Are you a self-motivated individual? If not, that’s quite alright. External motivation is sought out by the majority of us on a daily basis. We seek inspiration, creative flow, and energy to execute tasks on our to-do lists. We find this extrinsic motivation in the company of kindred spirits (friends, family, and peers), coffee (that’s a given), words of wisdom (found in books, articles, podcasts, etc.), and muses (both concrete and intangible). Sources for motivation are abundant, but the trick is to tap into your intrinsic (inner) motivation to complement outer influences.
“Children naturally have intrinsic motivation when born; they explore their environment and discover their abilities for enjoyment or personal satisfaction [and] mastery over their bodies.” (Frank, M. A., Ph. D. Excel At Life. Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic). In our youth, our curiosity and first-time experiences numb any pain or fears we may face, but as we age, external influences confuse and taint our innocent perception. Not to mention that our bodies begin battling with our minds! How do we regain that pure, intrinsic motivation and spark a romance with ourselves and the world around us?
I am a true believer in simplifying problems to uncover the best solution. In this case, we’re looking to reignite that inner fire and set blaze to a path of health, happiness, and success. How do you go about doing this? First, you must identify what your goal is. Do you want to attend 2 classes a week at Runn Chicago? Great! That short-term goal has been named and listed. Secondly, you must ask yourself these two questions:
1) Is this goal realistic?, and 2) How bad do you want it?.
Before you can create a game plan, you must acknowledge the likelihood of success. Is your goal realistic and attainable? Will it fit into your schedule and with your current lifestyle?
If the answer is yes, (and I certainly hope it is) then commit yourself wholeheartedly to achieving this goal. Write it down. Journal about your experience in relation to it daily. Set a routine for yourself. Do whatever it takes to reach the finish line. You have to want it bad enough.
So you’ve decided to commit. Now what?
As most of you probably know, it’s debated that it takes 21-28 days to form a lasting habit. The most difficult hurdle usually appears right before that check point, 2-3 weeks into your commendable efforts. The excitement begins fades, even if you are experiencing results. To remain loyal to your program, feed what motivates you in any way possible. This may come in the form of yummy treats, self-care, or quality time with loved ones- just to name a few. Look within first, and remind yourself why you wanted to set and achieve this goal originally. If you feel burnt out, this would be the ideal time to seek further motivation extrinsically.
Where should I seek solace?
The instructors at Runn Chicago will always serve as a listening ear, encourage you, and help you achieve your fitness goals in any way they can. Connecting with peers can also be a good approach, as your peer group are usually those you can relate to best. They’ll understand what you’re struggling with overall and be a voice of drive when you’re tempted to take the easy way out. You can continue to read our blog posts for insight, tips, and trick to elevate your practice, and there are ample selections of podcasts to listen to with runner’s sites and magazines to subscribe too. The list goes on and on!
I hope this post left you feeling inspired and with a better understanding of how to better optimize extrinsic and intrinsic motivation in unison. We can’t wait to Runn with you!