Thursday, November 18, 2010

Understand First In Order to Motivate Yourself and Others

According to Parker-Pope, in "In You Find the Motivation, Exercise Follows", in The New York Times, a Consumer Reports survey found that 40% of individuals who own home exercise equipment use then less than they expected. This is a massive population, considering consumers spend an estimated $4 billion on home exercise equipment, yearly. The purchase of home exercise equipment appears to influence whether people start an exercise regime, but research suggests that those with home exercise equipment are less likely to stick with an exercise program, over time. These studies are showing that ownership of personal is not the most important factor in sticking with an exercise plan; rather, self-efficacy is more influential. Self-efficacy is one's true belief that they have the ability to achieve their goals. The journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine reported that individuals who scored high on measures of self-efficacy were "nearly three times as likely to be exercising after a year as those with lower self-efficacy scores, whether or not they owned an exercise machine." Your ability to meet your own expectations was also shown in influence whether you stuck to your exercise plan.

Research has shown that individuals often fail to take these factors into account when they embark on a new exercise plan. David M. Williams, assistant professor at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, suggests the following to help increase your chance of sticking with an exercise plan:
  • work out with friends or family members
  • master an exercise
  • work with someone who motivates you (ex. a personal trainer)
These changes to your exercise plan can increase your confidence and improve your chance of continuing it. Along this line, Ravi Dhar, director of the Yale Center for Customer Insights and a professor of marketing and psychology, suggests that "'most goals we set for ourselves tend to be unrealistically high.'" Therefore, when one purchases a home exercise machine, they tend to focus only on the positive without taking the barriers into account, such as giving up spending time with friends or on the Internet. In a study of undergraduates, those who were guided in making decisions based in the reality of life were willing to spend less money for home exercise equipment, as they understood the disparity in their expectations and what they would more likely accomplish. It is important to understand the difference of an ideal setting and the actual life that you live. Kurt A. Carlson, assistant professor at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke, clarifies that "we're not telling people to stop buying treadmills. The question is how to get the right people to buy them. Everyone else should recognize they don't have the motivation, and take the money and use it on a personal trainer or something else that's going to get them motivated."

Build a stronger business by setting realistic expectations.

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