How to Stay Motivated as You Make Life Changes

Written by Tom Marino

September 8, 2021

finding motivation

How do we stay motivated on our journey to change?

The fifth step in my CHOICE coaching program is “change activation.” It’s time to take action toward your goals and make the changes you wish to see in your life.

We know that change doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process, a journey. And we believe that “motivation” is key to staying the course.


The foolproof formula for motivation

What is “motivation”? British psychologist Susan Michie and her colleagues created the “COM-B” framework for behavior change, which states that our motivation is influenced by our capability and opportunity.

For example, let’s say that you want to play the piano. According to Michie’s framework, you’ll feel more motivated to pursue this goal if you have both the capability and opportunity to play. Maybe you have the capability because you’ve taken lessons. But let’s say that you have limited access to the instrument; there’s no piano in your living room at home. Without the opportunity to play, you’re less motivated.

Or maybe it’s the other way around – you have a piano at home (opportunity), but you’ve never learned to play (capability). In either scenario, you lose the motivation to change your behavior and follow through with the goal.


Fix your eyes on the prize to stay motivated

We know that it is all too easy to lose our motivation for a project or task. How, then, do we sustain our motivation to make it to the finish line?

As a Coach, I want my clients to understand that we are motivated by both gain and loss. Think about the last time you pushed through a challenging task because you knew you’d be rewarded for your efforts – with recognition, a promotion, or something as simple as an evening to relax. Or, conversely, you were driven by your fear of the consequences – angering your partner, or losing your job.

So, ask yourself… how am I impacted by (1) successfully making the change, OR (2) failing to make the change? 

  • What’s the reward? (What will you gain?)
  • What’s the consequence? (What will you sacrifice?)

For example… stepping up your game at work may lead to a more positive self-image or even a promotion. But if you don’t make changes? You may sacrifice your boss’ respect, or risk losing your job.

The choice is yours. But understand that our motivation is fueled by a desire for the reward or avoidance of the consequences.



It’s important to understand how motivation works.

You need equal parts capability and opportunity, and you need to have a clear picture of the rewards or consequences. Then you will have the motivation to commit to a process of change and transformation.

Are you struggling to stay motivated? As a Certified Life Coach, I’m here to provide accountability as you take action on your journey to change. Book my calendar for a complimentary one-on-one session to learn more about CHOICE coaching and how I can support you in pursuing your goals.


Image by ProxyClick | Unsplash