What's your motivation?
This weekend as I sat at my son’s graduation from lineman’s school, I reflected on motivation.
There are three main types:
reward-based motivation - you do the thing because of the reward you know you’ll get when you do it
consequence-based motivation - you do the thing because the consequence of not doing the thing is worse than doing it
intrinsic motivation - you do the thing because you’re motivated internally
We, can at different times and in different areas of our lives, be driven by each of these types of motivation.
And how we’re motivated can change depending on the day.
Like years ago when I first started strength training seriously. Initially I did it because I knew I’d feel good if I did. Then the muscle soreness set in and I didn’t want to keep going. That’s when I was motivated by the consequences I’d face if I didn’t do it - I’d lose the progress I made so far and would have to start all over!
Now I’m motivated to exercise because I genuinely enjoy it. I don’t need to dangle a carrot or wield a stick; I just do the thing because it’s the thing I do.
Whenever I think of intrinsic motivation, I always think of my son.
He’s always been a kid who does things because he’s motivated. Or else he won’t do them.
There’s never been a consequence big enough that would motivate him to do the thing. (Like the time when he was in second grade and we took his favorite toys away until he did some job - clean his room maybe. A ridiculous amount of time went by and I finally asked him if he wanted his toys back. “I did,” he said. “And then I found this rock and this stick so I’m okay.”)
And no reward big enough either, except when he turned 16 and I tied his behavior into driving privileges! (It seriously it drove his teachers nuts too!)
While this was frustrating for me as a parent, it meant that when he did things, he was all in and he’d do them the best he could.
And that’s the spirit he brought with him to the last four months at lineman’s school. My kid who stopped doing homework in fifth grade started studying for the first time in his life.
“You’ll never believe this, Mom. Not only do I study, but I’m the kid who does the work and shares the answers with everyone else. Bet you didn’t see that coming!”
When he wants something, he goes after it full force because his motivation comes from inside.
How about you? What motivates you?
It’s okay if it’s the reward or the consequence. Perhaps it’ll turn into intrinsic motivation someday.
Look at different areas of your life and see if you can spot some patterns - what do those things you do because of intrinsic motivation have in common?
Weekly Journal Prompts:
Use these prompts as written or as inspiration to uncover what you need in your life this week.
Which areas of my life am I motivated by reward? Which ones by consequence? And which ones am I intrinsically motivated?
What patterns exist between each group of motivators?
How do these types of motivation apply to the goals you set for yourself?
What steps can you take to find intrinsic motivation in an areas where you've been motivated by reward or consequence?
One Journaling Idea I Love:
Use your journal to visualize what you want. It could be a goal, a lifestyle, a relationship, a habit.
With words or pictures illustrate what you want:
What does it look like when you’ve achieved it? What does it feel like? Smell like? Sound like? Be as descriptive and specific as possible and make this vision come alive both on the page and in your mind. Come back and re-read this visualization as often as you need to as you progress along the path toward making your goal come true!
Need Some Help with Your Journaling?
I work with clients 1:1 and in small groups to help them journal their way to both success on their own terms and to a life they don’t want a vacation from.
Working together, we’ll
identify opportunities for growth and progress
build foundational habits to help you succeed
take your goals and break them down into action plans so you can move forward and make them happen
overcome obstacles, stumbling blocks, and limiting beliefs
recognize and celebrate your growth and progress
learn to be your own accountability partner so your growth is lasting and sustainable
Whether you’re ready to work with me 1:1, you want a seat in my next small group program Better You, Better Business starting October 3, or you want to imagine together what journaling can help you achieve, book a call with me HERE. I can’t wait to talk with you!
Where You Can Find Me:
I share journal related content on LinkedIn every day by 8 am Eastern. Visit me there for stories, journaling ideas, and more!
I have a website! Visit me at GoodThingsComeToThoseWhoJournal.com
I’m always reachable by email.
My teenagers are doing their best to avoid me on TikTok…
Thanks for reading Good Things Come to Those Who Journal! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.