Examples of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation: What Drives You?

Find out what makes you tick when it comes to achieving your goals. Learn how to use extrinsic motivation to set short term goals and intrinsic motivation to stick to them. #motivation #goals #lifestylehacks



Have you ever stopped to think about what truly motivates you to take action and chase your goals? Is it the thought of external rewards or the intrinsic satisfaction of personal fulfilment? Motivation is the driving force behind our actions and behaviours, influencing how we approach tasks and set goals. Both play important roles in shaping our behaviours and goals and in this post, I want to talk about the importance of understanding the nuances between these motivators and give examples of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation in the world of health and fitness.

Examples of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation


Table of Contents

Extrinsic Motivation: External Rewards

Extrinsic motivation drives behaviour through external rewards or incentives. It’s the carrot dangling in front of us, urging us forward. Examples of extrinsic motivators include money, recognition, and prizes.

While extrinsic motivation is great for short-term behaviour changes, it can fall short of sustaining long-term engagement. Once you have received the reward, you may not see a reason to continue, and your motivation will wane.

This reliance on external rewards for motivation can lead to a cycle of dependency, where you constantly seek external validation or rewards to drive your actions.

extrinsic motivation

Intrinsic Motivation: Internal Desires

Intrinsic motivation is driven by your internal desires, shaping your actions from within. It’s that fire in you, driving you forward even when no one is watching.

Examples of intrinsic motivators include finding enjoyment in exercise, feeling yourself getting stronger, and seeing personal growth through your fitness journey.

When we’re intrinsically motivated, it’s not about the external rewards or recognition. Instead, it’s about the pure joy of movement, the excitement of pushing our limits, and the satisfaction of seeing ourselves grow.

Intrinsic motivation helps to create long-term engagement and passion because it comes from within. It’s not dependent on external factors, so even when the going gets tough, your inner drive keeps you going.

When you’re driven by intrinsic motivation, your commitment to your health and fitness journey becomes unwavering. You’re not just working out to achieve a goal; you’re doing it because it’s who you are and what you love.

intrinsic motivation


Comparing Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation may both drive behaviour, but they come from different places and have distinct impacts on our actions.

Both types of motivation have their benefits and limitations. Extrinsic motivation can provide tangible rewards and incentives that drive your short-term behaviour, making it useful for achieving specific goals or tasks. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, will drive long-term behaviour and habit changes but it may not always provide immediate rewards or incentives that can help you achieve smaller, short-term goals.

Understanding the differences between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation will allow you to use both types effectively while pursuing your goals, by recognising when each type of motivation is most appropriate and how to use them.


The Behavioral Neuroscience of Motivation

Examples of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation In Health And Fitness

In the world of health and fitness, both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation drive our actions and choices.

Extrinsic motivation often plays a role in weight loss journeys, where you might be incentivised by external rewards like getting to a certain clothing size or receiving praise for your progress. For example, someone may start a weight loss program to fit into an outfit for a party or receive compliments on their transformation.

Intrinsic motivation, however, stems from personal fulfilment. Real-life examples of intrinsic motivation in weight loss include pursuing exercise that brings joy and satisfaction, like dancing or hiking, simply for the pleasure of movement. Or, eating healthier because it makes you feel energised and nourished is also driven by intrinsic motivation.

Identifying sources of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation that work for you requires introspection and self-awareness. By recognising and understanding both types of motivation in your weight loss journey, you can tailor your approach to align with your goals.

examples of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation


Understanding Your Personal Motivators

Understanding what motivates you is key to staying committed to your health and fitness journey. Take some time to reflect on your own motivations and what drives you to pursue your goals.

Start by thinking about your extrinsic motivators. Think about the external rewards or incentives that would drive you to make changes in your health and fitness habits. Keep these as rewards for short-term habit changes.

Next, think about your intrinsic motivators. What activities or habits bring you joy, fulfilment, and a sense of purpose? Consider the physical activities you enjoy doing simply for the pleasure of movement, or the healthy eating habits that make you feel satisfied and good about yourself.

Identify Your Personal Motivators With These Questions:

  1. What goals or aspirations do you have about your health and fitness?
  2. What specific rewards or incentives have inspired you to make changes in the past?
  3. What activities or habits do you genuinely enjoy and find fulfilling in your health and fitness journey?
  4. How do you feel when you participate in physical activity or eat healthy, filling foods?
  5. What values or beliefs are important to you when it comes to your health and well-being?

By reflecting on these questions and thinking about your own motivations, you can gain a deeper understanding of what drives you to take action and make positive changes in your health and fitness habits.


Harnessing Motivation for Success

Finding success in your health and fitness journey is all about finding the sweet spot between what gets you going from the outside and what lights you up from within.

Both types of motivation have their perks. External motivation gives you that initial push to get going, while internal motivation keeps you going long-term. So, mix it up! Set goals that get you excited and align them with the things that will make you feel fulfilled.

Success in your health and fitness journey is all about finding what works for you. So, tap into your motivation – both inside and out.

Examples of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation: Conclusion

Remember, motivation isn’t just about ticking off boxes – it’s about finding your groove and making the journey your own.

Take some time to dig deep and explore what gets you motivated. Motivation is your secret weapon. It’s what keeps you pushing when the going gets tough and what makes those victories all the sweeter. So, embrace it, harness it, and let it propel you toward your goals.

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