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Motivation: Intrinsic versus Extrinsic

Did you ever sit back and think about what motivates you? Are you someone who is self-motivated to reach your goals? Do you need a little extra help from outsiders to get tasks done? Do you go to the gym on your own and/or go through your own routine? Do you go to the gym with a friend and/or have a trainer who checks in with you to make sure you are attending? Depending on your answers to the above questions, we can find out what type of motivation you are fueled by, Intrinsic or Extrinsic. By pin pointing your drive factors, we can target those and help to keep that fuel burning. If you are more the person who is self-driven to reach your goals and have no problem going to the gym on your own then you would be Intrinsically Motivated. Per Business Dictionary, Intrinsic Motivation is stimulation that drives an individual to adopt or change a behavior for his or her own internal satisfaction or fulfillment. Intrinsic motivation is usually self-applied, and springs from a direct relationship between the individual and the situation. It is very important factor in the design of a learning or training course. Within fitness, intrinsically motivated people are self-driven to workout. They have a personal goal to hit and that is enough motivation to push them to follow a routine, train hard and reach their goals. On the other hand, if you are the person who needs an extra push from a friend or trainer to get to the gym, then you would be Extrinsically Motivated. Per Business Dictionary, Extrinsic Motivation is drive to action that (as opposed to intrinsic motivation) springs from outside influences instead of from one's own feelings. Although intrinsically motivated people are driven from within, an external driving force can never hurt. Similarly, extrinsically motivated people also have their own internal goals, but they are more driven by outside motivation like a gym buddy or trainer they don’t want to let down. The purpose of finding out what motivates you, is to be able to utilize that motivation and obtain the best possible results. If you are self-driven, find what goals truly fuel your fire and build goals to reach, share those goals with a trainer or friend so they can help you if you find yourself in a rut; if you struggle to use self-motivation, find out what external factors can help. Do you need a gym buddy or trainer to hold you accountable? Do you need to do check-ins to make sure you stay on track? Is it simply a matter of having someone give you an extra push during a workout that drives you? No matter what that motivation is, finding it will help you optimize results. Ask yourself these 5 questions and figure out what fuels you:
  1. What is your why? Why are you doing this?
  2. Is it easy for you to stay on track or does it seem tasking to work towards this goal?
  3. Do you perform better in a group or alone?
  4. Do you like to report to someone or keep to yourself?
  5. Do you share your goals with others?
Based off your answers, you can see if you are more intrinsically motivated or extrinsically motivated. Finding out which one can help you succeed! Often times we find more success in those who are intrinsically motivated. Having the drive yourself is very helpful in exercise adherence; however, even if you start by being extrinsically motivated, that can lead to the creation of intrinsic motivation. On the other side, your motivation can change the opposite way as well. For example, if you are an intrinsically motivated person with a special event coming up for which I want to lose some weight, you now have an extrinsic reason driving your exercise. Any and all motivation is great! The benefits of exercising are limitless, whatever it takes to get you moving, keep it up!!!

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