In the weeks ahead, Trainer Philip is going to take you through a series of behavioral change tactics to help you make the changes you need and, most importantly, maintain them!

You and your trainer decide that there is some goal you want to achieve. You’re motivated, excited, and encouraged to be a healthier you. You tell the trainer “I’m going to do this” and then you walk away. You said you’re ready for the change, yet nothing happens. Why is that?

The first step towards making a behavior change is answering the “Why do you want to do this?” or “Why does this matter?” question. One of the reasons we do certain behaviors is either because we’re intrinsically motivated or extrinsically motivated. According to the VeryWell Mind website, which provides trusted information on mental health, “Extrinsic motivation occurs when we are motivated to perform a behavior or engage in an activity to earn a reward or avoid punishment.” This could be in the form of a trophy, money, or even compliments. In contrast intrinsic motivation “involves engaging in a behavior because it is personally rewarding; essentially, performing an activity for its own sake rather than the desire for some external reward.” When it comes to behavior achievement and long term success, one research article titled Exercise, Physical Activity, and Self-Determination Theory: A systematic Review, showed that intrinsic motivation helps with long term achievement whereas extrinsic motivation tended to fade.

When it comes to creating a goal or objective, your best solution is finding something that is meaningful to you. Over the next month I want you to sit down and ask yourself “what do I really want to do?” Then ask yourself why. Once you can answer the why you want to do a certain behavior, then you can begin creating the plan to succeed. Ben Franklin was known to say “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Talking about a goal is simple, easy, effortless, and cheap, as it doesn’t cost anything. These are also the many reasons why resolutions tend to fail. According to Statistic Brain, under 10% of people believe they were successful at resolutions. That’s not many! Yet we’re here and ready to talk with you about how to succeed. It starts with setting down concrete steps in the right direction. You and your trainer made a goal or objective, now put it down on paper, with ink, or on a screen. When you do this you’re stopping the “talk” and now starting to think, to plan.

Start thinking about your “why.” And in the upcoming weeks I’ll teach you more strategies to help you on the path of goal attainment.