By: Mike Collette
We here this everyday whether its from ourselves or others, the word “motivation”. A conversation about motivation can sound something like this “I’m really not feeling motivated to going to the gym today” or something like this “Wow, seeing that person do that really motivated me to be better”.
Now the truth of the matter is NO ONE or NOTHING can truly motivate you. In all essence of the word, motivation is the psychological driving force that reinforces someones actions to a desired goal. Motivation is what drives an animal to eat to survive; motivation is what separates two people in their success or failure in life; motivation is what drives someone to achieve a goal that once seemed near impossible but still got it done. The thing is, being intrinsicly motivated to get off the couch and start exercising and eating well reguarly is the only way someone will be successful.
Now hear me out. Extrinsic motivation is something that externally reinforces a persons need to achieve a goal. “I need to do this” “My doctor said I have to lose weight”. Chances are, this sort of motivation is the least effective way to achieve a goal. The reason: its not personally desired. Now, these external motivators are means to FACILITATE ones intrinsic motivation. For example, witnessing something that turns you on to start a new goal isn’t truly a motivator, it is something that has influenced or facilitated your intrinsic motivation towards that desired goal.
Those people that are doing something based purely on extrinsic motivation are those people that will most likely be completely miserable during the process to achieve the said task. As a personal trainer and CrossFit coach, an important part of my job is to facilitate a persons intrinsic motivation. ‘Why are you here?” “How great would you feel if you accomplished this goal?” “When was the last time you’ve accomplished a goal?” These are things that can help a person in fueling their intrinsic motivaiton.
A person needs to believe in themselves if they want to accomplish a challenging goal. We can help someone do this via encouragement or positive reinforcement but you cannot make this happen. This is intuitive this is intrinsic. So how do we help build this intrinsic motivation?
1.) Make the process fun and enjoyable for someone
2.) Positive reinforcement vs. negative reinforcement
3.) Focus on the good things someone is doing, not the bad
4.) Make short term goals attainable that lead up to a long term goal
5.) Create and enforce a visual map for the person to show where they can be
6.) Institute an environment that culminates 1-5 (group dynamic)
Think about yourself. Think about people in your life that you would love to see make a change for the better.  All it takes is hard work? No. It takes much more than that and it starts from the psychological standpoint of “this is what i WANT to do” not “this is what i HAVE to do”. If you want to be a better CrossFitter, a better friend, parent, increase your quality of life, make more money, be successful, pass a test etc, the same process remains true.
My goal is that this brief article can help light the fire under some people to  make a change. Now remember, this didn’t motivate you, your motivation was already there it was just stagnant. Now be that person that makes the change for a better you!