I've been thinking a lot about motivation lately as I've struggled with a work project that I just can't seem to get myself moving forward on. By now, I've come to understand my own behavior pretty well and can usually pinpoint what's happening: For example, right now, I feel like my choices on this project have been limited and it's draining me of creativity.
Choice, for me, has always been a huge part of motivation, whether it's taking on a project or committing to a lifestyle change. Because I am who I am, I need to feel like I'm in charge of my own decisions to really commit to something.
Last week, I wrote a couple of posts over at my You'd Be So Pretty If... blog about choice as it relates to good health; specifically, if removing choice (as in the case of my kids' school, which recently banned food in the classroom), or dictating it (as in the case of Lincoln University, which recently decided that overweight students must take a class called "Fitness for Life" to graduate), motivates healthy behavior. Both posts generated quite a bit of reader feedback on both sides of the issue.
When it comes to teaching kids to make healthy lifestyle decisions, choice is incredibly important. I learned that first-hand during my year as Shape magazine's Weight-Loss Diary columnist. Because I was overhauling my dietary and exercise habits, I decided that my entire family was going to overhaul their habits, too.
That didn't work out so well.
As any parent -- and spouse -- knows, telling someone else that they have to change or do things your way is often a recipe for failure and frustration. There are, however, more effective ways to encourage kids (and husbands) to make healthy choices. Here are my top three: