Increasing motivation is tough for anyone, whether struggling with addiction or not. However, combined with addiction, this does add a layer that makes it very hard to do so. Let's review some ways to increase motivation.
How do you motivate yourself? Well, primarily with reward. As counselors, we have been taught that positive reinforcement tends to be stronger than negative reinforcement, hence, addiction is so difficult to stop. Positive reinforcement tends to override all consequences and punishment. That's why people will go back to using even though they know they will go to jail or lose their children. So, how does one motivate themselves in the face of this dilemma. The first thing to do will be to know what your goals are. If you do not have a clear picture of what you are trying to accomplish, it will be difficult to plan accordingly. Once your goals are in place, short term and long term, we recommend tackling this from a stages of change perspective, which will involve some lists and quite possibly professional help.
Stages of Change
Take a look at the pros of what you are trying to accomplish. Do these outweigh the cons? If not, you might need to take a closer look, re-evaluate your goals, or seek professional help. With this information in black and white, does it make sense to work towards your goal? If so, set some mile markers and rewards for yourself for making progress towards your goal. This will also include a detailed plan of how you will accomplish your goal. Rewards and plans can go together and lead you into long-term action and behavioral change. If you are stopping using drugs, it may be helpful to funnel that money into a reward for yourself. Put X amount of dollars away each day and eventually you'll have enough money to get something to reinforce this new behavior. Take a look at activities and hobbies that took a back seat during active addiction and these are good areas to consider rewarding yourself in.
This whole topic or process may feel very overwhelming or impossible. Well, it may be overwhelming, but it's not impossible. Professional help may be necessary or helpful. A counselor can help to identify where you are in the change process, create a plan for moving forward, and help you to create a reward system for yourself. They can also help you weigh your pros and cons, re-evaluate goals, and even help to motivate you with specific techniques. We use Motivational Interviewing to assist you with making decisions about your future and start you on the path towards accomplishing your goals. We will also work to help you create self-motivating habits that work for you!
At Independent Recovery, we are very aware of how difficult it can be to self-motivate. We understand the challenges of addiction and that you may lack the skills and awareness needed to motivate yourself to make change. Let us help you. Contact us for a free consultation.