1. Intrinsic motivation is a more powerful motivator than extrinsic motivation for people over both the short and long term.
2. As we wrap up this program, ask yourself why to understand your internal motivation. Why do you want to improve your health and performance?
3. If you focus on what drives you from the inside, you will find it a lot easier to implement the new skills, knowledge, and techniques that we've discussed to help you achieve your dreams.
“20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain
When I worked as a coach and physiologist with Olympic-level athletes, I was known sometimes as Dr. Blood. I would often take blood measurements during very hard training sessions to see how their bodies were responding. So I got to see athletes really pushing themselves to their absolute limits.
In one memorable moment, I was working with an athlete at a training camp. We were in the middle of a set and I yelled, “C’mon pick it up, let’s go!!!” He stopped, looked at me, and with venom in his voice replied, “I know how to push myself!” He went on to do a great training set, and we didn’t say much after that. We just did our jobs – and the workout was awesome. He didn't need external motivation; his internal drive was already powerful enough to get to the exceptional results.
This moment highlights a key aspect of motivation. Successful people are powerfully motivated intrinsically (within the body and mind). They want to reach their potential because that’s what they love doing. They are not motivated extrinsically by anything outside themselves, such as money or me yelling. I’d forgotten that. According to both educational and sport psychology research, extrinsic motivation works well in the short term but not so well over time. Intrinsic motivation is a more powerful motivator for people over both the short and long term.
I want you to think about your intrinsic motivation. This program has been all about helping you to improve your health and performance. I'm sure you've noticed that sometimes things get tough and you regress or get off track. But if you’re aware of your “why” – why you are working hard to improve – you will recover very quickly. Starting with why means checking in about your motivation. What is coming from inside you? And what is related more to other people and external cues and expectations? That external stuff is not much help in the long run.
Start with why to understand your internal motivation. Why do you want to eat better? Why is it important to prioritize sleep? Why do you want to get fitter? Why do you want to improve your mental health? If you focus on what drives you from the inside, you will find it a lot easier to implement the new skills, knowledge, and techniques that you've learned this year to help you achieve your dreams.
I'd like you to look back on the dream and goal setting that we did at the beginning of the program.
Then I'd like you to dive into your work a bit deeper. Take a look at your dreams and goals and then ask yourself why? Why do you want to achieve those things? Then ask again. Go deeper. Get to the root of why you want what you want.
For example, when I was in high school I wanted to make the Olympics in swimming. But at the deepest level I loved to be in the water. Annalise Carr swam across Lake Ontario at 13 years of age, and at the deepest level that was to raise money for a cancer camp.
If you can find the deep reasons why you do things you will be absolutely unstoppable.
You can use the Start with Why section of The Dream Setting Workbook. Or you can fill out the form below to send me your notes.