Client-Generated Motivation

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During your next group session, try this approach to fresh motivation.

Ask participants if they are ready to start a healthful diet and exercise routine. Have they already begun making changes? Which ones? What has worked? What hasn’t?

Ask what they would do differently if they were starting over on the path to health. Write down their suggestions on a bulletin board or white board.

Explain that today can mark the beginning of a fresh start.

What would motivate your group to continue building a healthful life? Ask for suggestions and build on their comments.

Remind the group that the decision to change is always up to the individual – no one else can make it happen.

If you have time or are looking for some outside structure, explore Prochaska and DiClemente’s Stages of Change Model. The key stages are also outlined below…

  1. Precontemplation - Here, the negative outweighs the positive but is unknown.
  2. Contemplation - At this point, the positive aspects of making a change outweigh the negative ones, so a change can be considered.
  3. Preparation - Participants are ready to begin making changes within the month.
    Action - Here, the participants successfully begin to make the change.
  4. Maintenance - This is what we call the successful times during a change.
  5. Relapse - A good old fall from grace. Remind participants that this happens to everyone and the important thing is to pick themselves back up and keep going.

Ask participants where they are in this process. Are they thinking about losing weight? Or are they really ready to start?

This activity is excerpted from the 12 Lessons of Wellness and Weight Loss Program. Get hundreds of ideas like this, along with the resources to put them into action, all with one handy kit.

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