Lauren Lewis, MS, NASM-CPT, Health Education Consultant, Employee Wellness
Ah, motivation. You’d think as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor I’d have plenty of it, and an abundance to share with all of you! Well, to be honest, motivation is just as elusive for me as it is for many of you. So, I started thinking about motivation and whether we really need it to keep moving forward in our fitness journeys.
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation comes from within and compels us to do something because we want to, while extrinsic motivation comes in the form of a reward. An example of extrinsic motivation is participating in a wellness challenge because you want that prize! Experts can’t seem to agree on which type of motivation yields more positive behaviors, and some researchers suggest intrinsic motivation doesn’t even exist. The human mind is very complex, leading to all sorts of theories on why we behave the way we do, so it’s no surprise that the jury is still out on this topic.
Habits > Motivation
Building solid habits instead of always waiting for motivation to strike seems to be a better strategy for many folks. Here’s another way to think about habits vs. motivation. It’s likely not a feeling of motivation that gets you to brush your teeth daily, but a habit that you’ve developed over a long period of time. You can apply the same idea to your fitness and daily movement.
While I know there will be days when you do feel a surge of motivation, most days, you’ll need to just rely on the habit you’ve built over time. Exercise can be an automatic part of your day, just like brushing your teeth! Consistency is the key.
Ready to build more consistent fitness habits? Contact Lauren, email@example.com, to schedule a free one-on-one fitness consultation. Available to all benefits-eligible employees.