If you are like most people you know you need to work out, eat your fruits and veggies, and get proper sleep and hydration. But the problem is, you just can’t seem to find the motivation to make yourself do those things consistently. If only I was motivated, I hear people say, then I could lose fat, build muscle, and accomplish all my fitness goals!
They are right, motivation IS key to achieving your goals. But what motivation is and how to get it, is often misunderstood. In fact, some things people do to motivate themselves or even coaches do to motivate people can even end up having the reverse effect.
So today we are going to find out what motivation is, and the main types of motivation there are so you can have a better understanding of what affects your motivation. In the second part of this blog (coming out next week) we'll dive deeper into the most powerful type of motivation and how you can elevate it.
First off, what is motivation? Motivation is psychological energy put towards a given goal. There are two main types, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is when you want to do something, like hang out with a friend you like, or go out to dinner. You enjoy those things and thus naturally want to do them. Extrinsic motivation is when you feel like you have to do something. For instance, my spouse wants me to see this movie, so I will do it to be a good partner. Another example of extrinsic motivation would be something that you do because if you don't want something bad to happen. Like doing your taxes so you don't go to jail or get audited.
Both types of motivation are good and can be very helpful, however extrinsic is generally more powerful in the short term, whereas intrinsic is more powerful for longterm changes.
Ways to increase extrinsic motivation are pretty simple. Enlist the help of a friend to workout with you and hold you accountable to showing up. Personal trainers and coaches are great for providing this type of motivation, however really good trainers will help you with intrinsic motivation as well. At the end of the day, finding someone to encourage your workouts, good nutrition habits, and other fitness goals is the simplest way to get some extrinsic motivation.
But what about those people who work out on their own, week in week out without anyone to answer to? Some of them are so into it people tell them they are obsessed and need to take a break or have a cheat meal. They get the opposite of extrinsic motivation, but are still seemingly perfect on their fitness plan.
That is from intrinsic motivation, which is even more powerful that extrinsic, especially in the long-term. You might be thinking this type of motivation is just person dependent. You're born with it, and you either have it or you don't, but fortunately that is not the case. There are specific actions you can take to develop this type of powerful motivation. This is exactly what trainers do at our studio, in addition to providing the other type, extrinsic motivation, that helps get our clients amazing results and literally go from hating exercise to falling in love with working out!
The way you get intrinsically motivated is by developing your sense of autonomy, competence, and belonging. Autonomy is feeling like you are in control of your own actions, and they are taken because they are line with your values. Competence is a sense of knowing what you are doing or feeling like you are getting there. Finally, belonging is feeling connected and valued by people we like.
Now you know what motivation is and the main types there are. In next weeks article we'll go over in more detail what autonomy, competence, and belonging are, and some ways you can increase them, and also avoid decreasing them.
If you'd like more motivation, learning how to weight train, and feeling confident and happy with your fitness, then book a session today! You can book a free Transformation session online (Available only at our Austin Texas location). At that session you will do a detailed consultation, a short workout, and then your trainer will put together a plan for you to achieve your goals. Click here to get started!