Have you ever heard of the The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate written by Gary Chapman?

It’s a concept created by the pastor to help couples learn to communicate and connect better with one another. When they realize how they show love and how they want to receive it, couples are better able to help fulfill the other’s needs. It’s also beneficial for the couple to understand where the other is coming from. According to Dr. Chapman, these are the five love languages:

  • Receiving gifts
  • Quality time
  • Words of affirmation
  • Acts of service
  • Physical touch

As I’ve been coaching clients and learning about their motivations for change, I’m learning a lot about how people connect to their goals. My clients are showing me that people have a similar language for motivation as they do for love. There are certain things people need or want in order to keep them motivated to reach their health and wellness goals. They have a Change Language. Here’s some of what I’ve observed.


Some people thrive off competing with others. You may know brothers who achieve great things only because their sibling was trying something similar or said they couldn’t do it. I’ve seen clients finding motivation to reach their goal of getting more fit by signing up and training for a 10k. Other clients sign up for workplace competitions, such as what team has the highest steps in the month, to lose weight. The thought of someone beating them for 1st place, puts some fire under their feet and gets them moving.


Clients have expressed to me that when they’re told by a coworker or spouse that they’re doing a great job, are knowledgeable, strong, hardworking, dedicated, etc. they get inspired to keep going. Receiving those thoughtful words makes them realize they are great and encourages them to keep going and do more.

Awards and Rewards

What an awesome reminder to constantly see an award on your mantel from what you accomplished?  Knowing there’s a chance to get the prized trophie at the end of their health journey can push people to keep making better choices every day. Those who run in the Disney marathons love to collect and show their unique and hard-earned medals. What an outstanding reward for years of dedication, hard work, and sacrifice having an Olympic gold medal hanging around one’s neck?


Being an inspiration for others has many benefits. One of the best benefits, motivating themselves to continue to set and reach goals. People who are public spokespersons, motivational speakers, or ambassadors often take these roles because they have experienced something that changed them and they want to help others.  Hearing that your story has influenced someone’s life for the better fills people’s purpose in life and makes them want to keep doing what they’re doing in hopes of reaching more people.

Me Time

Knowing you have time scheduled to spend on yourself for self-improvement is a great motivator. In a world that pulls us in a million directions all day and is constantly begging for our attention, having a moment to yourself often gets people through their stressful day. There’s nothing wrong with spending time on your self-care. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.


Which one of these Change Languages are you?