What Motivates You?

Last month I started on a new journey … something I have been wanting to do for awhile.  I started studying for my ACE personal training certificate.  Fitness has been a passion of mine for most of my life, so it just made sense to pursue it!  I am really excited to bring you guys on this journey with me :)


One of the topics I was studying recently was on adherence and motivation.  Motivation is a complex and somewhat difficult thing to understand.  I mean, why are some people inherently more motivated than others?  What is it in me that motivates me each day to try to be better, do more, push harder?


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One of the ways that motivation can be evaluated is in terms of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.  Intrinsic motivation, in regards to exercise, means that a person participates because they genuinely enjoy doing the activity.  To be purely intrinsically motivation, a person would exercise for no other reason … just for the pure joy of the activity.  Extrinsic motivation means that one participates for the other benefits of the activity such as losing weight, health benefits, to look good, etc.  Most of us are not purely intrinsically motivated … we require some other factor to get us moving.  However, intrinsic motivation is associated with greater adherence, reaching maximal effort,and persistence … even when faced with a challenge.


I found this to be fascinating and spent some time thinking about the factors that motivation me to lace up my sneakers and go for a run.  As of right now I think I am 50/50 … 50% intrinsically motivated and 50% extrinsically motivated.  I LOVE the feeling I get when I workout.  My head clears, my heart beats, and my stress dissipates.  BUT I am not currently working out for those feelings alone.


SO, what factors are motivating me to work-out?


1.  To lose weight: This is a relatively new motivating factor for me.  Before now, I have never had to lose weight.  I am blessed with being tall and slender with a decent metabolism.  After having Emmie I have been working really hard to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and have charted my progress via my post-baby body updates.  I have to say this is a HUGE motivating factor for me.


2.  To be healthy.  It is a widely accepted fact that regular exercise is incredibly important for overall health.  This is rather important to me since I want to be around for a VERY long time.


3.  To be socially engaged.  As a new, and stay-at-home, mom finding adult time can be difficult.  I love going to the gym for that bit of social interaction.  Bootcamp has been awesome for this via the Facebook group created just for bootcamp participants.


And probably the MOST motivating factor in my life to stay active …


4.  To be a good example for my daughter.  I am a firm believer that children who see their parents as active individuals are more likely to be active themselves.  When I was a kid I played outside after school until the street lamps came on.  Nowadays more kids are planted in front of the TV or playing video games.  I am hoping that by seeing me be active Emmie will want to participate with me and then fall into an active lifestyle herself.


It was definitely food for thought and a good exercise to sit down and evaluate WHY I am working out.  What pushes me out the door.  I think that understanding that in myself will help me understand it in my clients and provide them with that extra push they might need to accomplish their goals.


What motivates you?  How intrinsically/extrinsically motivated are you?

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Madeline @ Food, Fitness, and Family

Healthy living blogger sharing my love of yummy eats, sweaty workouts, and my sweet family!

20 thoughts on “What Motivates You?”

  1. Yeah for ACE!! Hubby and I are ACE certified so please ask me any questions you might have!

    I’m motivated by feeling healthy and having energy! The blog also keeps me accountable to be a good role model and practice what I preach.

  2. I would have to say that 50/50 is the best way to describe my motivation as well, I love going to yoga and running when the weather is not 100+. However, I am also extrinsically motivated by the work I do as an actor. I work on devising shows and using my body to tell a story. As an artist, my body is my canvas and I would like to be able to use it in every possible way for as long as I possibly can. The body also directly supports the voice, ever since I went on my body mind journey I have found this great speaking voice that makes my job as an actor easier and more enjoyable for audience members. So I would say my number one motivation for exercise would be to better myself as and actor/collaborator.

  3. I’m very extrinsically motivated — I joined Tina’s Bootcamp because just knowing I needed to get fit wasn’t getting the job done. (I’d sit around thinking I wanted to work out and never actually do it.) The prizes motivate me, along with the knowledge that working out will help me lose weight.

    I’d like to move for the pure joy of moving — but I’m not there yet. The bootcamp workouts are making me feel amazing (exhausted and sore, but great), though, so I might get there.
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  4. I love this post, it was really interesting and actually quite touching to read.

    I enjoyed reading your own personal motivations. I definitely would say that I work out because I want to stay healthy, because it’s important for my condition, and because I want to lose weight. But a large part of me works out just because I enjoy it and I love the physical feeling I get afterwards :-)
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