Odd to say, but even within the research literature, the definition of motivation varies quite a bit.  At Thrive, we define motivation as our ability to delay gratification and stay on course while pursuing desired outcomes.  Desired outcomes can range from achieving meaningful personal goals to satisfying simple wants.  Achieving our goals (my goal is to get in shape) takes time and requires a fair bit of strategic effort up front.  Satisfying our wants (I want that last slice of pizza) does not.  Put another way, achieving goals involves a healthy dose of motivation whereas satisfying simple wants involves little to no motivation.

Many of us think of motivation as something we are born with -as in you are either blessed with having a lot of it or are stuck with having very little of it.  While it is true that motivation comes easier to some of us than others, this is not the entire picture.  Our ability to delay gratification and stay on track is a skill -a skill we can grow into a genuine asset.  At Thrive, we view motivation as a key ingredient in goal achievement, and we draw from science when selecting motivation building strategies for our clients.

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Obstacles refer to all that stands between us and our goals.  Put another way, obstacles are the challenges we have to overcome to get from we currently are to where we want to be.  When embracing the challenge of positive change, we are frequently faced with obstacles that are not on our radar.  This is important because missing obstacles all but guarantess that our goal achieving efforts will be incomplete and ultimately ineffective.   A commonplace example of this is the "get in shape" New Year's resolution -the local gyms are swarming with well intentioned fitness seekers in January, but the crowds have definitely thinned by April.  Clearly, some obstacles were missed along the way.

Even when obstacles are on our radar, they are frequently accompanied by their own set of hurdles.  One of the most common hurdles is that obstacles are often perceived as insurmountable.  When our repeated efforts to make lasting positive changes have been unsuccessful, the stage is set for us to reasonably conclude that our goals are unachievable.  Whereas it is fair to say that our efforts to date have been unsuccessful, it is also fair to consider whether a new approach would help us get to where we want to go.  At Thrive, we are committed to working with our clients (as a team) to identify their goal-related obstacles and develop effective strategies for overcoming these obstacles.