Motivation for Lasting Change

Motivation for Lasting Change

Ever wonder what makes you jump out of bed in the morning or tackle a challenge head-on? Well, that’s motivation at play! Whether you’re chasing your dreams, creating new goals, or just trying to get through the day, understanding motivation can help you unlock your full potential. In addiction recovery, motivation is a huge part of taking that first step to a healthier, happier life! The best alcohol treatment centers in the US know that motivation is a key component for successful recovery. Centered Recovery wants to let you know all the different aspects of motivation for lasting change for your personal journey. 

What is Motivation?

Motivation is the energy that propels us to take action and it is the driving force behind all our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors! Whether we are striving for new goals or personal growth, motivation serves its purpose to help us envision our own potential. Whether you realize it in the moment or not, motivation is an integral part of our daily lives. It is constantly influencing our decisions and shaping our experiences. By understanding the different types of motivation, it can provide insight into our behaviors and how to maintain our motivations!

Intrinsic motivation comes from within an individual. Often, this type of motivation is driven by personal interests, enjoyment, or a sense of purpose. This can be seen with activities that individuals find personally rewarding, like pursuing hobbies or engaging in creative projects. Extrinsic motivation comes from external factors like tangible rewards, recognition, or due to the fear of punishment. 

Motivation influences all aspects of our lives from a professional, academic, and personal perspective. In the workplace, employees may be motivated by a career change, advancement, or a raise. Students are usually motivated by achieving academic success, or sometimes by the fear of failure. In personal relationships, motivation can show up as the desire for companionship and emotional connection.

However, motivation is not a constant state! It fluctuates based on life circumstances, individual differences, and changing priorities. As we understand more about the dynamic nature of motivation, it allows individuals to adapt in the face of change and challenges.

Motivation and the Stages of Changes

Motivation plays a pivotal role in the process of behavior change. Therefore, to understand how to change our behaviors, we must see where we are on our own motivation scale, so to speak. The stages of behavior change, often shown in models such as the Transtheoretical Model (TTM), highlight the continuum that is typically seen in adopting new behaviors. These five stages include precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance.


  • Individuals may not be aware or are only slightly aware of the need for change. 
  • Motivation at this stage is often low.
  • Individuals may not perceive the behavior in question as problematic. 
  • External factors or interventions may be necessary to create awareness and spark motivation for change.


  • Individuals acknowledge the need for change, but may still be hesitant or uncertain. 
  • Motivation begins to emerge with increasing awareness of the benefits of change and the negatives of continuing the current behavior. 
  • Intrinsic and extrinsic motivators play a role in encouraging individuals to seriously consider the prospect of behavior change.


  • Motivation intensifies and individuals actively seek information, develop plans, and set realistic goals. 
  • They are committed to making a change and are taking tangible steps towards implementation. 
  • Motivation in this stage is characterized by a sense of readiness and a willingness to invest time and effort in the change process.


  • Involves the actual implementation of the planned changes. 
  • Motivation is crucial for overcoming obstacles, managing setbacks, and persisting through challenges. 
  • Both internal motivation, driven by personal goals and values, and external motivation, such as support from others or tangible rewards, contribute to sustaining the effort during this stage.


  • Occurs after successfully implementing the desired behavior change.
  • Focuses on preventing relapse and reinforcing the new behavior into a long-term habit. 
  • Motivation is essential for sustaining the behavior change over time. 
  • Ongoing intrinsic motivation, social support, and a sense of accomplishment contribute to the maintenance of the newly adopted behavior.

Throughout these stages, the strength of motivation can fluctuate, and individuals may move back and forth between stages. Relapses and setbacks are common, and motivation becomes a major force that helps individuals persist during the challenges of behavior change.

How Motivation Affects Mental Well-being

Motivation helps to positively influence wellness, which involves both mental and physical well-being. When individuals are motivated to adopt healthy behaviors, it contributes to a holistic sense of wellness. Overtime, this creates a positive feedback loop between the mind and body! Let’s break down how motivation impacts all areas of wellness one by one:

Mind Perspective

  • Positive Outlook: Having a positive outlook on life and a belief that one can make a difference in their well-being. Overtime, improving this optimistic mindset can lead to reduced stress levels and an improved mental state.
  • Resilience: Motivation acts as a driving force that helps us bounce back from challenges. As this mindset encourages resilience, motivation can help to cope with stressors and setbacks more effectively.

Body Perspective

  • Physical Activity: Motivation is a key factor in initiating and maintaining regular physical activity. Whether it’s through exercise or sports, motivated individuals are more likely to engage in activities that contribute to cardiovascular health, muscular strength, and overall physical fitness.
  • Healthy Eating Habits: Motivation influences dietary choices and in maintaining healthy eating habits. A motivated person is more likely to make mindful food choices, incorporating a balanced diet that supports physical well-being.
  • Quality Sleep: Prioritizing self-care extends to getting adequate and quality sleep! Having consistent sleep patterns leads to better cognitive function, mood regulation, and overall physical health.

Mind-Body Connection

  • Stress Reduction: Motivation also relates to prioritizing stress-reducing activities! Oten, this includes meditation, mindfulness, or other relaxation techniques, to strengthen the mind-body connection. Reduced stress levels positively impact both mental and physical well-being!
  • Holistic Wellness: Pursuing activities that promote holistic wellness, such as yoga or tai chi, fosters a sense of balance and harmony between mental and physical aspects of health.

Positive Habits and Routines

  • Consistency: Motivation highly contributes to developing consistent and positive habits. This could look like maintaining a regular exercise routine, practicing good hygiene, or building social connections! Overall, consistent positive behaviors become the major components of a wellness-oriented lifestyle.
  • Preventive Health Measures: Motivation encourages individuals to engage in preventive health measures, such as regular health check-ups, screenings, and vaccinations.

Sense of Purpose

  • Fulfillment: Motivation often stems from a sense of purpose and personal goals! Pursuing meaningful goals leads to a sense of personal fulfillment, which positively influences mental well-being.

Motivation in Addiction Recovery

Motivation plays a major factor in addiction recovery, influencing both seeking out the recovery process initially, and its long-term success. Intrinsic motivation to change plays one of the biggest roles in a person’s ability to overcome their addiction. Here’s an exploration of the importance of motivation in addiction recovery and its role in sustaining long-term success:

Initiating Change

  • Recognition of the Problem: Motivation often starts with acknowledging the negative impact of addiction on one’s life. Individuals must come to the realization of the need for change and the potential benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
  • Desire for Improvement: The motivation to recover stems from a genuine desire for personal improvement. This may stem from areas in their life such as rebuilding relationships, improving health, or pursuing certain life goals. Most times, this intrinsic motivation becomes the driving force behind the decision to seek help!

Treatment Engagement

  • Active Participation: The more motivated a person is, the more engaged they will be in their addiction treatment program. Those with strong motivations to recover are more likely to participate in therapy, counseling, and support groups that are designed to address the complexities of addiction.
  • Commitment to Change: Change can be really difficult and uncomfortable! However, motivated individuals are more likely to stick to their treatment plans and embrace the needed changes in behavior. 

Long-Term Success

  • Sustaining Sobriety: Motivation plays a central role in sustaining long-term recovery. These factors become essential for resisting the temptation of substance use and navigating the ongoing personal challenges to create a sober lifestyle.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Individuals with sustained motivation often make lasting lifestyle changes that support their recovery. This may include establishing new routines, adopting healthier habits, and building a supportive social network.

Preventing Relapse

  • Mindfulness and Self-Awareness: Motivation fosters mindfulness and self-awareness, which are crucial in preventing relapse. Being conscious of triggers, recognizing early signs of vulnerability, and having a strong motivation to stay sober contribute to relapse prevention.
  • Continued Growth: Motivated individuals view recovery as an ongoing process of personal growth and development. This mindset promotes their commitment to sobriety and self-improvement!

Reasons You Might Lose Motivation

Motivation is influenced by various factors and is constantly fluctuating from day to day, or even minute to minute! These feelings are extremely common and understanding the reasons behind the loss of motivation can provide insights on how to keep at your goals. Here are some common reasons why people may lose motivation:

  • Lack of Clear Goals: When there is a lack of clear, achievable goals, people may struggle to find a sense of purpose or direction. Without a clear target, the motivation to take action can diminish.
  • Overwhelming Tasks: Facing tasks that seem too large or overwhelming can lead to a sense of decreased motivation. Breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps can make the path forward less daunting.
  • Lack of Immediate Rewards: If individuals do not see immediate rewards for their efforts, they may lose motivation. The absence of positive reinforcement can make it difficult to stay committed to long-term goals.
  • Fear of Failure: The fear of failure can be a powerful demotivator. If individuals are overly focused on potential setbacks or negative outcomes, it can hinder their willingness to preserve despite the challenges ahead.
  • Lack of Support: A lack of support from friends and family can contribute to decreased motivation. Feeling isolated or unsupported in one’s goals may lead to a lowered sense of purpose and drive.
  • Unrealistic Expectations: Setting overly ambitious or unrealistic expectations can set people up for disappointment. When goals are perceived as unattainable, motivation may lessen.

Fluctuations in motivation are a normal part of the human experience! Addressing the underlying factors leading to the loss of motivation is the first step to self-awareness. Then, implementing strategies to spark more enthusiasm can help to regain momentum to get back on track!

How to Maintain Motivation and Stay on Track

When lacking motivation, it’s essential to implement strategies that can help rekindle enthusiasm and support the journey towards your goals. Here are some helpful tips to incorporate into your life when you find yourself in a motivational slump:

  • Set Realistic and Achievable Goals: Break down large goals into smaller, manageable tasks. Setting realistic and achievable objectives helps fuel a  sense of progress and boosts motivation as you accomplish each step!
  • Find Intrinsic Motivation: Take the time to connect with your inner values and passions! Identify what truly matters to you! Intrinsic motivation tends to be more sustainable over the long term and will go a long way in achieving your goals.
  • Celebrate Small Wins: Celebrate even the smallest achievements! Recognizing progress, no matter how minor, reinforces a positive mindset and encourages continued efforts.
  • Seek Social Support: Share your goals with friends, family, or a supportive community. Having a network of encouragement and accountability can provide the motivation needed to stay on track.
  • Prioritize Self-Care: Take care of your physical and mental well-being. Get enough sleep, eat nutritious meals, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation!
  • Seek Inspiration: Read books, watch documentaries, or listen to motivational speakers who inspire you! Exposure to positive influences can help shift your mindset and reignite your passions.
  • Reflect and Reevaluate Goals: Reassess your goals and aspirations throughout your journey and make adjustments as needed. Revising goals can provide new meaning and motivations!

Small Steps Can Go a Long Way

By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can create a supportive environment that fosters motivation for lasting change. You can empower yourself to overcome challenges on your journey toward success! To wrap up, motivation is the force that keeps us going throughout our lives, whether it’s the kick from within or the outside factors in play. If you are looking to learn more about recovery options for you or a loved one and feel like you are ready to start taking steps toward your goals, Centered Recovery is here to help. Call us today to learn more about our online drug rehab for Georgia residents!

Visit Centered Recovery Programs rehab treatment today and embark on your journey towards sobriety. Call us today at 800-556-2966 to speak with an admissions counselor!

Written by Jennifer Lopes, BS Psy