Motivation translated into Spanish, motivación, means reason. Everything we do is resultant from motivation or a reason, both negative and positive.
- Waking up on time
- Being late for work has negative consequences
- Drinking coffee
- Feel more awake and energized
Some people are naturally motivated and enthusiastic by nature. They are “that friend” who tackles new projects, stays on task, and meets the deadline without batting an eye. When you ask how they did it, they typically respond, “I just do it.”
Yeah, that doesn’t help me at all.
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is an internal form of motivation. Coffee drinking, in our example above, produces the intrinsic motivation (internal feeling) of energy and alertness.
Extrinsic motivation, however, is an external form of motivation. Waking up on time, for example, produces a very clear form of extrinsic motivation: company policy and boss’s expectations.
A lot of us are like the rabbit. If there is a carrot (extrinsic motivation) dangling in front of us, we will hop. But what happens if the carrot goes away?
When I first started running marathons, I told everyone. (Yes, I was that annoying lady in the grocery check-out line that turned around and told you that I was training for a marathon.) In response, people would say, congratulations, good luck, wow that is really far, I’m excited for you. I needed that praise, accountability, and encouragement to keep training. That was my extrinsic motivation.
Now, I am fueled by intrinsic motivation, doing something I genuinely enjoy and that makes me feel proud.
On the other hand, I still rely on extrinsic motivation for laundry. Laundry is my nemesis. There is no internal motivation to be had when it comes to me and laundry.
There no one-size-fits all when it comes to discovering your motivation for wellness. In fact, your motivation may change periodically as you come across new obstacles and reach new goals.
The key is to be gentle with yourself. Just because one motivation strategy works for one person, doesn’t mean it will work for you. And in that same breath, just because a motivation strategy worked this time, doesn’t mean it will work next time.
And that’s ok.
In Powered on Well’s online course, #PowerfulMile, you will learn how to apply each of these principles to meet your wellness goals. Learn more at https://poweredonwell.com/powerfulmile/
- Define your goal. Sometimes we decide to embark on a new wellness goal because “everyone is doing it.” What do you want? Why? What does reaching this goal me to you?
- Create mini-goals. When we experience success, we are more likely to continue.
- Tell someone you trust (and who will give you the response you want). You know what I am talking about… you have a situation someone so you go through your Rolodex in your head and figure out who will give you the reaction you are looking for. – and that is who you call. You naturally seek out people who will share your excitement. And the best part is, when you start losing motivation, you can call on them to give you a boost!
- Picture the result. Ah, the power of visualization. By visualizing the result, your brain is naturally drawn to leading you down that path. It’s almost as if your brain has seen the destination and now it just needs to book the flight.
- Control what you can control. (And not what you can’t.) As you work towards your goal, you will encounter obstacles, many of which you can’t control. Don’t spend precious time and energy thinking about things you can’t control. Instead, work on things you can control: blocking of time in your calendar to go for a walk; prepping breakfast and lunch before bed so they are ready to grab-and-go in the morning; turning of the television and going to bed.