Motivation… that darn feeling of being impelled to take action due to some internal or external pressure factor. Sometimes it leads to voluntary and positive action, other times motivation to act feels forced and counterfeit.

In the coming weeks, and possibly months, I am going to dig deep into the psychology and science of motivation; particularly how it relates to our behaviors in health and fitness.

In this first piece, We will examine the basic definition of motivation. It will get you thinking about your current habits and state of drive (or lack there of ; ) regarding health and fitness.  In the next article, we will delve deeper into the science of motivation and human behavior.

The “motivation” of this series is to enlighten us of where we are, in order to help us get where we want to go. You will certainly learn something about yourself, and also be given the tools and support to create the most rewarding mindset, results, and #fitnessmotivation from here on out!

Let’s start with a few definitions:

mo·ti·va·tion  [moh-tuh-vey-shuhn]

1. the act or instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way. Synonyms: motive, inthe act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way. Synonyms: motive, inspiration, inducement,cause, impetus.
2. the state or condition of being motivated: We know that these students have strong motivation to learn.
3. something that motivates; inducement; incentive: Clearly, the company’s long-term motivation is profit.

Huh, imagine that. A definition that uses part of the word in the definition. That’s not annoying at all… Let’s dig deeper.

mo·ti·vate [moh-tuh-veyt]

verb (used with object), mo·ti·vat·ed, mo·ti·vat·ing.
to provide with a motive or motives; incite; impel.
Almost there…

mo·tive [moh-tiv]

1. something that causes a person to act in a certain way, do a certain thing, etc.; incentive.
2. the goal or object of a person’s actions: Her motive was revenge.
3. causing, or tending to cause, motion.
4. pertaining to motion.
5. prompting to action.
 So, coming full circle, it can be said that Motivation is:

1. The act or instance of providing a goal, object, or incentive of a person’s actions.

 2. The state or condition of being driven forward into motion or action.

I want to draw attention here to the repetition of “action”. Motivation is “why we do what we do”; not what we think or what we want to do or what is done for us. It’s all rooted in action.

So here is the question today:

What is your MOTIVATION to exercise and nourish your body with healthy food?   There is no wrong answer.  You simply must answer to yourself honestly.

Are you motivated by getting your doctor off your back about losing weight/improving other health issues?

Are you motivated by the thought of being healthy for your kids/family?

Are you motivated by the results of living healthy, such as a higher quality of life?

Are you motivated by social factors such as: what people look like on tv/in magazines, what people you admire look like, what your friends look like?

Maybe you are motivated by habit at this point? You are healthy and strong and a day that goes by without a workout and with unhealthy food feels foreign and icky?

Are you motivated by a goal? I want to get back to how I looked in High School… I want to be able to run a 10k race…

Answer this question and write it down for yourself…. “I am motivated to exercise and eat healthy by/because…”

In next weeks piece, you will then be able to define your motivation as “intrinsic” or “extrinsic” (that will be explained), and you will also discover the source of your motivation.

Here is a preview of one of the research articles that will be highlighted next week:

 In the words of Columbia Business School’s Motivation Science Center director Tory Higgins,

“The essence of human motivation is that we want to be effective. It’s what makes us feel alive.” 

“We are willing to give up sensory pleasure and take on pain in order to be effective.”

 I think we can all agree that a hard workout is definitely in the “pain” category ; )
Here is the full article from the quote above.

Until next time!

With Agape,


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