Do you ever feel like you just can’t get anything done today, or that you just want to do nothing except binge your favorite show on Netflix and eat? Yeah, me too. Sometimes our motivation just isn’t there, especially when it comes to exercising. Whether you need to find the motivation to start exercising, or you just need that extra push to get you off the couch, there are multiple ways to get yourself back on track to a better, healthier you!
First, let’s discuss the different types of motivation that exist; extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is the motivation that you find from external factors or outside sources, leading to an external gain or reward. For example, you may be motivated to exercise to look better in a bikini for the summer, to be able to fit into a dress or a tux for your loved one’s wedding, or to be able to carry your grandkids again. All of these examples create a sense of reward or gain from outside factors. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is the motivation that you find within yourself. For example, you may be motivated to exercise because it makes you feel better, it helps relieve some stress, or because you simply enjoy doing it.
From these examples of both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, it is clear to see that extrinsic motivators typically create a timeline, as they are set toward a specific goal (e.g., fitting into a dress for a wedding). However, intrinsic motivators are derived more from self-reflection and emotions. This is why intrinsic motivators tend to play a larger role at helping you achieve your goals and promote long-term success. Therefore, if you have more intrinsic motivators than extrinsic motivators, you are more likely at being successful in achieving your goals.
To ignite your motivation and determine which of your motivators are extrinsic and intrinsic, try journaling or jotting down all of your motivators for exercising. Once you’ve dug deep into your mind and found all of your motivators, make a table of extrinsic motivators vs. intrinsic motivators to see how many of each that you have. Writing these motivators down is a great visual tool not only to see if you should create more intrinsic motivators, but to burn in the back of your head for when you need that reminder of why.
So, how do you create intrinsic motivators? There are a few ways to do this:
Need that extra push to get you off the couch? Sometimes we feel lazy or unmotivated and just need a little extra help to get us into a better mood. Use your external resources!
Written by ATP's Natalie Gates