Dynamic Choices » Family Wellness

Motivation to Change

Change is a complex topic and our ability and willingness to change varies with the issue. While it may seem easy for one person to make a significant life change, others may find it almost impossible.  While we might find it easy to add exercise to our day, we find it challenging to break up with that over controlling boyfriend.  What is the difference?  How can we get past whatever obstacles are in our way to make changes that will improve our quality of life?

Change is highly connected to our motivation. If we can see a major benefit for us on the other side of the change, we are far more likely to take on the challenge.  If we are told we will die in a year if we don’t change our lifestyle, most of us will do what it takes!  Most of us, actually, know what we “should” do in order to be healthier and have a better quality of life.  We know eating more vegetables would be healthier and drinking less beer would help us feel better too.  Why then don’t we do it? This topic is particularly relevant to people facing the challenge of chronic illness (add link), autoimmune disease (add link), or chronic food sensitivity (add link) symptoms. When you don’t feel well, it is even more difficult to find the motivation it takes to help yourself. It is often much easier to tolerate where you are than to find the courage and motivation to do what it takes to feel better.

I have always been fascinated by the topic of motivation and change. I spend well over half of my time with clients exploring what motivates them and how I can help them to expand their motivation for changes they are having difficulty following through on.  My training as a coach has been a very significant part of my success in the work I do.  I could give my clients all kinds of information and lists of things they “should” do in order to be feel better but that would do very little to help them change.  It is by getting to know them as individuals that I am able to truly support them to successfully embrace the changes that will address their chronic symptoms.

As I expand my vision to help more people manage their diet, their lifestyle, and their priorities, I wanted to ensure that the new assessment tools that I created helped people ask themselves the questions that I always ask my clients. The “Evans Food Sensitivities Assessment Tool” (add link) (EFSAT) helps people identify the underlying cause of their chronic symptoms but it goes one step further – it helps them look at their own motivation and consider what obstacles might make their changes more difficult. What matters to them – really?  Where will they stumble as they try to change?  What will be the huge payoff for them when they change and feel better?  What type of support do they have and what do they need?  Even in the workshops I offer, I encourage the group the take some time to address their own motivation to change by asking themselves a few important questions.  For more information on motivation and change, please refer to chapter 5 in my book “Could It Really Be Something They Ate? The Life Changing Impact of Addressing Food Sensitivities in Children” 

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