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Finding Your Motivation for Big Lifestyle Change

The journey to live a healthier, happier lifestyle is not an easy one. It is full of change, breaking bad habits and building up new ones. In order to make a positive sustainable lifestyle change, you have to first understand your motivations.

Is your motivation intrinsic or extrinsic?

Intrinsic motivation involves doing something because it's personally rewarding to you and is driven by different interests, feelings, goals, or needs of an individual.

Research has shown that praise and positive feedback can help increase intrinsic motivation. Joining a fitness class or working one-on-one with a personal trainer can help you tap into intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation comes from the outside environment and involves doing something because you want to earn a reward, recognition, or appreciation.

Extrinsic rewards can promote interest in a task or skill a person didn't previously have any interest in. The chance to win a prize, or even bragging rights, can be a great motivator for many.

Examples of intrinsic motivation could include:

  • Reading a book because you enjoy the storytelling

  • Exercising because you want to relieve stress

  • Cleaning your home because it helps you feel organized

Examples of extrinsic motivation could include:

  • Reading a book to prepare for a test

  • Exercising to lose weight

  • Cleaning your home to prepare for visitors coming over

Both forms of motivation are good, but the key is to figure out why you are motivated.

Assess your habits

There are certain habits that highly motivated people have in common. Try incorporating as many of the following habits and traits into your daily life to help you tap into your motivation.

  • Observe the successes and mistakes of others and learn from them instead of judging or comparing yourself.

  • Admit when you made a mistake and apologize. Encourage feedback from others and use it to take steps in the right direction.

  • Focus on what IS working rather than what is not.

  • Be true to yourself despite what others think— don't live your life solely to please others.

  • Face discomfort head-on—don’t choose the easy route to get what you want, push yourself out of your comfort zone.

  • Understand that in order to grow as a person, you must always continue to learn.

  • When you stumble over that proverbial bump in the road, problem solve, come up with a plan, take action, and get past it.

  • Never blame others for your failures.

When the going gets tough, keep going

Demotivation can feel like a curse, and we all experience it from time to time. If you’re struggling with motivation, take a look at the following common causes of demotivation.


Fear slows us down. In the event of a dangerous situation, this can be beneficial. However, imagined fear, or fear of failure only holds us back from success. If you think fear is holding you back, ask yourself, "Why am I afraid of that happening?"

Setting the Wrong Goals

If the goals you set aren't things that truly matter to you, you won't be motivated to accomplish them. For instance, if you set a goal to run a marathon because your sister loves running, but you hate to run, it's going to be really difficult to motivate yourself. But if you want to run a marathon because you want to improve your running endurance, then you have a reason to motivate your goal. Set goals you actually want to accomplish.

Lack of Challenge

If you're not giving yourself a challenge, you'll become bored and unmotivated. We need constant challenges and opportunities to master new skills and achieve growth. For example, if you've been doing the same workout for 3 or more weeks, your body is no longer being challenged. Try something new to restore your motivation.

Need help identifying and optimizing your motivation? Let’s chat to unlock the secret to your health success.

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