Persistence and Continuing Motivation
Maehr and Braskamp’s second factor, persistence refers to the degree of sustained concentration on one task. A lack of persistence may be demonstrated by a weight control client who starts to walk to work and gives up after five minutes, or another who sticks to a healthy eating plan all day and then binges on chocolate in the evening. Choice and decision making are critical here too and are likely to be correlated with the perceived value of success. This shows the importance of working to maximise the impact of the clients value system on the choice they are making
The third factor is continuing motivation. This differs from persistence in that it relates to the need for motivation to continue long term, maybe after some sort of relapse. Lets look at the three examples we have looked at so far. Perhaps the smoker gets drunk at a party and has a cigarette. Continuing motivation would result in him continuing as a non-smoker from the following morning. Our stress client has made excellent progress in coping better with her stressors and finding activities that are important which are not stressful. She has a setback in that there is a particularly stressful situation at work and she feels she does not cope well. If she does not have continuing motivation to be a less stressed person she could slip back into old patterns. FinallyÂ our weight control client goes on holiday to a hotel where meals are provided and eats far more than he had been doing, and a lot of the wrong things. The scales show he has put on 4 pounds. Continuing motivation would mean that he puts this down to experience and gets back to his healthy eating plan on return from holiday.