We all know what we want: to be physically and emotionally healthy. The difficult thing is, even knowing how to develop healthy habits, get on with it. We all have a hard time getting off the couch and exercising, eating lettuce instead of donut, or going to bed early when there is something interesting to read or watch on television. What is surprising is, given the importance of motivation, how little time science has devoted to it.
They say that motivation is a term invented in Victorian times to force us to fight not to be carried away by the pleasures of life. They say there is no "motivational muscle" that we can exercise to learn a language, run every day, or take out the trash. In fact, we are all motivated for some of these things and not for others. Motivation, from what little we know, has more to do with desire, with establishing routines that, based on repetition, stop requiring discipline and become habits that help us achieve what we want. It is about facilitating neural connections that do not necessarily produce the immediate pleasure that certain neurotransmitters provide. Hence the twenty-something days struggling to repeat a behavior until it no longer requires effort and discipline and becomes a habit. Motivation is a neural energy dance with a specific tuning that makes us achieve what we want, even if it involves an effort.
How then can we manage to make changes in our exercise, sleep and nutrition that help us overcome laziness and achieve better well-being? From the little we can know about science, we must find that area that motivates each of us and we must use it to make changes in our lives. We explain ourselves. Science talks about 16 motivations: Power, to influence, Independence , ensure individuality, Curiosity, to learn, Organization, orderly environment, care, Save money, save, Honor, be loyal to our values, Idealism, seek social justice, Acceptancefeel approved Social contact, to have friends, Family, have and take care of children, Social status, stand out socially, Revengeget payback Eat, feed, Physical activity, exercise, Tranquilityfeel safe and Romance, sexual activity. The job is to find how to associate those desires or motivations with what we want to do to be healthier.
For example, if you want to exercise and your need is social, go jogging with friends or play team sports; If you want to take care of what you eat and your need is curiosity, invest time in finding out healthy recipes and practice at home, to see how it tastes; If you want to sleep better and your motivation is tranquility, look for that moment to get away from everything and take a nap on weekends; If you want to exercise and your need is power, compete and prove that you can win; If you are an idealist, how can you exercise more or eat better? Organize races for an ideal, whales, or help an NGO.
What is your need and how can you make it work to find your motivation?