By Tony Neal
We all are probably aware of what motivation is, but how do we explain it to others in a way that makes sense, when we all feel motivated by different factors as individuals. Motivation is the desire to achieve something, which stems from a reward type system. That can come from an actual materialized reward or a personal feeling. We as people can gather motivation from both of these types of motivational ideas.
Extrinsic Motivation is gaining motive from outside factors such as participating in a sporting event on a team to win the game. Another example would be a high school student needing a scholarship, and doing particular things in order to give them a better chance of qualifying/receiving one. These external factors help push us as individuals toward a goal that we can quantify or materialize.
Intrinsic Motivation is using inside factors from within one’s own mindset to further achieve a goal or outcome. For example a person who wakes up extra early to work out due to time constraints or other commitments in their daily routine. A person who takes special interest in a topic and chooses to go to the library in their free time to furthermore read and research more information. These specific examples are motivational ideas that start from within an individual.
Extrinsic and Intrinsic motivations are both very important in their own way. When it comes to fitness and health related goals, they become vital! Each person will vary in what drives them to continue on working towards their goals, whether it is losing weight for better health, or wanting to be around for kids/grandkids, or simply just wanting to look physically better for a significant other, a vacation, a wedding, etc. Most fitness people understand these concepts and how important it is for them to practice staying motivated as well as motivating others.
Some ideas that I have come across in my 11 year fitness and health journey, include both extrinsic and intrinsic motivating factors. I have competed in numerous competitions where I was trying to win a prize, which to me was a huge driving factor. I have attended a university to gain a health degree, to be able to make a career in something I am passionate about. I have also spent many years trying to achieve further knowledge and understanding of my own personal goals and fitness related concepts. It serves as a constant reminder as to why you are doing things to help get you closer to your goals. Here is a list of some motivation tactics I like to use to help myself:
- Using the background of your phone to save keywords or a picture of your goal
- Writing sticky notes and placing them in the bathroom on the mirror where you get ready
- Surrounding yourself with positive people and limiting time spent reading negative comments
- Using social media as a platform for ideas and positive reinforcement
- Keeping a notepad or person journal to write down any ideas or thoughts
- Purchasing particular sized clothing to use as guide to see results
- Creating musical playlist that fits the situation or mood you are looking for
- Reading self-help or autobiographical stories on other people who have achieved/overcome amazing circumstances
- Taking personal time to reflect in silence with just your own thoughts and all outside factors gone (phones, people, TV, music, etc.)
Tony is 30 years old and has a high level of passion for health and wellness. Tony has been a fitness specialist for 5 years and a personal trainer for 7 years. He graduated from Miami University (OH) with a B.S. in Kinesiology. He gets the most enjoyment out of teaching individuals that they have the power to change their body and mindset with enough hard work, knowledge and discipline. Outside of work Tony enjoys traveling, cooking, and sports.