Here we are, ten days in to 2013. How many of you are suffering from a lack of motivation….already? Knowing how you (or someone else) is motivated is an important part of developing any lifestyle habit. Most people know about the two main types of motivation– intrinsic and external. If you are one of the few people who are intrinsically motivated to exercise, rock on! Most people, however, need some kind of external emotion or reward to be motivated.
As a personal trainer, a big part of my job is to figure out what motivates each individual client and adjust my approach accordingly. In my five years of training, I have identified a few typical motivational styles.
As a Catholic with Irish ancestry, I know all about guilt. Many of my clients are Jewish, so they get the guilt-thing, too. It’s in our genes. We want to work out because we said we would, and we always do what we say (or feel bad if we don’t). The guilt motivator is technically intrinsic, but it’s usually some external pressure that gets us to finally act.
I am a lousy trainer for people who are motivated by fear. Guilt I get…fear I refer you to therapy. That’s outside of my skill set and qualifications.
For those people motivated by personal growth, understanding that fitness is a journey achieved one day at a time is key to success. The path may be long and winding, but growth folks know they’re on their way someplace great.
When you are strong, you are powerful. You can change anything from yourself to your family to your community to your world. Be strong, and harness your own power.
Whatever the goal, all of the days of work that go into achieving it are important. Honor the journey to reach your destination.
Whether your incentive is mental, physical, or spiritual, know why you’re doing what you’re doing. And then you’ll keep on doing it.
Good health and great happiness to you!