Something that I hear time and time again in my work with people with diabetes is, “I have no motivation”.

They know what they should be doing to care for their health, but they can’t seem to summon up the how.

So when I tell them, “You are one of the most motivated people I have ever seen” – they tend to stare at me in complete disbelief!

But then I explain.

They are motivated to do all sorts of things in life.

Watch their favourite TV show. Eat a delicious meal in the company of loved ones. Sleep late on the weekend. Spend a day pursuing an enjoyable pastime or hobby.

I bet there’s not a single person reading this who finds that the concept of ‘motivation’ enters their mind when they are thinking of doing these fun activities! In fact, if you are anything like me you are raring to go and experience the enjoyable feelings that these activities bring you.

So the crucial difference with these things is that they are a short-term route to good feelings – which health-promoting activities such as exercising, eating healthily or testing your blood often aren’t, especially when you are just beginning to engage in them.

No one feels motivated to do something if the costs seem to outweigh the benefits. Go to the gym in the evening or curl up on the sofa watching TV? I’m sure you can see what I mean!

So the secret with motivation is to link the activity that feels like a challenge with one that feels easy. You could:

  • Plan your exercise so it’s immediately followed by watching your favourite TV show.
  • Make the doctors appointment you’ve been putting off for months and visit your favourite museum or gallery afterwards.
  • Test your blood glucose and then phone a friend you love to chat with straight after.

By pairing the “not so fun” with the “fun”, you’ll reward yourself today, while building up health and vitality for the future.

To find out more about the concept of motivation and how to increase yours, you might be interested in the self-help guide, ‘Diabetes De-Stress’ – find out more here: http://positivediabetes.com/diabetes_book.html

It includes a set of simple, well-researched techniques based on cognitive behavioural therapy -  that can help you meet the challenges of your diabetes self-care regime with fresh enthusiasm and motivation, increasing your health and wellbeing.