Motivation

By Mairna Perry-Kuhn

People often talk about motivation as if it’s either something you’re born with or not.  Especially in relation to fitness and health.  But this simply isn’t true.  We all function as a result of motivation, some just may not have found how to dial up their motivation mojo yet.

There are two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation comes from within and occurs when the task is its own reward. Extrinsic motivation is external and involves working to attain an outcome or reward. Often extrinsic motivation get a bad rap… it can be labeled as shallow or coercive in nature.  However I believe that the two types of motivation offer an amazing synergy when used together. Let me explain.

I think the reason so many people feel they lack motivational mojo in their lives is that often we aren’t experiencing enough intrinsic motivation. Things look and feel like chores.  We’re not deriving enough joy out of the process of most things.  Many peoples to-do-list is chocked full of things they don’t enjoy doing.  Which forces them to focus on potential extrinsic motivators (external rewards etc) to get the job done. Which is fine as the reality is there will always be things in life that we have to do (like cleaning the house) that we may not love actually doing but that we enjoy the results of (having a clean and orderly home to reside in).

What would be better though is if we can try to add back more intrinsic joy to the things we choose to do, maybe tweaking the process so it has a higher fun-factor and less drudgery. For instance adding in companionship.  Adding a buddy to your task, workout, shopping trip or household chore instantly changes the level of joy you’ll derive.  And where you can’t up the intrinsic motivation within a task, try either cutting or delegating it to someone else (Hire a cleaner for example) or put a large enough extrinsic motivator on it that you rapidly knock it over in your haste to get to the ‘prize’.  There should, in my opinion, be no shame in that.  Life too short to bog it own with obligation, chores and activities that don’t inspire us.

At Pure our whole ethos regarding exercise and wellness is based around intrinsic motivation.  Our focus on innovative classes is all about enjoying the process of gaining greater strength, fitness, flexibility and wellness, not just the end result.  We believe loving the process will make the results a wonderful bonus.  We try to create an environment within our classes that allows you to really enjoy the process of the movement, the breath, the challenge, the community, the developmental growth…. the whatever, dependent on the class of course. The intrinsic motivation of loving the classes is the reason so many of our members have been coming to us to do the same classes for 8, 9 years… they simple love it: they are intrinsically motivated by the pure enjoyment.

That being said we ensure that the classes deliver tangible results for our members so that they can also have the extrinsic motivation of feeling firmer, stronger, and leaner in their bodies.  Focusing on extrinsic motivators can aid you when life gets busy and you’re thinking about not squeezing in your session due to being time poor.  Intrinsically you might think “sure I love my GRC but I really got to get X,Y, Z done today”.  That’s where the extrinsic motivations, such as I want to feel stronger and leaner, improve my posture, strengthen my core, shift the weight etc can make you re-prioritize that session back in.

So whether its your wellness goals and class participation at Pure or re-evaluating your to-do –list in life, try to find and engage in as many things as possible that you really love to do. Where this isn’t possible, evaluate the activity to see if you can’t add in more potential for intrinsic joy and failing that either delegate or extrinsically motivate yourself with an awesome reward you do love.  This multifaceted approach will give you a great arsenal for keeping your motivational mojo high and have you smashing through your goals and reaping the benefits of persistence and sustained motivation – success!

Wishing you health, vitality and success.

Marina.