Health Motivation: 3 Key Insights to Pin Down YOUR Whys!

What really makes you tick? Your motivations will differ from the person next to you, so we shouldn’t all follow the same blueprint to building our healthy lifestyle. We must consider what gets us going, especially in the toughest times, and the best way to find out is by taking ourselves there! This article will break down the differences between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, long-term and short-term motivations, the array of motivational tools at our disposal, and finally, where you can find inspiration during tough times! Health Motivation: 3 Key Insights to Pin Down YOUR Whys!

So, the key thing to know is that the more variance in our motivations, the better chance we have of maintaining optimal levels of drive. If one source fails to boost our enthusiasm for a specific task, then we can look to another for inspiration. Different sources are suited to different circumstances, making it important to choose from among various tools within your motivational arsenal!

1. External vs. Internal Motivation

Motivation mainly, can be categorized into two types: extrinsic and intrinsic. External refers to sources that come from outside of you and include both positive and negative reinforcement. You might be motivated by money and reward, especially within a professional setting, whilst you may get a real kick from someone praising or constructively criticizing you. Whatever the means, external motivation can be very effective in the short-term to impel you to push yourself that little bit more.

On the other hand, intrinsic can be defined as performing an activity for its inherent satisfaction and doing it for the fun and love you feel for it. This type tends to create long-term motivations that are fairly constant and remain in place for the entirety of your involvement with something. These sources are the reason you started in the first place and it’s important to constantly refer back to understand how and why you want to move forward.

The fact of the matter is that these types need to be used in conjunction and we should utilize as many motivations as possible to pull us through. When one fails, we can turn to the next, and so on until we complete the task at hand or reach the goal we’ve been pursuing. They also need to be recycled and adapted because our lives change, our goals change, and our progress changes.

2. Motivational Tools

We have an array of motivational skills and tools at our disposal. Self-talk, goal-setting, and even anxiety just to name a few, but how do we get the best out of these strategies? You need to get to know yourself and deeply connect with your subconscious to understand not only what you want to achieve and who you want to be, but who you are and where you’re at now. By realizing how to get the most and best out of yourself, the more effective your sources of drive will be!

Attaching emotion to your outlined goals typically strengthens your connection to the goal itself and intensifies your need to achieve it. You can try this by setting yourself simple goals and adding a competitive edge to them i.e. who can burn the most calories in a month? The competitive edge adds emotion to the challenge whilst placing a wager will add another form of motivation in extrinsic reward. Adding several consequences/outcomes to your goals gives them more substance.

You are either your own best friend or worst enemy when it comes to achieving success. In order to get the results we seek, we need to get our subconscious onside, and that self-belief has to remain so strong that you do not let yourself become distracted on your journey to greatness.

You will inevitably encounter ‘enemies’ or ‘haters’ who will be quick to pounce on every error you make, put you off the idea of achieving your dreams, and find fault in your successes, but this negativity can be used to your advantage. Just think how good it will feel to wipe that smug look off the faces of all those doubters!

3. Inspiration

Inspiration can come from everywhere. Role models are a great example and learning from them can help you to continuously develop in the field and skills you want. One better would be someone you can communicate with so you can learn from their mistakes and consistently grow with their help and mentoring.

Success stories provide hope and reality to what you’re trying to achieve, and the deeper you research them the more knowledge you stand to gain from the respective person’s journey to the top. Learning from the positive and negatives allows you to implement and adjust your own plans to ensure continual development, whilst understanding how to overcome similar challenges could be the difference between evolving and standing still.

Similar to how we derive motivation from our enemies, we can use traumatic experiences to strive for improvement. Is there a bigger wake-up call than weight-related illness to make a change, and make healthier choices? The same can be applied in other settings, such as losing your job, being dropped for the cup final, and even falling behind on your bills. They all compel a need for positive change, although there’s always a phase of chaos before the higher, and calmer stability is secured.

The major take home point is that you can gain motivation from any source and that includes music and film, no matter how silly it might feel. If only you knew how much the final battle in Harry Potter amps me up! The point is, drive and motivation is needed to move forward, develop, and succeed, but most importantly, to pick yourself up after tough times put a spanner in between your ribs and keeps pushing you when you think you’re going nowhere. Stay motivated, no matter what!

(Note: The world-famous Harry Potter franchise was rejected 12 times by different publishers before one took a chance on the first book. So don’t let negatives keep you down or make you quit, because there is a pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow…) 

What are your reasons for keeping motivated in your health? Share them in the comments below, and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter Instagram! Continue delving deep into your mind all day every day -don’t worry, you can’t break it!- everything you’re looking for is right there, all your dreams and desires are in fact already yours – act ‘as if’ and over a period of time, with consistency of will and intensity, that (positive) thing you desire will come to pass.

Thomas Higgs

Tom is a 25 year-old health and fitness fanatic, obsessed with food, nutrition, training, and the psychology that it entails. As well as continuously improving his athletic performance in CrossFit, he loves creating content that helps to simplify important scientific health information and engages with everyone so that we can all be better equipped to look after ourselves properly. He has a background in competitive sport, including football and bodybuilding. Having studied Sports Psychology at University he has learned valuable psychological methods for optimum performance, which now gives him a very holistic approach to health & fitness.

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