Defining Motivation Wave Peaks

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Defining motivation waves for new health behaviors. When to initiate plans to improve physical health.

Defining motivation waves for new health behaviors. When to initiate plans to improve physical health.

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  • 1. Defining motivation waves for new health behaviorsBy Benjy Mercer-GoldenStanford UniversityOctober 23, 2012
  • 2. what is a motivation wave? A person’s desire to change behaviors in their life is NOT constant. High Motivation Sometimes people are very point motivated to do something new and change their lives. Sometimes they are not at all. Sometimes they have a middling degree of motivation. This variance over time in motivation to do things is characterized by a wave-like shape. Low Motivation point
  • 3. a motivation wave tobecome morephysically activeCombining the logic of motivation waves withgood health practices When is the right time to develop a strategy for improving physical health?
  • 4. a representative exampleGoal: Get anindividual to run for 30minutes a day, 5 daysa week.
  • 5. time your strategy around amotivation peak To realize long-term success, develop structured habits at times when you are most motivated These structured habits are things you have made difficult to avoid doing later (or just very easy to do later) This point is on an UPWARDS-facing wave, when:  You have a desire for change  An ability to commit
  • 6. recognizing peaksCommon characteristicsof peaks in motivation• Short-term increase in free time: peaks are often inspired by an unplanned period of free time that needs to be filled; e.g afternoon meetings cancelled  need to fill time  exercise (run) outside in the sun for 30 minutes• Piggy-backing off recent positive behaviors: happy events beget increasing momentum for a desire for an improved life; e.g. meet a potential significant other  desire better appearance and fitness  run 30 mins/day
  • 7. recognizing peaks cont.Common characteristicsof peaks in motivation• Periods of intense social activity/pressure: Humans are competitive/jealous creatures. We desire things other people have; e.g. hang out with new, physically fit crowd  feel inadequate and desire change  run 30 mins/day• Periods of EXTENDED intense activity/stress: If engaged in high-stress activities for weeks on end, humans need to seek respite; e.g. working 80 hrs/week on project  need to burn off excess stress  make time after work to exercise  run 30 mins/day
  • 8. recognizing peaks cont.Common characteristicsof peaks in motivation• Immediately following changed environment: After you step out of routine for a while (on vacation, moving to new house, job or city, getting into new relationship) you will often have extra perspective on what to change in your life and desire, among other things, better health; e.g. go on vacation in nature  see benefits of less sedentery/inside lifestyle make plans to exercise more and be outside more in your life  run 30 mins/day
  • 9. contact me Benjy Mercer-Golden benjym@stanford.edu