Learn how to use the principles of intrinsic motivation to achieve more. 

I read the book Drive by Daniel Pink recently. The book is about motivation – what motivates us and how to direct our own lives to learn, create new things and do better for ourselves and the world.

The principles of intrinsic motivation can help you develop a workout routine and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The four principles of intrinsic motivation:

1/ Set your own goals.

Create a fitness plan tailored to your needs and fitness level and most importantly, set the right goals. People who pursue intrinsic goals may make slower progress in the short term but they are more likely to achieve lasting results.

2/ Ditch the treadmill.

Find something that you enjoy doing that produces intoxicating moments of flow. Flow is the feeling you get when you’re in “the zone”. It’s an optimal state when you’re fully engaged in whatever you’re doing.

Some people might be able to zone out on the treadmill but for many of us, we’re constantly checking the time or doing something else like watching television to make the experience pleasurable.

3/ Keep mastery in mind.

Getting better at something provides a great source of renewable energy. Mastery is a mindset of continual improvement.

To continually improve you have to commit to deliberate practice which means increasing the difficulty and/or intensity of the workout or lesson over time.

4/ Reward yourself the right way.

Use “now that” rather than “if then” rewards. If then rewards are extrinsic motivators used to incentivize people to complete a specific task. An example of an “if then” reward is…If you go to the gym, then you get a treat afterwards.

Now that rewards acknowledge and support the positive behavior. A “now that reward is…you treat yourself to new runners, workout clothes or a massage “now that you’re working out regularly.

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