Motivation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

That’s a big call, but here’s my reasoning:

  • Motivation is GREAT to get you started
  • Motivation is there when you’re getting results

BUT, what happens when

  • it’s cold outside?
  • you just don’t feel like moving?
  • results are slowing down?

Where’s motivation then?
That’s when your REAL friends DEDICATION AND COMMITMENT are there for you

It’s dedication and commitment that will get you out of bed when it’s dark outside
It’s dedication and commitment that will get you over your plateau, taking things up a notch and boost your results
It’s dedication and commitment that will see you smash your goals

What is motivation?

Motivation can be classified into four types


What does this mean?

For the sake of this post, I’m going to assume the reader has fitness; health; wellbeing goals. Bearing your goal in mind, it’s important to understand what is driving you to set this goal and how you’re going to get there.

Extrinsic motivation is from an outside source that drives certain behaviour, usually for some kind of recognition or prize (eg I recently ran a challenge to keep members coming to class by giving them an entry into a prize draw for every class they attended).
The problem is that, once the reward is taken away, the behaviour slows or stops, so this doesn’t promote long term behaviour.

Intrinsic motivation is driven from within the person and action taken is generally aligned to personal values or beliefs. eg. You might be driven to achieve the “Fitness member of the month” award, but it’s subjective and can mean different things to different people.

Introjected motivation is also an internalized motivation but it has a negative slant – motivation resulting from non-action such as not sticking to an exercise routine or eating plan. Similar to negative reinforcement but the stimulus for the a person’s motivation is internal rather than external.

Identified motivation happens when there is understanding of the need to perform or accomplish some task. It is a powerful form of motivation as it’s internal (intrinsic) and prepares a person to take action.

For example, if better health outcomes could motivate a person to exercise more, many people would quickly jump into their active wear. However, the need and desire to be healthier, fitter, sleep better, move more freely, have a stronger immune systems (all benefits of regular exercise) take time to actualise. Unfortunately most people only realise this once their health starts to fail or they can’t move as freely as they used to.

BUT, once you realise how much better you feel when you exercise regularly, then you are motivated to keep going because you know how the alternative feels.

People often believe reward or punishment are powerful enough to motivate action, but this is rarely the case. Take away the reward/punishment and people lack the motivation to achieve or avoid a certain outcome.

What next?

Think about what you want to achieve.
– Be as specific and detailed as possible (eg sleep 7.5hrs every night; lose 5cm off your waist; run 10km fun run in 3 months time)
– Next, spend some time picturing how you will feel when you have reached your goal. What will your day look like? What will you think? What will your friends and family say about you?
Create a picture in your mind of you at that stage
Make a plan to reach the goal.
eg: go to bed 15 minutes earlier over a few weeks; cut back on sugary drinks; following a running program

Once you have all that in place, you have an action plan to follow and that picture of you to guide you.

Keep that action plan, goal and picture front of mind and you will realise that every decision you make either takes you towards that picture, or away from it.
THAT is what will give you the commitment and dedication to keep moving towards your goal every day.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but it is possible.

Your motivation will help you set your goal, commitment gets you there.

Remember: your choices matter

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