Even if we have the skill-set and resources to meet and maintain goals, we can still become unmotivated and have a hard time adhering to an exercise and diet regimen.
According to Ingledew & Markland, there is a general model of motivation towards exercise participation. It suggests that our personality influences our motivations for exercising, which in turn, affects our behavior, and then, impacts our level of exercise participation. However, exercise participation can also be directly impacted by our personality traits (2008). This basically means that if the client is not motivated in creating and maintaining a major lifestyle change, it’s going to impact the behavior and level of exercise participation. The lack of motivation could be due to several reasons: pure laziness, ambivalence about goals, complications from mood disorders and medical conditions, and/or being overwhelmed by life’s many stressors.
Even though a relapse in exercise and diet habits may simply be due to pure laziness, it can also be an outward manifestation of other issues such as stress, exhaustion, mood disorders, and physical ailments. This means that it is crucial to stay aware of the client's life and general thought process to pinpoint where the “laziness” or lack of motivation is coming from. Does the individual just not want to put the effort in or is there a more serious issue? When the answer is reached, take appropriate action.
What Can You Do?
- What do you really want? What steps are you willing to take in order to get it?
- Write a list of 3-5 pros and cons on whether or not it’s important to you to continue with the program.
Rank and prioritize the 6-10 reasons according to what you value. If the pros do not outweigh the cons, what reasonable and small adjustments could you make in your life that may help you get back on track?