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How Motivational Interviewing Can Ignite Change

Are You Looking for Confidence or Motivation?

Committing and staying committed to change is hard.

This is especially true when it comes to health and wellness. After all, we often have a lifetime of habits working against us.

And while health and wellness education can help to an extent, it’s usually not nearly enough. You can know all the logical reasons for changing a particular behavior, yet still be stuck in a state of inaction.

If you’re struggling with ambivalence when it comes to unhealthy behaviors, just know you’re not alone!

Many people have a hard time fully committing to their health goals. It’s common to start making positive changes, only to quickly become impatient, lose motivation and go right back to old habits.

But why does this happen?

In short, being unable to make and sustain progress is often because of a lack of intrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation comes from within. External motivation, on the other hand, relies on external factors like punishment or rewards. The problem with external motivation is that once those factors are removed, your motivation is often lost, too. Therefore, if you want to make lasting lifestyle changes, developing intrinsic motivation is key.

Luckily, if you currently lack internal motivation, this isn’t something you have to accept. You can strengthen your internal motivation. And one of the most effective ways to do this is through motivational interviewing, aka MI.

Psychologists William R Miller and Stephen Rollnick developed MI as a client-centered counseling style to encourage healthy behavior change. First used in treating those with alcoholism, MI is characterized by its non-directive, collaborative and exploratory approach. More recently, MI has also proved very effective in many other contexts — including general health and wellness.

According to the self-determination theory of human motivation, individuals are more likely to engage in behaviors when they have high feelings of competency, autonomy and relatedness to others. Health & Wellness Coaches utilize MI to allow you to be in control of your own behavior change.