THIS Is The Key To Getting & Staying Motivated, According To Science

mbg Associate Health Editor By Darcy McDonough, M.S.
mbg Associate Health Editor
Darcy is the associate health editor. She has a master’s degree in nutrition interventions, communication, and behavior change from the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Photo by GIC

Staying motivated is tough. Whether your dream is to save up for yoga teacher training, start a daily meditation practice, or finally check that marathon off your bucket list, achieving your goals comes with ups and downs. Sometimes you jump out of bed in the morning, and sometimes you drag your feet and wonder how you'll ever make it happen.

If you are in a motivational rut, you might think asking for advice is the answer. Someone who has already been there and done that must know how to help you get back on track. But it turns out, when it comes to problems of self-control (think: saving money, eating healthy, or starting a new workout routine), giving advice may actually be more helpful. According to new research by two leading psychologists, giving advice to a peer in a similar situation increases the advice-givers confidence and motivation to succeed more than receiving guidance from a trusted source.

In fact, individuals reported being 72 percent more motivated to save money after giving advice to a peer on the topic than after speaking with a money-saving expert. Interestingly, participants expected the opposite to be true, believing they would gain necessary knowledge and motivation from the experts. This may be due to a common misconception about motivation: Many people think a lack of motivation stems from not knowing how or what to do next.

In reality, psychologists believe lack of motivation is actually an issue of confidence rather than knowledge. In many cases, the individual, whether they realize it or not, already possesses the knowledge they need to achieve their goal but, due to past failures, believe they are incapable. Meaning: You probably already know exactly what you need to do to start yoga teacher training or to reach that PR time in your next race—you just need to believe you can do it. When we give advice, we reflect on and recognize our knowledge of the subject, empowering us to take the next step. Not to mention, we get a confidence boost from being considered someone worthy of giving advice.

So the next time you are feeling a bit unmotivated, instead of turning to a mentor, try being the mentor. And don't forget to take your own advice.

Now that you are feeling motivated, here's How to Set Goals You Can Achieve No Matter What.

And are you ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE web class with nutrition expert Kelly LeVeque.

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