Many of us have struggled at some point in our lives with a lack of motivation or ambivalence. Self-motivation can be even more challenging when combined with depression and other serious mental health issues. Staff across our programs shared their own tips for guiding clients to feel motivated, a technique called motivational interviewing, which can be used in your own daily life, and when helping friends, family, and colleagues navigate difficult decisions and other life challenges.
1. Ask open-ended questions, practice active listening and empathize to help elicit and sustain motivation. It is most beneficial when an individual can self-identify motivators and barriers in order to develop a plan.
2. Promote self-empowerment as a way to encourage thinking about making bigger changes.
3. Create visual art, mantras, and written reminders to help get through the challenging periods.
4. Set small, attainable goals in order to achieve success and maintain motivation.
5. Incorporate the individual’s cultural values. Whether it’s through events, meals, or other group activities.
6. Involve supportive partners or friends to offer encouragement.
7. Keep in mind that recovery is different for everyone and that each person is unique in what they consider to be motivational.
8. Finally, remember that motivation is hope. Our jobs involve noticing and acknowledging progress, being a cheerleader for every achievement - and all achievements are big. We are advocates for short and longer time frames. We keep a perspective that life is a work in progress. We can serve as a memory for accomplishments/progress. For people who lack self-worth, who society, family, or employers have made to feel less than, they feel they’ve fallen so far down. We offer a different view.