Motivation. It’s a word so often used in the health and fitness industry. Some of us have it. Some of us don’t. Some maybe do once in a while. But what exactly is it?
Merriam-Webster defines it as the following:
- The condition of being eager to act or work/the condition of being motivated
- A force or influence that causes someone to do something
When we’re looking at behavior change in general, there are two main types of motivation we deal with; extrinsic and intrinsic. The first often being our initial focus is motivation that comes from an outside source. Whether it’s a stern warning from your general practitioner or praise from a family member; some type of external reinforcement.
Intrinsic motivation has to do with our internal feelings towards the outcomes of those external motivators. An example might be the thought of all the energy you used to feel or the way you felt doing certain activities with the ones you love. It’s those feelings of connectedness, enjoyment, and personal fulfillment that create our desire to be the best versions of our selves.
It’s important to make note that this is a very subjective topic. We are all unique as are our journeys through life. Determining our true motivators is really a personal experience.
Though it may feel as though us fitness professionals poke and prod to get the details on your motivators (as this is important when program planning) it’s also imperative (and our true intent) to give you the tools to help determine what it is you aim to achieve, how to make that happen and create life long success.
Here are a few questions to help you think about what your influence is, and truly understand your driving force:
- What is most important to you in life?
- How do you make that a priority?
- Do you feel as though you’re missing out on anything?
- If so, how can you bring that into your life?
- What type of support system do you need?
- How much time do you have to commit to living a healthier lifestyle?
- What tools or strategies worked for you in the past?
- What did you really enjoy about them?
If you have some time today, sit down with a tea or coffee and try answering some of these questions. You may be surprised with your answers and where your thought process takes you! Whether you were feeling motivated before you read this or just finding a sprinkle of some now, the good news is we all have it! It may be tucked away, but with the right tools, you’ll find it again!
A Realistic Approach to Goal Setting, American Council on Exercise