Getting to grips with the Psychology behind Motivation

Getting to grips with the Psychology behind Motivation

It seems to us that there are only two driving forces behind why we do things in life. Firstly we do things because we want to and secondly we do things because other people want us to.

The first category is usually packed with things we enjoy like hobbies, seeing friends and planning breaks away. The second is usually externally driven activities like having a job, washing up and other things that become second nature and you’re doing them because that’s simply what you do. Of course these categories do mix and match and you may love your job but realistically would you do it for free?

Over time you can move things from the second category – that of obligation – into the first category – that of things you love and enjoy. Exercise is a key activity which for some people needs to move from the second to the first motivational category before it can truly lead to benefits.

Research suggests that the human mind only has three basic needs:

  1. Autonomy – freedom to do what we enjoy and not being controlled
  2. Competence – becoming good at something, such as your chosen sport or exercise
  3. Relatedness – the feeling of being part of a larger group, a connection to others

You can find all these elements in your exercise goals - or even if you can only find one or two - it won’t be long before you feel like going to the gym is no longer a chore and is in fact something you choose to do because you want to do it.

It really is that simple. You can change the way your mind works and turn work into play through connecting the dots and determining the core reason behind your exercise goals.

So, who wants to play? Then get to the gym for some fun today!

 

Comments

Pete R.
31 March 2014

Pete R.

I go to the gym as and when I fancy it. That way there's no pressure.

Callum M.
31 March 2014

Callum M.

I actually really enjoy exercise - it's just when we're not doing it we tend to forget how much fun it can be. The only motivation you need is to be reminded how good it is and how much you love it.

Trevor D.
27 March 2014

Trevor D.

If we are honest, most of us would like to sit all day on comfy sofas eating cakes, perhaps admiring a pleasant view - especially when it is cold outside. But we know this is not good for us, and so the best way is to make ourselves WANT to look after ourselves. If the gym is fun, then that is half the battle.

Olga N.
27 March 2014

Olga N.

I'd be lying if I said I had a regular pattern to my gym sessions - I go when I fancy it & achieve more because my mindset is right!

Sasha B.
27 March 2014

Sasha B.

If deep down you don't want to go to the gym you won't go. You need to find what motivates you. You need a good reason to keep doing something which is hard work! When you get to the core issues of why you go the the gym it's always that you will feel personally happier. I guess it's selfish, however you dress it up!

Mary C.
27 March 2014

Mary C.

The more you think about this, the harder it is to untangle what you want to do from what others want you to do. I think I exercise because I want to look after my body. But I also want to feel attractive, and surely that's playing into the hands of other people's expectations?

Bradley C.
27 March 2014

Bradley C.

I go to the gym because I want to eat (and drink!) what I want without gaining weight. It's not exactly that I want to go, but I'm not going because other people want me to go either. So I'm not sure where that fits in with these ideas about motivation.

Freya W.
26 March 2014

Freya W.

For a long time I did challenges and pushed myself because I thought it was expected of me. I think as you get older you realise that doing things for yourself makes far more sense.

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