It is easier to say most things than actually do them. You will always find a reason why not to wake up early, not to work out, not to finish that long-standing goal of yours. There will always be something in your way. The only way to change this is to have a purpose that outweighs the voices in your head telling you not to. Here is why you will get better results by having a purpose.
Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation
When we are talking about motivations the automatic response is to an external motivator to accomplish a given task; whether it be a bigger salary, a ripped body, a promotion, a new car. It is something external that is pulling you forward towards the goal.
Extrinsic motivation can be generally thought of as physical, tangible objects that people want. These are great to start the process or pull you towards your goal; more often than not they often fall short when looking in the long term.
The opposite is the internal motivation or intrinsic motivation; the motivation that comes from within and the action that is driven by a personal reward.
Which is better?
When choosing which one is best for you, it will really depend on the situation you are in, what you are trying to achieve, and what is the overall end goal of this action. There are so many factors that will decide whether or not an intrinsic motivation approach or extrinsic motivation approach will work for you, however, I can give you my two cents.
When speaking towards those who are going to start going to the gym and sticking to a plan there is a progression that I have experienced and that I have seen many clients go through; they begin their journey by using extrinsic motivators and continue with an intrinsic motivator. The beginning starts with going to the gym to have a six-pack, to fit in certain size clothing or anything else that is tangible. Then it transitions to the pure enjoyment of being active or for a deeper reason. My quick advice is to go with a latter and find that deeper reason and purpose.
My Advice: Find a Purpose
There are pros and cons to each type of motivation and one may work better for you than the next person, but in my experience finding that “why” behind what you are doing will keep you going farther than any physical reward. When I am working with clients I always ask them why they are doing what they are doing; why they decided to get healthy. And what I’m looking for is not something superficial necessarily, which can be an acceptable goal for some, but I want something that means something close to that person. For example, if someone is unhealthy and wants to change, a purpose for them getting in shape could be wanting to walk their children down the aisle, or if someone wants to get more muscular it’s because they want to be able to protect the ones they love.
This idea doesn’t necessarily need to be related to fitness; for someone who is working long hours since their purpose can be to provide for their family or an individual learning a new language they want to connect to as many people as possible. This idea of a purpose can be used in any situation.
Having a purpose may seem too serious, but having something so important to the individual’s heart will push them to limits that they never thought possible. Having that thought in their head that they are doing something not for themselves but for others that they love, can be a hugely influential factor.
What to do?
The next time you find yourself in a situation where you think it is not possible, think of something near and dear to you. I promise that when you have that purpose in mind that is that important to you, it will push you toward your goal further and longer than any physical reward will.