GenHealth Hamilton

Motivation? It is long gone…or is it?

If you are like me and you get the winter blues, then you most certainly will be feeling it by this time in the year! 

Motivation is the desire to complete an action for a specific goal. Whether it may be to physically run a 10K, read a book or to spend more time with loved ones, motivation plays a very important role. But what happens when we lack motivation and how can we boost this to achieve our goals? 

Our motivation goes through highs and lows, influenced by many factors in our life. Whether your motivation fluctuates at this time of year with the changes in daylight hours or the more chilly temperatures, there are always strategies we can use to get us back on track! 

Types of Motivation

There are two main types of motivation- intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. So which one works better? I will leave you to ponder that question for a moment. 

Extrinsic motivation refers to external influence such as getting a pay rise, working towards someone else’s goal or the chance of receiving an award. 

Intrinsic motivation or internal motivation refers to the desire within ourselves to achieve the goal or enjoyment of the task/activity. Basically, if we want to do something, we are more likely to do it! 

Now which one do you think is more influential on you and your behaviours? Are you someone that thrives off a reward or are you someone who needs to want to do something otherwise you struggle to get interested in it? It is okay to be either but we generally find more consistent motivation levels  in people who are motivated by internal desires. 

How can we make our motivation work for us? And what can we do if we lack motivation right now? 

Simple strategies may include: 

  • Writing down your goals (Make them SMART goals) but not forgetting the most important part- to prioritise jotting down WHY you want to achieve this, why is it so significant to you and how would you feel if you weren’t to achieve this goal or give up? Is it maybe that you want to do something because you want to be able to play with your children/grandchildren, be more involved in your local community or just prove to yourself that you can? Delving into your WHY is arguably the most valuable tool.
  • Another strategy if you like routine and to plan is to pencil in your calendar when you will do this task/activity. 
  • Have an accountability buddy! Find a friend/family member/colleague and keep yourself accountable together- plus it can make it more fun! 
  • Write achievable daily goals that allows you to tick off completed tasks during the day
  • Create rewards for yourself when you have completed your goals. 

It is also important to know it takes on average 66 days (just over 2 months) for a new behaviour to become automatic (a habit). Once a habit is formed, doing this task/activity will feel easier and more enjoyable. 

Please do not hesitate to discuss your current motivation levels with your health practitioner if you believe this is something that impacts you. This allows us to better understand you, create strategies and help guide you to achieve your goals. We are here to help! 

I had a friend recently share this TED talk with me which discusses motivation and ambitious goals. It is linked here for your interest. 


All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.


Subscribe to our newsletter