I love it when I read a quote and it really clicks with me (or when it makes something really clear that I should have been aware of already).
Similar to last week, I’ve been finding a theme in my work over the past few days. Being a wellness coach is an interesting job because there are two separate but related main tasks. First, I am a resource for information and planning, and second, I’m a facilitator of motivation (or I try to be). These two tasks are so different from each other, and they both have their challenges…but cultivation of motivation is often more complicated.
Motivation really is an interesting concept. I studied motivation and lifestyle choices for my dissertation research—and between my work with that and my work as a wellness coach, I’ve learned that although I can help someone travel through the process of readiness for change—I certainly can’t make it happen for the person. (Sometimes this can be really frustrating—but I’ve learned to keep it in perspective). I like this aspect of the process, even though it feels challenging, because it puts the responsibility where it should be—it’s just like the “lead a horse to water” concept.
I can’t make a horse drink the water (or a person change her habits), no matter how much I care about her and want her to be healthy.
I often tell my clients that I will always be the first to agree with them that establishing a new lifestyle habit is difficult. It’s hard work. There are sacrifices involved, and barriers to work around. At the end of the day, our bodies and our health don’t care whether we tried hard, or if it was easy to make good choices—what really matters is what choices we made and how we felt when we made them.
My Mom sent me a quote today that captured this concept amazingly well. I wanted to find where the quote came from, and I think I’ve concluded that it’s two different quotes (the first one from an unknown source)—but they go perfectly together!
Motivation is of great interest to me, and I am constantly working on ways to word questions and thoughts differently to clients (and myself) to try and move along the path from thinking about change to actually making the change happen (and then establishing it as a lifestyle).
How do you get and stay motivated?
Right now I’m trying to get motivated to finish my work and go to bed! Today was a great day—it’s always a good day when I spend it talking to clients. Not that everyone is happy or healthy or making progress all the time. But I figure if they’re talking to me about it, it’s a step in the right direction. Today seemed to be particularly positive though. Lots of good blood pressure readings and even a few weight goals reached!
I’ll be pretty focused on work for the rest of the week, but I’m also going to visit my grandparents and hopefully Matthew too. Really—what would all the work be for if I wasn’t doing the really meaningful important things too?