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Why isn’t the fear of dying a sustainable motivator?

If someone is not motivated death is not likely to motivate them. There are several reasons the fear of dying isn't motivating for people. 1. it's easier to accept that you are dying because you don't have the skills to make a change 2. some people don't really quite believe they are dying until at some point the actuality sets in and it's probably too late to be 'motivated' to do anything or 3. people give in to dying and feel there is no hope for anything else. Number one and number three are similar in nature. If you think about motivation in terms of exercise, for example, even though people know they should exercise to be healthy they don't. There are many reasons why people don't exercise but here are a few: they don't have the skills, they don't understand the pro's, they don't know how the benefits attach to them personally, and they don't feel like they  have any control over the situation. With all of those elements (and more) going against exercise why would someone be motivated to exercise in health or even necessarily in the face of death. In order for anyone to overcome these obstacles toward exercise motivation the world of fitness needs to have a better understanding about how to help educate and motivate people. Fitness professionals and other professionals need to understand that helping to motivate people is knowing where they are at psychologically and being able to have the 'right' conversations. For example, even though 10 people might decide to join a fitness facility today all of them are probably in different 'stages of change'. A few might be thinking about starting a work out program but aren't quite ready and need some support and education. A few others might just be starting out but still don't understand the pro's of exercise and need someone to explain the pro's. It's fairly simple to say to someone 'you need to start exercising because you have diabetes' but that is not what's (probably) going to motivate people. Motivation is defined by direction and intensity and you can't have direction and intensity if you don't understand the benefits and have the skills to move through the stages of change with the support of health and fitness professionals. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.