Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Six Techniques to Self-Motivate: Psychology Today

A Psychology Today article discusses 6 useful self-motivating techniques to help in a patients quest to adhere to therapy.

1. Link difficult tasks to positive outcomes. Give yourself a treat when you do something right.

2. Pay yourself. Give a friend $1,000. Every day you eat healthfully (or exercise, or take your medicine), you get $50 back. For every day you miss your target, your friend donates your $50 to your least-favorite political party.

3. Create if-then plans. Making an if-then plan -- if I get off work, then I'll go straight to the gym -- makes behavior automatic, so there's less chance you'll slip.

4. Compete. Setting up a contest with a friend, such as agreeing that whoever loses more weight has to pay the other, can add competitive fuel to your motivational fire.

5. Watch your stress level. Will-power is a limited resource, so be extra vigilant during stressful times, when it may be depleted. Use external monitoring. Keep a written record of how well you're doing. Or better yet, get someone else to keep track for you.

6. Make social contacts. The buddy system is powerful. Find a friend in the same boat and make an appointment to work on your task together.

Star-Telegram.com: | 04/21/2008 | Disregarding doctors' orders