsic and extrinsic controls such as feeling that performance is the best way to help oneself and making changes for personal reasons (autonomous motivation) and those participants motivated by only external controls such as perceived pressure from others and feelings of guilt (controlled motivation). Motivation for weight loss was measured at baseline and 4, 8, 12, and 16 weeks. In addition, study participants recorded their food intake, exercise, and body weight through an on-line self-monitoring system weekly throughout the study.

Over half of the participants (37 of 66) lost 5% of initial body weight at the 16-week follow-up. To examine the relationship between the 2 different types of motivation and weight loss, the sample was divided into those who had and those who had not lost 5% of initial body weight by 16 weeks (37 and 29 participants, respectively). The researchers found that the majority of participants had a significant increase in autonomous and controlled motivation between baseline and 4 weeks, though it’s not clear what caused the increase in motivation at 4 weeks, the face-to-face session given at the start of the study, early success with weight loss, or something else. Although motivation increased initially for most participants, the group that went on to achieve a 5% weight loss sustained their autonomous motivation between 4 and 16 weeks, while the group that was less successful experienced a significant decrease in autonomous and controlled motivation over time.

The authors also found that autonomous motivation at 4 weeks was a significant predictor of adherence to self-monitoring and weight loss. Furthermore, this increase in self-monitoring appeared to be a way in which autonomous motivation led to better weight loss. The authors found a positive correlation between weight loss at 4 weeks and higher levels of autonomous motivation especially when compared to participants who had higher levels of controlled motivation. .

Writing in the article, the authors state, “It appears that the time period between 4 and 8 weeks may be an important window for weight control programs to consider using techniques designed to enhance autonomous motivation, including giving more intense support or different types of interventions, such as activities to enhance autonomous motivation or contact from a weight-loss counselor in the form of e-mails, phone calls, or face-to-face meetings.”

“It is possible that motivation measured a few weeks after the study has begun more accurately captures motivation than baseline motivation for weight loss since participants have become familiar with the behavior changes that will be necessary for weight loss and can better gauge their motivation for making those changes.”

“These findings suggest that building motivation may be an effective means of promoting adherence and weight loss.”

I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email (guide.rehab@gmail.com) to discuss your situation.

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Motivation to Change, Confidence to Resist Temptation, Should Tailor Alcohol-Dependence Treatment

Posted by Sun on May 16, 2012

ScienceDaily (June 15, 2011) — People seeking help for their alcohol or other drug problems enter treatment with very different levels of motivation to change. Differences in motivation appear to make a critical difference in which patients seek, comply with, and complete treatment. Findings from a study of the extent to which motivation and self-efficacy — the confidence to resist temptation and to abstain from drinking — changed during treatment, and the degree to which these variables affected drinking behaviors, indicate that treatments tailored to specific subgroups may be more effective.

Results will be published in the September 2011 issue ofAlcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

“There are a number of different ways to talk about motivation,” said J. Kim Penberthy, associate professor of psychiatry & neurobehavioral sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine as well as corresponding author for the study.

“We decided to focus on motivation in the form of stages of change and self-efficacy,” Penberthy explained. “The model we are using conceptualizes motivation as a level of readiness to change and self-efficacy as a combination of temptation to drink alcohol and confidence to abstain from drinking. For example, people who are in a stage such as action and maintenance have completed early tasks related to overcoming ambivalence, decision making, and commitment to a plan and are, therefore, more motivated to change their behavior by reducing drinking prior to treatment onset. Similarly, people who have developed a strong belief in their ability to resist temptations to drink are more confident and think about tempting situations differently, thereby increasing their motivation to not drink and not relapse.”

While the effects of patient motivation and self-efficacy on change has not been extensively studied in clinical pharmacobehavioral trials, she added, they are crucially important in terms of who responds to treatment and when, particularly over time.

Penberthy and her colleagues evaluated changes in motivation, temptation to drink, confidence to abstain, and drinking behaviors during the treatment phase of a pharmacobehavioral study of 321 (226 men, 95 women) alcohol-dependent individuals. Participants received cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and either ondansetron or a placebo. The researchers also examined the degree to which individual variables such as initial drinking severity, age of onset of alcohol dependence, and medication status influenced changes in motivation, self-efficacy, and drinking behaviors.

“Certain factors — increased motivation to change, reduced temptation to drink, and increased confidence to abstain — predict reductions in drinking behavior regardless of treatment provided,” said Penberthy. “This indicates that tailored treatments targeted to specific subgroups may be more effective.”

For example, an anti-craving medication called ondansetron was more effective in early-onset versus late-onset drinkers in reducing drinks per drinking day, increasing percent of days abstinent, as well as decreasing temptation to drink. However, ondansetron did not have a different impact on early- versus late-onset alcoholics in terms of increased motivation or confidence to abstain from drinking.

“It was also found that reductions in drinking behavior in early-onset drinkers may be mediated by reduced temptation to drink,” said Penberthy. “This supports the idea of early-onset alcoholism being a biologically based disease and more responsive to selective serotonergic agents to reduce temptation to drink, which in turn, leads to decreased drinking behavior.”

Penberthy added that clinicians and researchers need to focus their research and clinical work on tailoring treatment approaches to patients based upon the stage of their disease, the patient’s stage or level of motivation, their self-efficacy, and biological responsiveness to medications.

“The current research is a first step in understanding more about which alcohol-dependent individuals respond to treatment and what mechanisms may be involved in the changes in drinking and drinking-specific changes in frequency and intensity of drinking,” she said. “Such knowledge is needed in order to understand inconsistent results from prior pharmacobehavioral trials, and to tailor treatments more effectively to individuals. Additional research is needed to fully understand the interplay between medication, demographic variables, and psychological variables in treatment for alcohol dependence.”

I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email (guide.rehab@gmail.com) to discuss your situation.

Related Articles

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More Years to Life and Life to Years Through Increased Motivation for an Active Life

Posted by Sun on May 16, 2012

ScienceDaily (Nov. 1, 2011) — Regular physical activity is associated with a lower risk of suffering depression in old age. This is shown by one of the largest studies on elderly Europeans to have been carried out, by researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, among others. Research also shows that self-determined motivation and perceived competence are important factors in persuading elderly people to exercise more.

“We do not yet know for sure what the causal relationship between physical activity and depression is like. What is clear is that elderly people who are physically active are less depressed, but higher levels of depression can also lead to less exercise, and this suggests there is a mutual influence,” says Magnus Lindwall, docent (associate professor) in exercise and health psychology at the University of Gothenburg.

In a recently published study Lindwall, together with research colleagues, has studied 17,500 elderly people with an average age of 64 from 11 European countries who are taking part in the large EU-funded population study Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement (SHARE). The subjects in the study were followed up over a period of two and a half years, among other things with regard to physical activity and depression.

“This study is one of the first to look at both how physical activity affects future depression and vice-versa, and how change in physical activity is associated with change in depression over time,” says Lindwall.

“An important question for the researchers to answer has been what motivates elderly people to be physically active. Modern motivational theories propose, for example, that individuals who feel that they are competent, that they can take decisions for themselves and have freedom of choice and that they feel social relatedness linked to physical activity experience a more internal and a less controlled form of motivation for exercise. . This form of motivation, unlike a non-self-determining external form of motivation, is also associated with the maintenance of long-term regular physical activity, which also improves the prospects for the positive effects that physical activity can have on both physical and mental health.

“Right now we are developing and testing a structured programme to increase motivation for physical activity among the elderly based on the theories that today has strong support in the research,” says Lindwall.

The results support the recommendations to use physical activity as a powerful preventive measure against mental ill-health in the elderly.

“But regular physical activity is required, otherwise there is a great risk of the long-term favourable effects on health being lost. It is therefore important to identify the barriers, for example depression, that prevent the elderly from being physically active and focus on how to increase the motivation of elderly people for physical activity,” says Lindwall.

I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email (guide.rehab@gmail.com) to discuss your situation.

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Why Diets Fail

Posted by Sun on May 13, 2012

What is the solution to over-eating and obesity? Nigerians are trying several ways to deal with obesity. Presently, some use over-the-counter aids (appetite depressant, etc.) diets of many kinds, group therapy, punishment and reward techniques, even prayer and fasting. But few have experienced lasting result.

Diet researchers have come to one conclusion: there is no completely successful method of dieting that works for everyone over a sustained period of time. Most adults who lose weight return to their original overweight condition within two years after they stop dieting. That is definitely not success.

I have known dozens of individuals who have struggled with their own methods of diet control. Many have sought trained medical advice and been given all kinds of slimming drugs. But drugs have not solved their weight problem.

Instead, they got hooked, became nervous and have personality changes. Recently, an undergraduate from one of the Nigerian universities called to tell me she is overweight and will really need my help. I asked her few questions and her answers revealed that she had been on a slimming drug and she wanted me to recommend another type of drug that will help her lose weight.

Drugs and other weight-loss techniques often postpone or prevent our finding a permanent solution to diet problems.

WHY DIETS FAIL

When we begin a diet, we usually have something motivating us to lose weight. It may be to:

– look better in a fitted dress

-become more physically attractive

-get a new job

-overcome a health problem

-attract the opposite sex

-become more self confident

All of these reasons are related to what we think, feel and want. They all revolve around our selfish desire.

People who lose weight for these reasons don’t keep it off. In more than 90% of the cases,most people who diet regain the weight they have lost. And many regain more than their original weight.

The problem with this kind of motivation is that it isn’t good enough. Motivation to change must come from a higher and stronger source than ourselves. It must come from within —from our desire to be in line with the will of God for our lives.

The word “diet”comes from the Greek word meaning “manner of living”. Our diets are a way of life. The way we eat and the reason that we diet tells a lot about our general well-being.

I understand that eating nutritiously in this day and age can be a challenge. But whenever possible, shop for lean meats, e.g. cow leg, chicken, fish, eggs (for adults, eat more of the egg whites and less of the egg yolk). Also, combination of beans and corn (like in moinmoin and pap or eko). Simply put: one cup of cooked beans eaten with 1/2 cup pap (made from millet) forms a complete meal

Dairy: use more of fat free milk and yoghurt. As we speak, some people are confused about milk. They ask questions like- Does milk really do the body good? To drink or not to drink? That is the burning question. My take on this is to go on low fat or skimmed milk. Components in the milk include calcium, zinc and Vitamin A. You can limit milk intake to twice a week .

High-carbohydrate: four servings of carbs like ofada rice/brown rice (for white refined, parboiled rice, six table spoonful of rice is adviced per meal. Whole-wheat bread, or high-carbohydrate vegetables are potatoes (white and sweet) yams, corn. A serving is a slice, 1cup of cold or hot pap, rice.

Fats: Two tablespoons a day for health and flavouring. And use oils moderately, especially palm oil. There are also some heart friendly oils, and you can also use small amount of healthy butter for spreads. What matters is the accumulation over the week. If one day is short on fats, you can make it up the next day. If you eat too many fats one day…..oops, accident do happen! Then cut back on them the next day. Fats should only total 20-25 percent of your calories. Check labels and buy foods with 20% fat or lower.

Fruits: One fruit a day is a huge plus. It may not be really easy getting fruits everyday, but you can try. It is good to vary them. Choose the most common fruits in season and enjoy them. Presently, Mango, Watermelon and some other fruits are available; or some other fruits depending on which is best for your system.

Vegetables: One serving is equivalent to 1/2 cup cooked or raw, one cup leafy, salads, soups. Always have one or two vegetables accompanying your lunch and dinner. Toss chopped onions, tomatoes and pepper into low fat (non cholesterol oil). You can eat low-carb vegetables all day long if you want! When you get hungry grab some carrot sticks to crunch on.

Here is a quick vegetable recipe: dice or slice your favourite vegetables and add cooked protein like fish or chicken, salt and pepper. Toss them all into a pot. Simmer mixture for fifteen minute, and enjoy! You can eat with yam, rice, beans etc.

Make fitness a priority. Lifestyle fitness is not difficult or complicated. Simply by getting more active, and moderate eating you are taking a positive step towards a lifetime of health and fit living.

I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email (guide.rehab@gmail.com) to discuss your situation.

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Create Motivation

Posted by Sun on August 21, 2011

Rumi believe that source of the motivation is the need. When a need is activated, it creates a motivation for extinguishing itself. When you become the roaring flood, the ups and downs of the road will not different for you.

Wherever pain is treatment goes there.

Wherever poverty is wealth goes there.

Wherever problem is solution goes there.

Wherever cultivation is water goes there.

Search less water, acquire thirsty, than water gush from low and high.

Rumi

Translated by Fariborz Arbasi

I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email (guide.rehab@gmail.com) to discuss your situation.

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33 Ways To Get And Maintain Motivation

Posted by Sun on August 18, 2011

Being motivated is a wonderful state of your being. In that state your body leverages huge amounts of energy. Your emotional field is totally balanced, physically you’re able to climb the Everest and mentally you understand the whole Universe in a split of a second. I know you know the feeling. The good news is that you can re-create this state pretty much whenever you want. Here are 33 tips to help you get and stay motivated. By the way, if you’re into long lists, you may also check this one: 100 Ways To Live A Better Life.

1. Ignore The Unimportant

Learning to ignore is a fantastic lesson. Much more rewarding than you think. There must be an art of ignoring and they should teach it in universities. Spanning your focus in so many areas will only weaken you. Ignoring what’s unimportant will free up energy, foster motivation and help you stay focused and productive.

2. Understand What Makes You Bored

And avoid it. Boredom is a nasty place to be. But as any other state of your being can be understood and you can identify the triggers. Once you understand that, you can safely go away from the gray zone. Takes some time but it really worth the effort.

3. Laugh More Often

Watch comedies, read comics. Throw away that ugly seriousness form your face. Laughing is a safety valve for your stress relief mechanism. It actually let it out from your body in bursts. And while you’re laughing you can still learn new stuff, likepersonal development lessons from Dumbo.

4. Keep A Log Of Your Breakthroughs

Do you remember when you had the first major success of your life? No? I thought so. We tend to overlook this simple habit of writing down our feelings every time we have a major breakthrough in our lives. If you want the shortest path to motivation, just keep a log of your successes. And get inspired by it.

5. Exercise

This is one the easiest and simplest way to summon motivation. Just walk out from the office, start doing some pushups or just go for a short run around the house. It will instantly declutter your physical body. Every time you exercise, you produce endorphins. Endorphins are good.

6. Create A Custom Environment

You can’t be motivated if you work in an environment which does not represent you. Make changes, adjust, improve. Doesn’t matter if it’s about your job office or your home. Whatever the space you work in, make it yours somehow, that will lower your unconscious adaptation efforts and you’ll have more time dedicated to the actual tasks.

7. Read Success Stories

Like in other people success stories. Get inspired. Admire them (with caution, but do admire them). Reading about success will make it more available to you and will fuel your efforts towards its achievement. And of course, you can learn how to be successful too.

8. Switch Tasks

You will get bored if you work on the same projects for too long. Boredom kills motivation. Try having several small projects that you can land on whenever you feel you’re on the verge of a burn out. Not to mention that switching tasks will instantly create fresh perspectives, helping you solve problems faster.

9. Assess Your Progress

If you work constantly you will make some progress, that’s a rule. You may have the impression that you’re not going anywhere but that’s because you’re skipping all those little milestones you go through every day. Watching back with satisfaction at what you created will surely boost your energy.

10. Talk About Your Projects

With your friends or family. Let the people know you’re doing stuff. That will often make yourself aware of the fact that you’re actually doing stuff and enjoy doing it. It will also create a certain level of accountability that will most likely push you forward.

11. Avoid Energy Vampires

Naysayers, pessimists, braggers they all are sucking up your energy. Don’t get caught in such power games, avoid at all costs those energy leaks. Even if that means you’ll isolate more often. It’s better to do work in your own secluded realm than to try to resist to a diminisihing environment.

12. Write Clear Goals

Most of the time that translates to actually write down your goals, you already have them clear in your mind. But take them out of your mind, put them in a trusted system and move on. Your mind works better when it knows what it has to do not when it spends time figuring what it has to do.

13. Exercise Satisfaction

Once you finished some task, reward yourself. Give yourself a prize. No need to be a huge one, but just enough to create the habit. Look forward to it while you’re working, wait for it, praise for it. In time you’ll become addicted to this fulfillment satisfaction and you won’t stop until you reach it.

14. Accept Failure

As part of the game. Failure, like success, is just a result of your actions, nothing more. One of the biggest motivation enemies is fear of failure. Fear that your outcome will turn bad. Accept it. It may turn bad, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop doing what you’re doing. Give your best and hope for the best.

15. Use Affirmations

Like writing down your intentions, your goals, your current status. Affirmations are a very powerful tool, hugely underrated. People find it awkward to write self-directed messages and read them out loud. News flash: you’re doing this all the time, unconsciously. So why not doing it consciously? Start with a morning phrase.

16. Play Games

Impersonate people. Imitate animals. Pretend you’re Sindbad the Sailor. Playing challenging games will relax your mind and at the same time will gather more resources from secret sources. A good motivation is always blended with joy. You can start with a simple game like how to get from a to b in 5 random steps.

17. Say “No”

Say “no” to distractions, to trolls, to depression. Exercising “no”’s is liberating. Too often too many commitments are making your life a continuous chore. Limit your promises and only get into things you really want to finish. Once you do that, go to a mirror, smile and start to politely exercise your “no”‘s.

18. Look For Positive People

Sadness, whining and complaining doesn’t play well with motivation. On the contrary. But positive, optimistic, energetic people will always shift your vibration in the right direction. Search them, find them and become their friend. Sometimes all you need to get motivated is to be surrounded by shiny happy people.

19. Difficulty Is Part Of The Game

Learn to work under pressure. Some things are more difficult than other. Accept that fact and focus on doing what you have to do not on your feelings of dissatisfaction. Difficulty is often what makes things worth  doing. No sweat, no glory. Whenever I feel something is going to be tough, I’m usually more motivated to do it. The reward will be higher.

20. Create Personal Challenges

Personal challenges are short term goals, usually from 15 to 90 days. Like starting to exercise, or creating a habit from scratch in 15 days. Using personal challenges strengthen your inner power the same way exercising is strengthening your muscles. The more you do, the more motivated you feel to do even more.

21. Chose Positive Motivation

Whenever you lock in your motivation, do your best to keep it on the positive side, which is rooted in service. As opposed to the negative motivation, which is basically rooted in fear. Negative motivation works just the same, only it lasts significantly less than positive motivation.

22. Release Your Guardians

You do have guardians and some of them are pretty nasty. They won’t let you do your stuff. The bad thing about your guardians is that most of the time they’re working at the unconscious level, really difficult to interact with. Just accept, acknowledge and let them go. You will be much better off.

23. Enforce Your Personal Mission

You gotta have a personal mission. If you don’t, go find one fast. Reinforcing your personal mission at certain intervals is surely one of the greatest motivators of all. It’s like looking on a map and seeing at any moment where you are, how much do you have to go and which path you have to chose.

24. Spend Time Outside

If you can do something creative, like gardening or landscaping, even better. But it’s ok even if you don’t. Spending time outside of your box will clear the air inside. When you get back, everything will be fresher and shinier. And something fresher is always a nice motivator.

25. Keep A Clean Inbox

That’s one of the few GTD concepts I still use and it proves to be a great motivator. A clean inbox helps a smooth thoughts flow. A smooth thoughts flow let me be in the moment without any hidden burdens. Being in the moment is usually all I need to actually start doing things.

26. Don’t Aim For Perfection

It will soon drain you out. Aiming to be better is the real game. Perfection is a dead end, nothing really  happens after you reached to it. Accepting that you can be better instead of perfect leaves some room for growth. And that means you have a reason to do more. And that’s what we usually call motivation, right?

27. Do One Thing At A Time

Multitasking is a myth. Even computers processors aren’t really doing multi-tasking, that’s what we perceive. Instead they have a single frequency and several parallel buses managing information, faking a multi-tasking activity. Multitasking is creating internal conflicts, both in humans and in computers. You end up spending more time solving those conflicts than actually working.

28. Keep A Source Of Inspiring Readings

You’re not always completely down, most of the time you’re just averagish, just one sentence away from your best shape. Be sure to keep around a list of inspiring readings. Quotes, blog posts, ebooks, whatever works for you. You can start with100 ways to live a better life, for instance.

29. Put On Some Good Music

Just let it there, floating around, don’t turn the volume knob. Just enough to recreate a pleasant atmosphere. Music speaks to areas you can’t control with logical tools, yet is so powerful that can completely shift your mood in a second. The only thing better than silence is good music.

30. Don’t Fall Into The Productivity Trap

It’s not how much you do, but how much of it really matters. Doing stuff just for filling up notebooks with tasks won’t make you feel motivated. On the other side, whenever you’re doing something that matters, your planing and organizing activities will just flow.

31. Keep Your Life Lenses Clean

Your camera objective may be blurred but you don’t know. This is why you get the same picture again and again, this is why feel stuck and can’t seem to see any progress. Sometimes all you have to do is to clean up your lenses. It takes a little bit of courage but it’s worth the trouble.

32. Clean Up Your House

I know you need motivation for that too, but believe me, it’s a fantastic way to clean up your internal garbage. Cleaning up your house is not a chore, it’s a necessity. Your action paths may be clogged the same way your floor is sticky. And most of the time unsticking the floor will open your mind again.

33. Stop Reading This And Get To Work

It was fun reading it, I’m sure. But it won’t get things done in your place. Inspiration is a good motivator, but don’t abuse it. Now, that you are all energized, it’s time for you to get back to work. Of course, you can bookmark this post for future motivation sessions, but for now, just go back to work.

Source: http://www.dragosroua.com

I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email (guide.rehab@gmail.com) to discuss your situation.

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7 Ways to Increase Your Motivation to Exercise

Posted by Sun on August 18, 2011

I want to share with you 7 effective strategies that can help increase your motivation to exercise and eat well. It may only take one method, or a combination of a few to help you stay extremely motivated, so read on!

1) Write Down Specific Goals

You’ve probably heard that setting goals is important, but that’s not enough. Goals must be specific, quantifiable, and associated with a length of time. In addition, write down your goals on a sheet of paper and consider reading them aloud twice per day (morning and evening). Reading aloud your goals, known as autosuggestion, will help condition your subconscious mind to believe in your goals. Your outward actions (exercising and eating well) will reflect this desire and belief.

2) Write a Contract

Sounds kind of crazy, but writing a contract (even with yourself) has been proven to help people stay motivated. In the contract, you can include the following:

(1) Specific fitness goal
(2) What you plan on doing to reach your fitness goals (how many times per week you will exercise etc.)
(3) Address your barriers to exercise and eating well and how you plan on overcoming them (i.e. avoid the sugar cravings, or not use lack of time as an excuse to miss a workout)
(4) Date at which you must reach your fitness goal
(5) Your signature and the date you signed the contract.

You can create a strong sense of accountability with the right contract, especially if you put some skin in the game (maybe even put some money on the line). There are tons of ways to help inspire you to make a commitment that you won’t break, so be creative!

3) Visualization

Do you have a picture in your mind of how you want your body to look and feel? Let’s dig deeper. Try to answer the following questions about your visualization:

  • What are you wearing?
  • What are you doing?
  • Who are you with?
  • How exactly do you feel? What is your emotional state?
  • What is it about the way you look/feel that is so appealing? Anything in particular?

Now since you have a very clear and more detailed image of your visualization, whenever you are faced with a barrier to exercise or healthy eating, think of this visualization. Think about it often. The power of visualization can have a BIG impact.

4) Find an Emotional Trigger

Many times, there is one final trigger before we take action to workout and eat better. The emotional trigger can be a doctor telling us we have high cholesterol, or may become diabetic. Maybe when you went to slip on your favorite pair of pants, you felt like a sausage about to burst. Find your emotional trigger and use it to your advantage. For example, if you have that pair of pants that reminds you of your weight gain and how you don’t want to feel, keep it hanging from your closet in clear view. Every time you come home from work and are considering skipping a workout, those darn pants will be staring at you.

5) Track your Progress

If you don’t track your progress, you will have no idea if you are on the path towards reaching your goals. Do not become distraught if you show no progress initially. Like a scientist in a lab, dispassionately assess the feedback (whether good or bad) and adjust your fitness program accordingly. Over time, seeing your weight go down, your energy levels increase, or any other positive change can be a huge motivator.

6) Build a Support Group

Building a support group can be as easy as telling your close friends and family about your fitness goals and plans of action. Making changes to your lifestyle can be challenging, so developing a support group will help create positive energy around your efforts, which can come in handy when you need it most. Building support also provides a constant external reminder of the commitment you made to yourself.

7) Subscribe to a Fitness Newsletter/Blog

Consistently receiving fitness related emails has been shown by some studies to help improve exercise adherence. There are thousands of fitness newsletters and blogs to choose from on the Internet. BuiltLean.com may be a great choice for you, but I’m slightly biased. I also think having me in your inbox a couple times per week can do wonders for your motivation!

Source: http://www.builtlean.com

I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email (guide.rehab@gmail.com) to discuss your situation.

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Motivation – Harnessing Daily Motivation to Achieve Success

Posted by Sun on August 18, 2011

Motivation is one of the most important assets a person can have en route to self improvement. It is something you need on a daily basis. Without motivation, your thoughts of self improvement will dissipate and fade quite rapidly. You will be looking for reasons, or rather excuses, not to continue with any programme of self improvement.

The chances are, though, that if you have got this far, you have some motivation to improve yourself in one way or another. That really, is the first motivation you need: the motivation to be motivated. It shows an awareness that, to continue on the route to self improvement, your motivation will play an important part. Whether just personal or business motivation, it will help to reinforce that if you you remind yourself on a daily basis.

If the personal growth you are seeking has a number of branches, you may have a number of types and levels of motivation required all at the same time. For example, you may have just started your own business and are full of enthusiasm. That will apply a general motivation to push you forward. Say the inspiration for the business was a product you designed and have just patented. Your motivation to see that product in every home will probably be on autopilot; it will be pumping through that branch at high speed cruise.

To achieve seeing the product in every home, you need to market it. As you are so enthusiastic about the product, you can list out the features and benefits of the product with ease. Again, the motivation is automatic. However, you find there are different elements to marketing. One of them is selling. You don’t like selling; you think it’s a dirty business. When it comes to selling, your motivation is not on autopilot; you need to instill it in yourself. So your motivation to sell will require a motivation that can over come resistance daily. The dislike of selling will re-emerge quickly if your motivation does not suppress it.

That is just an example, but if you search yourself, you will find a lot of branches to attend to. They will benefit from the same meticulous attention a bonsai grower gives to a bonsai tree. You can jot down a list of those areas of your life which will benefit from a motivational uplift, and then think through how you can improve on those areas; how you can apply motivation rather than just let it drift or not appear at all. Try making it a routine to read through that list daily, maybe twice daily. Read it, say it out loud, in a quiet retreat in the home or outside. Make out the list in a positive way, using “I am” instead of “I will”.

Persevere, and be patient. Over time, your motivation should be balanced across all the branches of your motivational tree. You will find it easy to give your motivation a boost with successes in your daily, weekly or long term activities. The test for you will come with the set backs. Try to be alert at all times of setback. By recognising your motivation is likely to slip at such a time, you can magnify your effort and attention. Turn the setback into something positive. That way you remain in control of your motivation, shielding it from all the negative debris trying to damage it.

Source: http://www.routes-to-self-improvement.com

I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email (guide.rehab@gmail.com) to discuss your situation.

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Increase Motivation

Posted by Sun on August 18, 2011

If you want to make things happen the ability to motivate yourself and others is a crucial skill. At work, home, and everywhere in between, people use motivation to get results. Motivation requires a delicate balance of communication, structure, and incentives. These 21 tactics will help you maximize motivation in yourself and others.

Motivation

1. Consequences – Never use threats. They’ll turn people against you. But making people aware of the negative consequences of not getting results (for everyone involved) can have a big impact. This one is also big for self motivation. If you don’t get your act together, will you ever get what you want?

2. Pleasure – This is the old carrot on a stick technique. Providing pleasurable rewards creates eager and productive people.

3. Performance incentives – Appeal to people’s selfish nature. Give them the opportunity to earn more for themselves by earning more for you.

4. Detailed instructions – If you want a specific result, give specific instructions. People work better when they know exactly what’s expected.


5. Short and long term goals
 – Use both short and long term goals to guide the action process and create an overall philosophy.

6. Kindness – Get people on your side and they’ll want to help you. Piss them off and they’ll do everything they can to screw you over.

7. Deadlines – Many people are most productive right before a big deadline. They also have a hard time focusing until that deadline is looming overhead. Use this to your advantage by setting up a series of mini-deadlines building up to an end result.

8. Team Spirit
 – Create an environment of camaraderie. People work more effectively when they feel like part of team — they don’t want to let others down.

10. Recognize achievement – Make a point to recognize achievements one-on-one and also in group settings. People like to see that their work isn’t being ignored.

11. Personal stake – Think about the personal stake of others. What do they need? By understanding this you’ll be able to keep people happy and productive.

12. Concentrate on outcomes – No one likes to work with someone standing over their shoulder. Focus on outcomes — make it clear what you want and cut people loose to get it done on their own.

13. Trust and Respect – Give people the trust and respect they deserve and they’ll respond to requests much more favorably.

14. Create challenges – People are happy when they’re progressing towards a goal. Give them the opportunity to face new and difficult problems and they’ll be more enthusiastic.

15. Let people be creative – Don’t expect everyone to do things your way. Allowing people to be creative creates a more optimistic environment and can lead to awesome new ideas.

16. Constructive criticism
 – Often people don’t realize what they’re doing wrong. Let them know. Most people want to improve and will make an effort once they know how to do it.

17. Demand improvement – Don’t let people stagnate. Each time someone advances raise the bar a little higher (especially for yourself).

18. Make it fun – Work is most enjoyable when it doesn’t feel like work at all. Let people have fun and the positive environment will lead to better results.

19. Create opportunities – Give people the opportunity to advance. Let them know that hard work will pay off.

20. Communication
 – Keep the communication channels open. By being aware of potential problems you can fix them before a serious dispute arises.

21. Make it stimulating – Mix it up. Don’t ask people to do the same boring tasks all the time. A stimulating environment creates enthusiasm and the opportunity for “big picture” thinking.

Master these key points and you’ll increase motivation with a bit of hard work.

Source: http://www.pickthebrain.com

I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email (guide.rehab@gmail.com) to discuss your situation.

Related Articles

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Top 20 Motivation Hacks

Motivation Management Is the Key of Change

7 Ways to Increase Your Motivation to Exercise

Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump

Create Motivation

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More Years to Life and Life to Years Through Increased Motivation for an Active Life

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Posted in CBT and Hypnotherapy | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump

Posted by Sun on August 18, 2011

Post written by Leo Babauta

Even the most motivated of us — you, me, Tony Robbins — can feel unmotivated at times. In fact, sometimes we get into such a slump that even thinking about making positive changes seems too difficult.

But it’s not hopeless: with some small steps, baby ones in fact, you can get started down the road to positive change.

Yes, I know, it seems impossible at times. You don’t feel like doing anything. I’ve been there, and in fact I still feel that way from time to time. You’re not alone. But I’ve learned a few ways to break out of a slump, and we’ll take a look at those today.

This post was inspired by reader Roy C. Carlson, who asked:

“I was wondering if you could do a piece on why it can be hard for someone to change direction and start taking control of their life. I have to say I’m in this boat and advice on getting out of my slump would be great.”

Roy is just one of many with a slump like that. Again, I feel that way sometimes myself, and in fact sometimes I struggle to motivate myself to exercise — and I’ll use that as an example of how to break out of the slump.

When I fall out of exercise, due to illness or injury or disruption from things going on in my life, it’s hard to get started again. I don’t even feel like thinking about it, sometimes. But I’ve always found a way to break out of that slump, and here are some things I’ve learned that have helped:

  1. One Goal. Whenever I’ve been in a slump, I’ve discovered that it’s often because I have too much going on in my life. I’m trying to do too much. And it saps my energy and motivation. It’s probably the most common mistake that people make: they try to take on too much, try to accomplish too many goals at once. You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It’s not possible — I’ve tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely. I know, that’s hard. Still, I speak from experience. You can always do your other goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal.
  2. Find inspiration. Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books, magazines. I Google my goal, and read success stories. Zen Habits is just one place for inspiration, not only from me but from many readers who have achieved amazing things.
  3. Get excited. This sounds obvious, but most people don’t think about it much: if you want to break out of a slump, get yourself excited about a goal. But how can you do that when you don’t feel motivated? Well, it starts with inspiration from others (see above), but you have to take that excitement and build on it. For me, I’ve learned that by talking to my wife about it, and to others, and reading as much about it as possible, and visualizing what it would be like to be successful (seeing the benefits of the goal in my head), I get excited about a goal. Once I’ve done that, it’s just a matter of carrying that energy forward and keeping it going.
  4. Build anticipation. This will sound hard, and many people will skip this tip. But it really works. It helped me quit smoking after many failed attempts. If you find inspiration and want to do a goal, don’t start right away. Many of us will get excited and want to start today. That’s a mistake. Set a date in the future — a week or two, or even a month — and make that your Start Date. Mark it on the calendar. Get excited about that date. Make it the most important date in your life. In the meantime, start writing out a plan. And do some of the steps below. Because by delaying your start, you are building anticipation, and increasing your focus and energy for your goal.
  5. Post your goal. Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (“Exercise 15 mins. Daily”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going. A picture of your goal (like a model with sexy abs, for example) also helps.
  6. Commit publicly. None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we’ve said publicly. For example, when I wanted to run my first marathon, I started writing a column about it in my local daily newspaper. The entire island of Guam (pop. 160K) knew about my goal. I couldn’t back down, and even though my motivation came and went, I stuck with it and completed it. Now, you don’t have to commit to your goal in your daily newspaper, but you can do it with friends and family and co-workers, and you can do it on your blog if you have one. And hold yourself accountable — don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.
  7. Think about it daily. If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true. To this end, posting the goal on your wall or computer desktop (as mentioned above) helps a lot. Sending yourself daily reminders also helps. And if you can commit to doing one small thing to further your goal (even just 5 minutes) every single day, your goal will almost certainly come true.
  8. Get support. It’s hard to accomplish something alone. When I decided to run my marathon, I had the help of friends and family, and I had a great running community on Guam who encouraged me at 5K races and did long runs with me. When I decided to quit smoking, I joined an online forum and that helped tremendously. And of course, my wife Eva helped every step of the way. I couldn’t have done these goals without her, or without the others who supported me. Find your support network, either in the real world or online, or both.
  9. Realize that there’s an ebb and flow. Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But realize that while it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick it out and wait for that motivation to come back. In the meantime, read about your goal (see below), ask for help (see below), and do some of the other things listed here until your motivation comes back.
  10. Stick with it. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Even if you aren’t feeling any motivation today, or this week, don’t give up. Again, that motivation will come back. Think of your goal as a long journey, and your slump is just a little bump in the road. You can’t give up with every little bump. Stay with it for the long term, ride out the ebbs and surf on the flows, and you’ll get there.
  11. Start small. Really small. If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It’s so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some crunches, 2 pushups, and some jogging in place. Once you’ve done 2 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 5, and stick with that for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 15-20. Want to wake up early? Don’t think about waking at 5 a.m. Instead, think about waking 10 minutes earlier for a week. That’s all. Once you’ve done that, wake 10 minutes earlier than that. Baby steps.
  12. Build on small successes. Again, if you start small for a week, you’re going to be successful. You can’t fail if you start with something ridiculously easy. Who can’t exercise for 2 minutes? (If that’s you, I apologize.) And you’ll feel successful, and good about yourself. Take that successful feeling and build on it, with another baby step. Add 2-3 minutes to your exercise routine, for example. With each step (and each step should last about a week), you will feel even more successful. Make each step really, really small, and you won’t fail. After a couple of months, your tiny steps will add up to a lot of progress and a lot of success.
  13. Read about it daily. When I lose motivation, I just read a book or blog about my goal. It inspires me and reinvigorates me. For some reason, reading helps motivate and focus you on whatever you’re reading about. So read about your goal every day, if you can, especially when you’re not feeling motivated.
  14. Call for help when your motivation ebbs. Having trouble? Ask for help. Email me. Join an online forum. Get a partner to join you. Call your mom. It doesn’t matter who, just tell them your problems, and talking about it will help. Ask them for advice. Ask them to help you overcome your slump. It works.
  15. Think about the benefits, not the difficulties. One common problem is that we think about how hard something is. Exercise sounds so hard! Just thinking about it makes you tired. But instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. For example, instead of thinking about how tiring exercise can be, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how you’ll be healthier and slimmer over the long run. The benefits of something will help energize you.
  16. Squash negative thoughts; replace them with positive ones. Along those lines, it’s important to start monitoring your thoughts. Recognize negative self-talk, which is really what’s causing your slump. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought. Squash, “This is too hard!” and replace it with, “I can do this! If that wimp Leo can do it, so can I!” It sounds corny, but it works. Really.

Posted in CBT and Hypnotherapy | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Top 20 Motivation Hacks

Posted by Sun on August 4, 2011

For the last two weeks I’ve been posting the Top 20 Motivation Hacks, one by one. These are the tips and tricks that, if used in combination, are a nearly sure way to achieve your goals.

Achieving goals is not a matter of having “discipline”. It’s a matter of motivating yourself, and keeping your focus on your goal. Follow these hacks, or any combination of them that works for you, and you should have the motivation and focus you need.

Here they are, in reverse order:

#20: Chart Your Progress. Recently I posted about how I created a chart to track my progress with each of my goals. This chart is not just for information purposes, for me to look back and see how I’m doing. It’s to motivate me to keep up with my goals. If I’m diligent about checking my chart every day, and marking dots or “x”s, then I will want to make sure I fill it with dots. I will think to myself, “I better do this today if I want to mark a dot.” Well, that’s a small motivation, but it helps, trust me. Some people prefer to use gold stars. Others have a training log, which works just as well. Or try Joe’s Goals. However you do it, track your progress, and allow yourself a bit of pride each time you give yourself a good mark.

Now, you will have some bad marks on your chart. That’s OK. Don’t let a few bad marks stop you from continuing. Strive instead to get the good marks next time.

#19: Hold Yourself Back. When I start with a new exercise program, or any new goal really, I am rarin’ to go. I am full of excitement, and my enthusiasm knows no boundaries. Nor does my sense of self-limitation. I think I can do anything. It’s not long before I learn that I do have limitations, and my enthusiasm begins to wane.

Well, a great motivator that I’ve learned is that when you have so much energy at the beginning of a program, and want to go all out — HOLD BACK. Don’t let yourself do everything you want to do. Only let yourself do 50-75 percent of what you want to do. And plan out a course of action where you slowly increase over time. For example, if I want to go running, I might think I can run 3 miles at first. But instead of letting myself do that, I start by only running a mile. When I’m doing that mile, I’ll be telling myself that I can do more! But I don’t let myself. After that workout, I’ll be looking forward to the next workout, when I’ll let myself do 1.5 miles. I keep that energy reined in, harness it, so that I can ride it even further.

#18: Join an online (or off-line) group to help keep you focused and motivated. When I started to run, more than a year ago, I joined a few different forums, at different times, on different sites, such as Men’s Health (the Belly-Off Runner’s Club), Runner’s World, Cool Running, and the running group at About.com. I did the same when I was quitting smoking.

Each time I joined a forum, it helped keep me on track. Not only did I meet a bunch of other people who were either going through what I was going through or who had already been through it, I would report my progress (and failures) as I went along. They were there for great advice, for moral support, to help keep me going when I wanted to stop.

#17: Post a picture of your goal someplace visible — near your desk or on your refrigerator, for example. Visualizing your goal, exactly how you think it will be when you’ve achieved it, whether it’s financial goals like traveling to Rome or building a dream house, or physical goals like finishing a marathon or getting a flat stomach, is a great motivator and one of the best ways of actualizing your goals.

Find a magazine photo or a picture online and post it somewhere where you can see it not only daily, but hourly if possible. Put it as your desktop photo, or your home page. Use the power of your visual sense to keep you focused on your goal. Because that focus is what will keep you motivated over the long term — once you lose focus, you lose motivation, so having something to keep bringing your focus back to your goal will help keep that motivation.

#16: Get a workout partner or goal buddy. Staying motivated on your own is tough. But if you find someone with similar goals (running, dieting, finances, etc.), see if they’d like to partner with you. Or partner with your spouse, sibling or best friend on whatever goals they’re trying to achieve. You don’t have to be going after the same goals — as long as you are both pushing and encouraging each other to succeed.

#15: Just get started. There are some days when you don’t feel like heading out the door for a run, or figuring out your budget, or whatever it is you’re supposed to do that day for your goal. Well, instead of thinking about how hard it is, and how long it will take, tell yourself that you just have to start.

I have a rule (not an original one) that I just have to put on my running shoes and close the door behind me. After that, it all flows naturally. It’s when you’re sitting in your house, thinking about running and feeling tired, that it seems hard. Once you start, it is never as hard as you thought it would be. This tip works for me every time.

#14: Make it a pleasure. One reason we might put off something that will help us achieve our goal, such as exercise for example, is because it seems like hard work. Well, this might be true, but the key is to find a way to make it fun or pleasurable. If your goal activity becomes a treat, you actually look forward to it. And that’s a good thing.

#13: Give it time, be patient. I know, this is easier said than done. But the problem with many of us is that we expect quick results. When you think about your goals, think long term. If you want to lose weight, you may see some quick initial losses, but it will take a long time to lose the rest. If you want to run a marathon, you won’t be able to do it overnight. If you don’t see the results you want soon, don’t give up … give it time. In the meantime, be happy with your progress so far, and with your ability to stick with your goals. The results will come if you give it time.

#12: Break it into smaller, mini goals. Sometimes large or longer-term goals can be overwhelming. After a couple weeks, we may lose motivation, because we still have several months or a year or more left to accomplish the goal. It’s hard to maintain motivation for a single goal for such a long time. Solution: have smaller goals along the way.

#11: Reward yourself. Often. And not just for longer-term goals, either. InHack #12, I talked about breaking larger goals into smaller, mini goals. Well, each of those mini goals should have a reward attached to it. Make a list of your goals, with mini goals, and next to each, write down an appropriate reward. By appropriate, I mean 1) it’s proportionate to the size of the goal (don’t reward going on a 1-mile run with a luxury cruise in the Bahamas); and 2) it doesn’t ruin your goal — if you are trying to lose weight, don’t reward a day of healthy eating with a dessert binge. It’s self-defeating.

#10: Find inspiration, on a daily basisInspiration is one of the best motivators, and it can be found everywhere. Every day, seek inspiration, and it will help sustain motivation over the long term. Sources of inspiration can include: blogs, online success stories, forums, friends and family, magazines, books, quotes, music, photos, people you meet.

#9: Get a coach or take a classThese will motivate you to at least show up, and to take action. It can be applied to any goal. This might be one of the more expensive ways of motivating yourself, but it works. And if you do some research, you might find some cheap classes in your area, or you might know a friend who will provide coaching or counseling for free.

#8: Have powerful reasons. Write them downKnow your reasons. Give them some thought … and write them down. If you have loved ones, and you are doing it for them, that is more powerful than just doing it for self-interest. Doing it for yourself is good too, but you should do it for something that you REALLY REALLY want to happen, for really good reasons.

#7: Become aware of your urges to quit, and be prepared for them. We all have urges to stop, but they are mostly unconscious. One of the most powerful things you can do is to start being more conscious of those urges. A good exercise is to go through the day with a little piece of paper and put a tally mark for each time you get an urge. It simply makes you aware of the urges. Then have a plan for when those urges hit, and plan for it beforehand, and write down your plan, because once those urges hit, you will not feel like coming up with a plan.

#6: Make it a rule never to skip two days in a row.This rule takes into account our natural tendency to miss days now and then. We are not perfect. So, you missed one day … now the second day is upon you and you are feeling lazy … tell yourself NO! You will not miss two days in a row! Zen Habits says so! And just get started. You’ll thank yourself later.

#5: Visualize your goal clearly, on a daily basis, for at least 5-10 minutes. Visualize your successful outcome in great detail. Close your eyes, and think about exactly how your successful outcome will look, will feel, will smell and taste and sound like. Where are you when you become successful? How do you look? What are you wearing? Form as clear a mental picture as possible. Now here’s the next key: do it every day. For at least a few minutes each day. This is the only way to keep that motivation going over a long period of time.

#4: Keep a daily journal of your goal. If you are consistent about keeping a journal, it can be a great motivator. A journal should have not only what you did for the day, but your thoughts about how it went, how you felt, what mistakes you made, what you could do to improve. To be consistent about keeping a journal, do it right after you do your goal task each day. Make keeping a journal a sensory pleasure.

#3: Create a friendly, mutually-supportive competition.We are all competitive in nature, at least a little. Some more than others. Take advantage of this part of our human nature by using it to fuel your goals. If you have a workout partner or goal buddy, you’ve got all you need for a friendly competition. See who can log more miles, or save more dollars, each week or month. See who can do more pushups or pullups. See who can lose the most weight or have the best abs or lose the most inches on their waist. Make sure the goals are weighted so that the competition is fairly equal. And mutually support each other in your goals.

#2: Make a big public commitment. Be fully committed. This will do the trick every time. Create a blog and announce to the world that you are going to achieve a certain goal by a certain date. Commit yourself to the hilt.

#1: Always think positive. Squash all negative thoughts. Monitor your thoughts. Be aware of your self-talk. We all talk to ourselves, a lot, but we are not always aware of these thoughts. Start listening. If you hear negative thoughts, stop them, push them out, and replace them with positive thoughts. Positive thinking can be amazingly powerful.

Source: http://zenhabits.net/top-20-motivation-hacks-overview/

I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email (guide.rehab@gmail.com) to discuss your situation.

Related Articles

Self motivation: How to Motivate Yourself

Motivation Management Is the Key of Change

Increase Motivation

7 Ways to Increase Your Motivation to Exercise

Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump

Create Motivation

33 Ways To Get And Maintain Motivation

More Years to Life and Life to Years Through Increased Motivation for an Active Life

Motivation to Change, Confidence to Resist Temptation, Should Tailor Alcohol-Dependence Treatment

What’s Motivation Got to Do With Weight Loss?

Motivation – Harnessing Daily Motivation to Achieve Success

Why Diets Fail

Posted in CBT and Hypnotherapy | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Self motivation: How to Motivate Yourself

Posted by Sun on August 2, 2011

If you want to excel in life, self motivation is essential. You must know how to motivate yourself. You must be able to keep your spirit high no matter how discouraging a situation is. That’s the only way to get the power you need to overcome difficulties. Those who are discouraged in difficult times are certain to lose even before the battle is over.

The question is: how do you motivate yourself? Here are several tips I’ve found to be effective to build self motivation:

1. Have a cause

I can’t think of a more powerful source of motivation than a cause you care about. Such cause can inspire you to give your best even in the face of difficulties. It can make you do the seemingly impossible things.

While other causes could inspire you temporarily, a cause that matters to you can inspire you indefinitely. It’s a spring of motivation that will never dry. Whenever you think that you run out of motivation,  you can always come to your cause to get a fresh dose of motivation.

2. Have a dream. A big dream.

Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.
Karen Ravn

Your cause is a powerful source of motivation but it’s still abstract in nature. You need to make it concrete in the form of a dream. Imagine how the world will be in the future. Imagine how people will live and work.

Having a dream is important because it’s difficult to be motivated if you don’t have anything to shoot for. Just think about people who play basketball. Will they be motivated to play if there is no basket to aim at? I don’t think so. They need a goal. You need a goal. That’s what your dream is for.

But just having a dream is insufficient. Your dream must be big enough to inspire you. It must be realistic but challenging. It must stretch your ability beyond your comfort zone.

3. Be hungry

Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.
Les Brown

To be truly motivated, you need to have hunger and not just desire. Having mere desire won’t take you through difficult times since you don’t want things badly enough. In many cases, hunger makes the difference between the best performers and the mediocre ones.

How can you have hunger? Your cause and your dream play a big role here. If you have a cause you care about and a big dream related to it, you should have the hunger inside of you. If you think that you are losing hunger, all you need to do is to connect again to your cause and dream. Let them inspire you and bring the hunger back.

4. Run your own race

I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.
Mikhail Baryshnikov

Comparing yourself with others is an effective way to demotivate yourself. Even if you start with enthusiasm, you will soon lose your energy when you compare yourself with others.

Don’t let that happen to you. You have your own race so how other people perform is irrelevant. Comparing yourself with others is like comparing the performance of a swimmer with a runner using the same time standard. They are different so how can you compare one with the other?

The only competitor you have is yourself. The only one you need to beat is you. Have you become the best you can be?

5. Take one more step

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
Winston Churchill

When you meet obstacles along the way, there could be the tendency to quit. You may think that it’s too difficult to move on. You may think that your dream is impossible to achieve. But this is where you can see the difference between winners and losers. Though both of them face the same difficulties, there is one thing that makes the winners different: the courage to continue.

In difficult situations, just focus on taking one more step forward. Don’t think about how to complete the race. Don’t think about how many more obstacles are waiting for you. Just focus on taking thenext step.

6. Let go of the past

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Believe it or not, one of the best demotivators is your past. Your past can drag you down before you realize it. Your past can give you a heavy burden on your shoulders.

The good news is it’s a burden you don’t have to carry. Take it off your shoulder and leave it. You might make mistakes in the past. You might disappoint others with what you did. But it’s over. It’s already in the past and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Today is a new day and you have the chance to start again. No matter how bad your past might be, you still have a bright future ahead waiting for you. Just don’t let the burden of the past stop you.

Source: http://www.lifeoptimizer.org

I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email (guide.rehab@gmail.com) to discuss your situation.

Related Articles

Motivation Management Is the Key of Change

Top 20 Motivation Hacks

Increase Motivation

7 Ways to Increase Your Motivation to Exercise

Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump

Create Motivation

33 Ways To Get And Maintain Motivation

More Years to Life and Life to Years Through Increased Motivation for an Active Life

Motivation to Change, Confidence to Resist Temptation, Should Tailor Alcohol-Dependence Treatment

What’s Motivation Got to Do With Weight Loss?

Motivation – Harnessing Daily Motivation to Achieve Success

Why Diets Fail

Posted in CBT and Hypnotherapy | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Motivation Management Is the Key of Change

Posted by Sun on July 11, 2011

During my career, I have learned that motivation is the most important factor of change.

I have seen people who have overcome their addictive behavior only with the high motivation. In addition, I have many people who continue their addictive behaviors despite the fact that they enjoy the various opportunities, such as professional consultants, hospitalizations, participation in meetings of famous recovery groups, and support by good families, friends, and community.

Their motivation is low for giving up their addiction, and their motivation for doing addictive behavior is high. Motivation determines whether one overcomes addictive behaviors or continues them. Therefore, motivation management is the key to change. This is because habit change requires not only an increase in motivation to quit addictive behavior, but a decrease in motivation to continue the addictive behavior.

I think the motivation management includes two basic principles:

1. Ability to raise and lower motivation.

2. Ability to increase motivation while changing.

Ability to raise and lower motivation Source of the motivation, is the need. When a need is activated, it creates a motivation for extinguishing itself.

Needs are activated by attention, too. The more people pay attention to stress and anxiety and how to get rid of them, and pay attention to the enjoyment drug use produces, the more they feel are motivated for using. In contrast, whenever people pay attention to the costs and risks of long-term addiction, the motivation of quitting drugs or addictive behaviors will increase.

“Selective attention” is a simple act and strong technique that it is used during the thousands years by religions and ideologies for motivating their followers. Today, SMART Recovery benefits from this method and uses the Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) for enhancing motivation to change.

The CBA has four categories of questions:

1. What do I enjoy about my addiction? What does it do for me (be specific)?

2. What do I hate about my addiction? What bad things does it do to me and to others (give specific examples)?

3. What do I think I will like about giving up my addiction?

4. What do I think I will not like about giving up my addiction?

Answering these questions develops awareness and increases the motivation for quitting. The more people do this exercise, the more they will tend to enhance motivation for quitting.

Ability To Increase Motivation While Changing

Overcoming addictive behavior is a process, not an event. Many people know how painful it can be to tread the path toward change. They want to change their addictive behavior immediately, with no discomfort and no urges, without changing their beliefs and values. Such people are like those who enjoy having reached a mountaintop, but hate mountain climbing; or like soccer players who get pleasure only from winning, not from playing.

They start with the high motivation, but they lose their motivation gradually and the most of them do not reach to their goal. Few people that reach to the end of the path. They go through the entire path with anger and complaints. In contrast, those who enjoy the way their motivation increase quickly. And reach the goal with joy and lightly. Rumi believes that loving the path not only increases the motivation for us, but also carries us to the goal. He has beautifully expressed this fact in the story of a thirsty person.

On the bank of the stream there was a high wall,
painful thirsty person was on the top of the wall.

His obstacle for reaching the water was the wall;
He was in distress for the water, like a fish.

Suddenly he threw a brick into the water:
the sound of the water came to his ear like spoken words.

The water was making a sound, that is to say, (it was crying), “Hey,
what is the advantage to you of this throwing a brick at me?”

The thirsty person said, “O water, I have two advantages:
I will never give up from this work.

The first advantage is (my) hearing the sound of the water,
which to thirsty people is music to their ears.

The other advantage is that, (with) every brick I tear off this (wall),
I come (nearer) to running water.

Anyone is more thirsty on the top of the wall,
He will tear off the bricks more quickly.

Anyone is more love with the sound of the water,
He will tear off the bigger brick from the barrier.

I think the main task of people who want to overcome addictive behavior is learning motivation management. Recovery groups, psychologists, physicians, and other people and organizations involved with addiction treatment would do well to establish an environment for helping clients/patients learn this skill.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask
Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Motivation-Management-Is-the-Key-of-Change&id=5518965

I am medical doctor and hypnotherapist with more than 17 years experience. Feel free to send me email (guide.rehab@gmail.com) to discuss your situation.

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