Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation- What’s the Difference?

Hey girl hey! Its been a hot minute since I got an actual post up on a Wednesday but here we are. How’s your week so far? We’ve made it to hump day and we are just that much closer to the weekend #holla. We have had a little bit of a crazy week so far… our little squishy boy got the Chicken Pox and has been a little sad ๐Ÿ™ it is seriously the worst thing to see your little be sick/not feeling well. But I’m sure we’ll survive!

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about motivation.ย What’re some of the things that motivate you? Is it a desire for health? Is it a certain number on the scale or a specific pant size? Do you work out because you think it might impress someone else? Or because they asked you to be healthier?

The origin of your motivation matters in the long term success and adherence to health programs/goals/dreams. If you are extrinsically motivated, your behavior is dependent upon or controlled by others and is based on external rewards. Let’s say that you have a high school reunion coming up and you google search, “Quick weight loss diets” (please for the love of all that is holy, don’t do that!) and you begin this crash diet in order to look good for all your old buddies IT WILL NOT STICK. These kinds of extreme extrinsic motivators tend to be very short term, usually aren’t very successful and could even be dangerous to your health.

Extrinsic motivators aren’t all bad though. I mean, I think it would be impossible not to have any sort of extrinsic motivation in your life. My biggest extrinsic motivator would be that I want to look good for my husband. Like I want him to think that I look HOT. Being “hot” isn’t everything but he’s the one person that I care about what he thinks I look like. Funny enough, I don’t think he cares that much about my weight he cares more about my health!

When you are more extrinsically motivated, your self esteem tends to stem from achievements, instead of basing your self esteem on you inherent worth (read more about your worth HERE). In my opinion, you will be happier and live a more fulfilling life if you base your self esteem on self-acceptance and self-love. This type of self esteem is highly related to intrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation means start behaving in a certain way because we actually want to and it is satisfying for us or even enjoyable. Behaviors that naturally occur because of your intrinsic motivators tend to stick around a lot longer than behaviors that are extrinsic. I think that when you realize your worth and truly start to love yourself you are definitely more likely to take care of yourself- physically and emotionally.

I know that it can be a long journey to loving yourself. Heck, I’m still working on this myself! I think it’s something that takes time and effort. But even the small progress I’ve made towards just liking myself more, I have seen so much more consistency with my health goals. I enjoy exercise and sweating it out because I know it is good for me and I want to feel good.ย I have found joy in fueling my body with wholesome and fresh foods because I know my body needs nutrients in order to function properly and I want it to have everything it needs to feel good.ย The transition from wanting to lose weight because you want to fit into a dress or certain pant size to wanting to feel your best can take time but it is one of the most important things you could ever do for yourself.

Take some time for yourself and think about why you are doing what you’re doing. Remember that there is a place for both extrinsic and intrinsic motivators but that your healthy behaviors will be more long term if they are intrinsic.ย So after all that, what motivates you?


Diaper bag found HERE; ย Shoes found HERE

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