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How Are You Motivated To Make Change?

What makes you want to change? Is it something inside that just clicks? Is it something someone says to you? According to this article, there are two ways to get your motivation.

  • Intrinsic motivation - this involves performing a task because it's personally rewarding to you
  • Extrinsic motivation - this involves completing a task because of some outside influence like avoiding punishment or receiving a reward

Which works best for you?

Intrinsic motivation comes from within you and extrinsic is the result of some type of outside influence. Which do you think is most effective? I believe the answer here is...it depends. There are benefits to both types of motivation.

With extrinsic motivation, if you know there is a reward at the end of the task, you might be compelled to complete the task. However, the risk of punishment for not completing the task can also be compelling. I would argue that the promise of a reward may be a more effective way of achieving compliance vs. the risk of punishment. People and animals, for that matter, respond more favorably to positive reinforcement rather than negative.

In the case of intrinsic motivation, it's more likely that motivation that comes from within is likely to have more of a long term impact. Completing a task or achieving a goal that is self-motivated, is more likely to stick if you're doing it for yourself.

Utilizing or relying on extrinsic motivation may have short term positive results, but over time it may lose its effectiveness.

These types of motivation do not have to be mutually exclusive. You can derive job satisfaction from a work related task (intrinsic) meeting a deadline imposed by your boss (extrinsic).

How do these ideas work in your life?

When I work with my clients I help them find their intrinsic motivation. If I provide the motivation for them, it likely will only work in the short term at best, and maybe not even that. I help them find their 'why'. Why is it important to accomplish the goal they identified? Where would they be in six months if they do nothing? Where will they be in six months if they met the goal they identified? How will each of those scenarios feel?

My clients are typically motivated to make changes in their lives to improve their health. It may start because the doctor told them they need to make changes to avoid health challenges coming their way. That starts out as extrinsic motivation. However feeling better, getting healthier, losing weight, regaining their energy and all of the benefits of making lasting changes become intrinsic motivation. This is much more sustainable over the long term. What are your thoughts on this topic? Are you ready to make realistic lasting changes to improve your health?

As a health coach, I work with women who are facing serious health challenges like heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes or who have been diagnosed as having a precursor to a serious health issue such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar. I help them make food and lifestyle changes so they can get healthy, live longer and enjoy a fuller, happier, more energetic life. If you would like to have a free consultation about the health challenges you have and the improvements you would like to see in your health, click here to schedule a no strings attached call.

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