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Rational barriers contribute to resistance towards initiating, restarting or maintaining lifestyle/behavioral modification. Such barriers include lack of confidence in the proposed intervention(s), exaggerated perspectives, unsubstantiated beliefs and feelings of futility/hopelessness in the setting of past failures or relapse. Lifestyle and behavioral modification are core elements of preventative health and mental health—identifying and addressing erroneous thought processes, perspectives or beliefs that contribute to hesitancy may empower patients to trust the process and put an honest effort towards making those changes. Thus, a motivational pamphlet was created for patients with the goal of addressing hesitancy/resistance towards initiating or maintaining lifestyle/behavioral modification. The pamphlet attempts a different approach to motivational priming using mechanisms such as (1) informing and emphasizing the tangible changes in brain architecture that result from continued effortful thinking and reorientation, (2) surveying different demotivating thoughts while providing examples of cognitive techniques to reorient dissonant thought processes towards more rational and evidence based analyses. Additionally, the pamphlet attempts a discussion on relapse with the goal of restructuring the thoughts of defeat and hopelessness that impede progress and prevent effortful persistence. Future work should be targeted at evaluating the efficacy of this approach and fine tuning elements in the clinical motivational process.

Clinical Site

Hinesburg Family Medicine


Lifestyle, Behavior, Exercise, Diet, CBT

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Medical Education | Primary Care

Addressing Rational Barriers to Lifestyle and Behavioral Modification