Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation (How to Lose Weight)

When we want to achieve a goal in life, the most important thing to understand is that your subconscious runs your body. With that understanding, you must be as detailed and straightforward as possible when you want to accomplish something. The other key to knowing is that positive and negative behaviors train to shape our brain’s activity.  Our mind and body only do things to avoid pain and gain pleasure. Motivation is not a new word, and according to Merriam Webster and I quote is “1 a) the act or process of motivating, b) the condition of being motivated c) a motivating force, stimulus, or influence: incentive or drive” Through this article will talk about two types of motivation intrinsic and extrinsic. 

In life, there are two basic types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic, and understanding these are essential secrets to achieving our desires. Motivation will prime our pump to start us on our path and keep us going to achieve our goals. Why are some people more motivated than others, you may ask? There are a few reasons: the person’s why may not be loud enough, or in other words, the reason or purpose is not strong enough. The other reason you may not have had enough practice is wanting to motivate yourself to do things for your reasons instead of others.

Intrinsic motivation is something you do because of the feeling of pleasure you get from your own internal values, morals, and passions. You may want to run a marathon because of the great feeling you get from increased blood flow and oxygen. A student may study for their test not because they have to but due to a feeling they experience when seeing or hearing the teacher say A, A- or B. One may volunteer for a soup kitchen or help build the homeless a place they can call their own and live in because of the sense of purpose it gives your life. Since you know your work is making a difference in people’s lives or you believe in your work, you stay longer sometimes. People choose to employ and say positive, write and think positive affirmations several times daily because they want to become more positive. Parents and students may choose to invest because they want to have a feeling of financial independence.

Extrinsic motivation is anything that propels you to achieve your goals that are external to your body, such as money, a new car, a house, friends, a relationship, a gift certificate, a trophy, prize. You may work at a company, and the sales manager says the person who brings in the most sales this quarter will get a trip to any destination they want for a week, all expenses paid. You could work for yourself and see a new car as something you must have. 

Now that we know the differences let’s discuss how to use each in our lives. For a while, you have wished that you weighed less, but no matter what you do, the weight either increases or stays the same. Wishing you weighed less is not enough for your mind to cause the body to take action to reach this goal. You have heard me say this before if your why is not loud enough, then you won’t be motivated to do it. When someone says this to you, it means you don’t have a compelling or strong enough reason to achieve that goal.

Next, the first thing you need to do is devise a plan to lose weight. Many think that hanging out at the gym every day will make the weight fall off, it won’t. F

Taking the weight loss example will approach it in two ways: one using intrinsic and the other using extrinsic motivation. You decided you want to lose weight, tremendous, and now my question is why. If the answer is that it would be a nice thing to do or it might help me have a more extraordinary life, your mind will not bother to help you. I will lose weight because it will make me feel better, have more energy, and live longer. That is a set of reasons your mind will want to respond to. Now more is needed to have reasons, as you have to see how you will look, feel and be.

Next, the first thing you need to do is devise a plan to lose weight. Many think that hanging out at the gym every day will make the weight fall off, but it won’t. First, download the free my fitness pal app, log everything you eat, and learn that food portions should be no larger than the inside of your palm. Avoid fried foods as much as possible and drink at least 4-6 8 oz glasses of water. Each morning start with a small, simple exercise you will do before you shower and then before you go to bed, like planks, toe touches, etc.  There is no need to have a large array of them, just a few to help burn fat. Before you eat something at home or out, check for the calories and how much. I often cut cakes into one or two additional portions I take home.

Looking at the Weight Loss example from an extrinsic motivation would be slightly different. I want to lose weight because my picture will get many likes on Facebook. My reason for losing weight is so my family doesn’t nag me about my weight. I want to lose weight so people see my clothes fit me better.

The critical thing to remember is that in either type of motivation when even small results show up, you are motivated to keep up with what you’re doing. Our body operates from two other premises instant gratification and delayed gratification. You may enjoy instant gratification if you eat all the cake now. Portioning off your means will allow you to experience even better-delayed gratification and a healthier body.

So, the next time you want to achieve something: make sure your why is loud enough that you see how this affects your internal or external life. We all have the choice to motivate ourselves to be or do whatever we want; what will yours be?

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