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Intrinsic Motivation to Build a Positive Habit

Intrinsic Motivation

“You can motivate by fear, and you can motivate by reward. But both those methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self motivation.”  ~Homer Rice

Intrinsic motivation is essentially the deep reason why something is important to you.  Ultimately, a strong connection to your intrinsic motivation will keep you committed and aligned with your values and what’s important to you, moving in the direction of the life you desire.  It can also reduce the possible suffering, resentment and guilt for not doing this.  Intrinsic motivation is a key element needed to build a positive habit of make a change.

Consider these questions:

  • Why do you do the things you do? 
  • Why do you prioritize or value certain activities and behaviors over others?
  • Do your behaviors reflect what you believe is important to you? 
  • Have you ever assessed the accuracy of this?

What is Intrinsic Motivation?

According to Verywellmind.com, “Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal rewards.  In other words, the motivation to engage in a behavior arises from within the individual because it is naturally satisfying to you.  This contrasts with extrinsic motivation which involves engaging in a behavior in order to earn external rewards or avoid punishment.”

I would also add, the intrinsic motivation is the benefit or value a behavior offers you.  For example, if a child believes they benefit from a clean room because they enjoy more focus and peace when their room is clean, they are more likely to want to keep their room clean.

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation

Alternatively, extrinsic motivation doesn’t necessarily create a habit of cleaning their room for that child.  This child may receive extrinsic motivation to clean their room by way of a monetary reward for doing so or because they will receive a punishment if they do not.  While they may clean their room with extrinsic motivation, they don’t connect with the benefit of the action.  When that extrinsic motivation is no longer offered, will they clean their room? Likely, they will not.

Let’s work through how intrinsic motivation, in comparison to extrinsic motivation, is helpful to build a positive habit of regular meditation.  (This is the Mindful Movement, after all)

Extrinsic motivation first:

  • You join a yoga studio that is offering a free package of classes to complete a meditation challenge. (reward)
  • You complete the 7 day challenge, practicing meditation every day for a week.
  • You recognize that you feel calm and clear headed after practicing. (benefit)
  • You receive a package of classes upon completion.
  • Beyond the challenge, you find it difficult to commit consistently to your new meditation practice. Even though you know it’s good for you, you do not stick with this new habit.

Intrinsic motivation, same scenario:

  • You join a yoga studio that is offering a free package of classes to complete a meditation challenge. (reward)
  • To start the challenge, the instructor asks you to consider why you are participating. What are the benefits of the practice that are driving you to commit to this challenge? (benefit)
  • The instructor suggests sitting with your intentions at the start of every practice, as a reminder of the value to you specifically.
  • You complete the 7 day challenge, practicing meditation every day for a week, reminding yourself of your intrinsic motivation, your why. And at the end of each practice, you take note of the beneficial experience you had.
  • You recognize that you feel calm and clear headed after practicing. (benefit)
  • You receive a package of classes upon completion.
  • Beyond the challenge, you continue to practice meditation, starting with your intention, finishing with gratitude for the benefits you experienced.
  • You have developed a positive habit.

What’s next? An Invitation for YOU!

Even if you have tried to start a positive habit of consistent movement or meditation and have fallen off track, I invite you to use the knowledge of intrinsic motivation to join The Mindful Movement’s 21-day move and meditate commitment today.  I’d love to offer support with this program and developing your intrinsic motivation (notice I did not offer you a reward for completion).

The details:

  • Registration is ongoing—Start today!
  • Upon registration, you will receive an informational email to help you get prepared for this experience and set you up for success.
  • The next day, you will receive your first practice in an email.
  • Receive daily emails with a movement and a meditation practice. These will be gentle practices to restore energy, reduce stress, and build self-worth with consistency.  Please practice what’s right for you.
  • Twice a week during this 21 days, the daily email will consist of extra support and motivation to help keep you on track.
  • I encourage you to join the Facebook Group for community support during and after the experience.

If you are looking for more motivation, check out last week’s article:  Consistency over Perfection to Increase Self-Worth

I hope to see you in the community.  Let me know how I can support you.

RELATED RESOURCES:

With love and gratitude,

Sara and Les

The Mindful Movement

About the author, Sara

Sara is the founder of The Mindful Movement and the owner of Coreworks Fitness, a Pilates and Yoga studio in MD. Sara is also a Pilates and CoreAligh Master instructor with Balanced Body.

Sara is passionate about helping others grow and live mindful, fulfilled lives. She helps others move better, feel better, live with a deep awareness, gratitude and their whole heart. She strives to inspire others to live authentically and passionately in love and abundance.

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About your host

Sara and Les Raymond founded The Mindful Movement in August of 2016. They are passionate about helping others grow and live mindful, fulfilled lives. They have both experienced profound growth and fulfillment in living a mindful lifestyle. Together they help others live a more mindful life, deepening their awareness and sense of gratitude. They strive to inspire others to live authentically with love and abundance.

Design Your Dream Life

A Guided Visualization