Motivation – Intrinsic vs Extrinsic

December 15th, 2017 by

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Intrinsic Motivation- doing something because you love it. The experience is the reward.

Extrinsic Motivation- doing something for a reward or to avoid negative consequences.

When I started working out, it was so that I could lose weight for a vacation. I didn’t want to look fat in my bathing suit. My motivation was based on a fear, and a reward. It didn’t take long for the motivation type to shift. I no longer consider what I do as “working out”. Instead, I train (of course what I do now is very different than when I started). I don’t train for a reward, but training is the reward. It is a non-negotiable for me. It’s my end of the day stress relief.

Both types of motivation have their place. Neither is right or wrong. But when something extrinsic becomes intrinsic, the likelihood of it becoming a lifestyle, having a permanent place in your routine, is going to go up. Sometimes (usually) we live somewhere in between on our goals/behaviors. Trying to find ways to make your goals enjoyable will strengthen your intrinsic motivation and you will value the supporting behaviors more, making them easier to stick to.

Where are you on the continuum?