Article by Rush Tall Chief | Slice Magazine | Published: January, 2013

Nearly half of the country is about to embark on an annual New Year’s resolution to get healthy. Fitness facilities are preparing for January’s deluge of new members – people motivated to begin the new year by kicking some bad habits and shedding some excess weight. But why then are these resolutions to improve our health, arguably the most important commitments we can make to ourselves, often abandoned before Valentine’s Day?

According to Dr. R. Murali Krishna, president and chief operating officer of Integris Mental Health in Oklahoma City, proper motivation is the key factor for making a positive health transformation. Most importantly, Dr. Krishna says, the motivational force needs to be less about how others see us and more about how we see ourselves.

Applied Theory

The Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TtM) – a model that conceptualizes the process of intentional behavorial change – may be applied to organize the action required to get healthy. This approach is broken into five stages of change and assumes that biological, psychological and social factors all contribute to a human’s well-being.

In the “pre-contemplation” stage, we are unaware of or disinterested in the need for change. Once we recognize that need, we progress to “contemplation,” then on to the “preparation” stage. It is during these early stages of the journey that Dr. Krishna encourages an examination of our motivation.

“When your motivation is only external… you won’t have nearly as powerful a transformative and lasting change as one that comes from an internal source.” – Dr. R. Murali Krishna

“Examine what the motivating force is behind your desire to make a change,” Dr. Krishna says. “Find the inner meaning and the true purpose for you. Explore how your life is going to be improved by becoming healthier. It is OK for some of your motivation to be external, such as to make a change in your life for the benefit of your family or a cause you are passionate about. However, when your motivation is only external, such as to impress others, then you won’t have nearly as powerful a transformative and lasting change as one that comes from an internal source.”

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