What motivates you to do the things that are good for your health?
Why do certain things seem easy to do and others seem like such a struggle?
I don’t have a definite scientific answer for you and if I could bottle motivation and sell it I’d be able to retire in style at a nice young age.
What I do know is that it helps to understand what is important to you. Not what someone else is telling you is important. What you consider important.
Because you will tend to be more motivated to do things that are in line with what is important to you.
I brush my teeth regularly. Three times a day. After each meal. And I floss once a day. I also visit the dentist every six months like clockwork to get my teeth cleaned and checked.
I am very motivated to take care of my teeth.
The first reason and the most important one, the one that is at the heart of my motivation to take care of my teeth, is that it is very important to me that I don’t have bad breath.
The second reason, one that is also important but not at the level of importance as the first one, is that I really dislike having dental work done. Like cavities being filled. Anything that involves novocaine and drilling. And if I can do anything to avoid that I will.
The third reason, one that is somewhat important, but alone not enough to motivate me to do what I do, is that I enjoy being told by my dental hygienist that I have “excellent oral hygiene”. I remember the first time she praised my self-care repeatedly during my appointment. Her praise made my day. And I crave (just a little bit) that “pat on the head” each time I go in.
These three things are important enough to me to continually motivate me to take excellent care of my oral cavity.
The Alexander Technique is often associated with helping people improve their posture.
Poor posture has a profound effect on your health and well-being. Poor posture plays a role in issues from back pain and breathing to digestion and headaches.
But the reasons my students give for being motivated to learn effective skills for improving their posture vary greatly—reflecting what is important to them.
Some just want to look better.
Some want to come across as more confident in their interactions with others.
Some want to feel more comfortable in their own bodies.
Some want to move more comfortably.
Some want to have less chronic pain.
Some want to do a specific activity with more ease and enjoyment.
The students that stick with the Alexander Technique and continue to employ their Alexander skills are typically the ones that come in initially with something they want help with that is important enough to them. As they see that their newfound skills help them with the thing that is important to them, their motivation to use their Alexander skills continues to grow.
I started to study the Alexander Technique because I wanted to have less chronic pain. That was very important to me. 21 years after my very first Alexander lesson, I continue to use and refine my Alexander skills every day because they help me with this one thing that is very important to me. I simply feel better.
I get comments all the time that I have beautiful posture and I move very gracefully. But how I look to others, although somewhat important, is not as important to me (and therefore doesn’t motivate me as much) as simply feeling better in my body.
Motivation must come from what is important to you. Not important to someone else.
That is why it rarely works for someone to come in for Alexander lessons because their spouse thinks they should improve their posture. They must want to improve their posture for reasons that are important to them.
Picture courtesy of photostock at freedigitalphotos.net