Motivation and the Process of Change: Step 2

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judith_client_2016I am sure many of you are busy working with potential new clients, current clients working on new goals and past clients that have decided to start working with you again. It IS a busy time of year and a great time to learn to help your clients dig deep to find true and lasting motivation and understand how to help them navigate successful change in their lives.

Last week I covered Step 1 in this process: Are Your Clients Ready?

Now we move on to…..

Step 2.  Getting Your Clients Internally Motivated

If your clients want to change something, they have got to change something! 

Makes sense, doesn’t it? But change is difficult. Most people attempt major changes in their life without setting up a framework for success. How can your clients get anywhere without a map or a game plan?

Helping your clients find the motivation and inspiration to adhere to the changes in their lives day-in, day-out, is challenging. Many people have very good intentions and start an exercise or healthy nutrition program, but within a few months 70 percent of them have dropped out. They could not find a reason to keep going.

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Much of being motivated boils down to your clients wanting to achieve their goals bad enough.

In order to get attached to a goal it is important that they associate some level of pain or discomfort with the situation or fitness level they’re at now….

  1. Being “sick and tired of being sick and tired”
  2. Associating pleasure with the situation they will be in once they achieve their goal

If you can help your clients develop these pain and pleasure sensations, you will help them pinpoint their internal, personal motivation for exercise and healthy eating and they’ll find it much easier to stick with the program.

Try to get your clients to connect to the real reasons they want to achieve their goals….ask a lot of guided questions. They must be so committed to their goals that they’ll stick to them no matter what. If not, have them go back and think more carefully.

Maybe, you will have to inflict self-imposed pain to their present situation. For example, in Anthony Robin’s book, Awaken the Giant Within, two friends were sick and tired of starting an exercise program or diet and never actually succeeding.  So they made a public bet that if they wavered from their program they would each have to eat a can of dog-food.  So whenever they were tempted to skip their workout or not follow their nutrition plan, they would go and read the ingredient’s label listing Horse chunks etc and the urges would quickly disappear. So, you may have to help your clients come up with a painful consequence to them not following their program.

In contrast, also try to help them associate extreme pleasure with sticking to them plan and achieving their goals. 

For example:

  • They may reward themselves with a $500 shopping spree
  • A romantic dinner out with their spouse
  • A weeklong trip to a spa or a well-deserved day off or holiday

Make sure your clients have come up with enough pain and pleasurable sensations so there will be no doubt that they will stick to the plan!

The motivation and inspiration to stick to the program is within your client.  You have just got to help them find the right reason – the reason that will make them so emotionally charged that they will take action, make the changes and stick to them regularly.

Have your clients refer to their pain and pleasure lists regularly to help remind them why they have chosen to become healthier and fitter.

Yours in health, fitness & business,
Sherri McMillan

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