You’re well into your second week without added sweeteners now! How is your motivation going? If you need a little boost, consider spending a few minutes listing your core values. Research shows that doing this can greatly increase long-term motivation to change behavior. Recently, research has shown that individuals that clarify and focus on their core values lose more weight than those who do not. (1)
So what are core values and how can they help with your motivation? Core values are those qualities that you hold as precious and supremely important. Examples of core values include growth, happiness, authenticity, independence, security, family, honesty, kindness, self-respect, achievement, etc. Once you create a list of the values that define you (try to stick to a handful of “Highest Priority” values), then you can use those values to help with your motivation. Here’s how: see if you can find a connection between the behavior you are working on (for us, it’s limiting added sweeteners, but you can use this technique to support any behavior change) and one of your top 5 core values. For instance, if I chose family as one of my core values, I might realize that my children might naturally eat less added sweeteners if I limit my own consumption. Given that the average American child under age 12 eats 49 pounds of sugar per year (!!!), raising their risk of obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, I can definitely feel that this one behavior change could make a huge difference in the quality of life of my family. Since I’ve now mentally connected my behavior (limiting added sweeteners) with my core value of family, I am much more likely to stick with it when the going gets tough. See how that connection thing works?
Now that you understand how to use your core values to motivate yourself, start making your connections today. If you’d like support identifying your core values or making connections between them your health behaviors, give us a call to schedule an appointment today!
Lindsay Pasdera, MS RDN