Do you often times feel unmotivated or that you lack willpower?
Do you often think something is wrong with you because you just can’t muster up the motivation to do some of things you know you should be doing… like working out and eating healthy regularly?
The good news is there is no such thing as being unmotivated. We are all motivated by something whether we realize it or not. Also, we do not have an endless supply of willpower. Willpower can help us get some momentum going but ultimately it will be setting a PLAN, following a PROCESS, and developing lifelong HABITS that will sustain us to live longer, healthier and happier lives.
Let’s dive a little bit deeper into motivation and look at extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation.
First, what is Motivation?
- The reason one has for acting or behaving in a particular way
- The stimulus or influence to do something
More than likely you showed up to work today, on time, even though over 50% of Americans aren’t thrilled about the jobs that they have.
What was the motivation for you to do something you may not enjoy, dislike, or maybe…. dare I say even hate? Something motivated you.
So what's the motivation in the “going to work” scenario?
More than likely it’s external factors such as providing for your family, making money, or the fear of losing your job.
Providing for your family is a very strong motivator in most and is a great example of extrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivation has a means to an end and usually comes from influences outside of the individual. Examples of this could be taking classes or certifications with the hope of getting a raise or running every day with the hope of losing weight.
If reaching a goal is important, setting up some extrinsic motivators may be important, especially when getting started.
This may be an accountability group, hiring a coach, starting a new program, etc.
I am all for extrinsic motivation and we utilize this in our program, but what we have found is it’s critical to be able to shift from extrinsic to intrinsic if you want it to last and not be miserable in the process.
Intrinsic motivation is self-driven, innate and driven by interest or enjoyment. In contrast to the extrinsic motivations, this could mean taking a class or certification because you really enjoy the subject matter or running every day because you love the outdoors and scenery.
Here at PRIME we are big believers that if you want to changer your body you must first change your mindset. It can be as simple as changing “have to’s” to “get to’s”
You don’t have to go to work, you get to go to work– there are plenty of people around the world that are looking for good, paying work.
You don’t have to work out, you get to work out – we have our health and have the opportunity every day to improve upon it.
We are also big believers in The Process – you’ve set the plan and we now have daily action items or processes to follow. Over time these develop into habits. We then evaluate the results, make adjustments (or don’t if The Process wasn’t followed) and move forward again with the process.
Continuing on with intrinsic motivators, you may notice how exercise and eating healthy makes you feel. You do it because it makes you feel good and when you don’t do it you feel bad.
When you are able to make an internal shift, it makes doing things easier and more enjoyable for you, but too often we rely on extrinsic motivation to keep us going.
What happens when the extrinsic motivation is taken away, now what?
For example, in our nutrition challenges we have progress reports and are driven by data. Extrinsic motivation is knowing that your coach is here to hold you accountable.
What happens when the challenges are over and you no longer have a number to chase?
If your only motivation was because someone was holding you accountable, then this is not a sustainable model.
Do you want someone to have to hold you accountable the rest of your life?
You need to be able to find internal motivation and reason that will motivate you well beyond having a coach holding you accountable in order for it to last.
One of the ways is to ESTABLISH A REAL AND RESOUNDING WHY!
Something that emotionally charges you to put in the work no matter who's watching or holding you accountable.
This requires digging deep, too often our WHY’s are superficial at first and will only motivate us for a little bit of time. This is where the 5 WHY’s come in.
Whenever you set a goal it’s important to ask yourself WHY, 5 times.
Down below is an example of the 5 WHY’s in practice.
Let's say you tell me your goal is to lose 20 pounds in 12 weeks.
- I would say: “Why do you want to lose 20 pounds?”
- You might say: “ Because I want my clothes to fit better.”
- I would say: “Why do you want your clothes to fit better.”
- You might say: “ Because I have so many clothes I love that I can no longer wear.”
- I would say: “Why is this important to you?”
- You might say: “Because I want to feel better?”
- I might say: “Why do you want to feel better?”
- You might say:” Because my body aches, I don’t feel good, I don’t have a lot of energy, and I am no longer happy.”
- I might say:” Why is this important to you to no longer have your body ache, not feel good, and not be happy?”
- You might say: “ Because want to be happy again and gain control over my life.”
As you can see, every WHY we dig a little deeper and pull back another layer of the onion. Too often most stop at the first WHY.
That’s not going to motivate you, we need to get down to the real reason you want to lose the 20 pounds in 12 weeks.
Whenever you set a goal it’s extremely important to get down to real reason WHY you want to accomplish it and you can do this using the 5 WHY’s. This will help you find intrinsic motivation that triggers an emotion charge that will help you not only achieve your goals short term but longer term.
The faster you can find some intrinsic motivation the easier and more fun the journey will become.
I hope this helps!