As my body decided to wake up ridiculously early I’ve been looking through my news feed on Facebook and there seems to be a lot of talk about dieting and getting healthy. The nature of the comments made me think about motivation.
What is the motivation behind the necessity to lose weight? Is it because of health reasons? Is it because of an idea of what size they should be? Is it because of pressure from society, family, or friends? Is it to be able to fit back in to clothes they used to wear? Is it because they want to? In my experience the only successful motivation is wanting to!
As a teacher I see the effect motivation has on a pupil, and I do mean motivation rather than bribery. Bribery works, but not to the same extent as wanting to do something. If a pupil wants to do a subject, and enjoys a subject, they are more likely to try harder and succeed in that subject.
As I’ve said before, I have tried to get healthy and lose weight before but it has never succeeded, because I never really wanted to! I was happy as a person, I liked what I was doing. I knew that I needed to lose weight, I knew I needed to exercise, there were even times when the Drs told me that they wouldn’t continue treatment/investigations unless I lost a significant amount of weight. None of this was enough. It wasn’t until it was what I wanted to do that suddenly it all clicked.
A pupil once told me “I wish I wanted to come to school”! This 13 year old recognised that if he wanted to come to school he would probably try harder and achieve more.
I have to admit that this is confusing me, because I often teach about the difference between wanting and needing. Eg I WANT chocolate, I NEED food! But I think it is all about mindset it’s not enough to know that you need to do something, you have to want it.
This brings me on to goals. Again at the beginning of the year we look at goals, what do they want to achieve by the end of the year? How are they going to achieve it? A question people keep asking me, when will you stop, what is your goal? Answer… I don’t actually have a goal. I’m just going to keep going, until I’m at a weight/size that I want to then sustain – it really is more about a lifestyle for me. Similarly with running, people have said to me that they have to sign up for races to give them the motivation, that’s fine for them, but I’m actually happy just running. I’m not doing it to achieve anything, I probably will do some races at some point, but at the moment I’m just happy going out and running!
Motivation is important, and you may be a goal driven person, but the success is going to come easier if it is something you want to do. I’ve been given a few opportunities recently, some of which I’ve turned down, others I’ve accepted or even offered to do. The ones I’ve chosen are the ones I want to do, and I know that I will do a better job because I’m excited about them. My excitement has come across, and has been spotted by others, and encouraged them as well.
We can’t always do things we want to do, I know that, but even with the things we have to do we can work out why we want to do them as well! By changing our attitude to things, it then has a knock on effect in all areas of our lives, but also on those around us as well.
I’ve noticed a difference in my classroom this year, I want to be there want to enjoy the day, I want the pupils to learn and enjoy, so far there have been a lot of laughs and we’ve all been enjoying it not enduring it!