Whenever motivation is mentioned, the terms intrinsic and extrinsic often follow. There are multiple theories concerning motivation but the Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan) is the basis of this article. Intrinsic motivation is when you’re motivated to do something purely for the love of the activity. Extrinsic motivation is when an activity is motivated by external rewards, such as money, status, etc. Like most things though, motivation falls along a spectrum from amotivation; a complete lack of motivation, to extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation at the opposing end. So what happens if you fall somewhere in between?
There are three types of motivation that lie between extrinsic and intrinsic: introjected, identified and integrated.
- Introjected motivation is when there are both external and internal rewards and punishments and is mostly driven by the ego. An example of this is exercising because you feel guilty for not being at the ideal weight society determines you should be at. You feel this is something you should do but it’s based on external pressure and inner guilt.
- Identified motivation is based on a person’s values and what’s important to them. An example of this is weight lifting because it is good for you but not necessarily something you enjoy doing. You see the value of the activity in regards to improving your overall health.
- Integrated motivation is where self-awareness drives behaviour. It is still externally motivated as there is a goal involved and it is not done purely for the joy of it. An example would be doing an enjoyable form of exercise to reach a certain goal weight.
There is no specific goal for intrinsic motivation other than enjoyment. An example would be exercising because you simply enjoy doing it. The closer you are to intrinsic motivation, the more likely you are to practice the habit consistently. As we know, consistency is key when it comes to enjoying the benefits of healthy behaviours.
What motivates you to practice healthy habits?
Let me know in the comments!