Over many years in corporate management I learned that people are self motivated…or not. I don’t believe that a person can motivate another since the decision to do something must come from inside.
With diabetes care, we are responsible for taking recommended actions like exercise, testing, proper eating and taking medications. Consequently, when we’re not feeling motivated trouble can begin. It’s a real dilemma when we find ourselves unmotivated.
Let’s understand that motivation is a concept, a mental construct that has no real substance. Motivation is a mindset, an attitude. Motivation must be initiated and created by an act of will. Success comes when the process begins with a positive attitude.
Habits play an important role in motivation. Habits are thoughts or actions that have been so repetitive that they become unconscious. I’ve arrived at destinations without conscious awareness of details of the driving experience. Did my brain operate by ingrained habits? The answer is yes and we can establish effective habits for diabetes management the same way.
The process begins with a definite choice and intention to follow through. To be motivating, goals must be reasonably attainable. For example, years ago I set a goal of walking 70,000 steps per week. Over time, achieving this goal motivated me to keep doing it. Actually, I started with a goal of 10,000 steps per day, but found that too difficult due to many variables like my schedule and the weather. In general, small steps are better at the beginning since achieving the goal is what’s important.
Over time, as good habits develop and we become self-motivated, we recognize that we’ve created a success cycle. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, positive self-talk is one key factor in effective self-motivation. Mindful motivation begins and ends with attitude, because attitude determines everything.