Goals and motivation

Six types of motivation

In this episode, Claire talks about the six different types of motivation as a way to expand your perspective and inspire more action.

We are motivated constantly. It just might be that the motivation you're experiencing, again, is not serving your highest and best self or your greatest purpose in life.

Show Notes
Program note: Hey, glad you’re enjoying the podcast! In this episode, you might hear Claire talking about Nutritional Freedom and Foundations. Since we launched the podcast in 2020, we've undergone a makeover to improve the membership experience. For more, listen to our "And we're back! All the updates!" episode.

Claire Siegel: You're listening to the Flourish podcast. I'm your host, Claire Siegel, founder of Flourish. We're on a mission to help women get healthy for good. Join me each week for a new episode that'll help you sustain healthy habits and nourish your body so you can Flourish in life.

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Claire Siegel: Hey there! Welcome back to the Flourish podcast. I hope you're having a fantastic day afternoon, evening, week. I hope you're feeling good. We've had a really fun couple of weeks here, actually. Um, let's see. I turned 30 last week, which was super exciting. Um, it feels good.

I love a good, you know, milestone birthday and I think I've just heard such wonderful things about being 30 and entering your thirties. So, um, yeah, that was fun. And Jon did, my husband did such a good job of making me feel special and also encouraging me to get out of my office. Um, so that was great.

And actually today is his birthday. Our birthdays are only one week apart. So I got to do actually a little bit of work for his birthday, but we just had lunch at Uroko, which is super casual spot here in Austin that specializes in hand rolls, so we've got a couple of hand rolls. And then we've got some surprises in store for dinner tonight, but I'll have to catch you up on that later, maybe on, on the gram or something, because I don't want him to hear what I've got a plan for him.

But anyway, I will say that amidst all of the celebration and you know, we've also traveled a little bit over the last couple of months with weddings and family trips and things like that... You know, we've been off of our normal schedule. And I think, you know, motivation has been something that has ebbed and flowed.

And, you know, I'm certainly no stranger to that. I also, you know, work with our members all the time on their relationship with motivation. We'll put it that way. And so today I just wanted to begin a conversation around the topic of motivation, and more specifically introduce you to several different types of motivations. Six types of motivation, in fact.

Um, and, and I hope it just serves to kind of like open your mind a little bit and maybe get your wheels turning in a different way about this idea or concept of motivation... Um, and, and hopefully in a way that inspires more action on your end, if you feel like motivation is really something that you struggle with.

Motivation isn't binary, it's constant

Claire Siegel: I find that motivation is kind of very frequently thought of in this like binary way. Um, it's thought that it's something you either have, or you don't at any given moment.

And what I find is that that leaves a lot of people waiting around for motivation to kind of just fall into their lap before they take that desired action. But, you know, something interesting to think about is, in reality, we're all in a constant state of motivation, but what, you know, you may feel motivated to do may not be in support of your goals, your values, or aspirations.

I think we tend to think of, okay, motivation is something that I need to take desired action to move me kind of forward in life. But in reality, we can be motivated—and are motivated at all times—but the behaviors that we're motivated towards may not be, you know, kind of serving our highest purpose.

So to put that in very clear terms, you know, you may wish that you were motivated to exercise, but instead, the motivation you're experiencing is the motivation to watch three episodes of Love Island on a Sunday afternoon.

Is anyone else watching Love Island? Um, I am deep in the US season this year. I think they are doing a fantastic job. It is endlessly entertaining. And like when I need to turn my brain off at the end of the week or the end of the night... ugh, that is my, that is my go-to these days. Just absolutely mindless and delightfully so.

So anyway, yes, we are motivated constantly. It's just might be that the motivation you're experiencing, again, is not kind of serving your highest and best self or your, you know, your, your greatest purpose in life.

There are multiple types of motivation

Claire Siegel: But I think it's important to note that the example that I'm talking about kind of only represents one type of motivation. And you may not know that there are different types. Um, so in this episode, I'm going to be breaking down, like I said, the six different types of motivation as shared by Susan Fowler and her book, Why Motivating People Doesn't Work.

Um, and the book really centers around motivation as it relates to professional work and career. But I think there's a lot that we can draw on or, you know, reflect on when it comes to our actions or inaction, um, when it comes to health behaviors. So yeah, let's get into it.

So as I walk through each of the six types of motivations, I'm going to be using the action of going for a jog as the desired behavior. So you'll see kind of how each motivation, each type of motivation, comes into play with this example of going for a jog.

1. Amotivation

Claire Siegel: Okay. So the first type of motivation is actually the absence of it. So this is called amotivation or disinterested motivation. So in our jogging example, someone who's experiencing disinterested motivation might say, or might think, "You know, there's no value in jogging for me. I'm not good at it. And even if I were, there's no point."

Some might say that I am extremely amotivated when it comes to jogging or running, but that's just me. Okay? Maybe you can relate. Okay. So that's um, motivation type number one: amotivation. Okay?

2. External motivation

Claire Siegel: Next up we have external motivation. So in this case, the desired behavior is motivated by the threat of punishment or the promise of reward.

So in this instance, let's say, for example, that you tell yourself that if you go for a jog, you will treat yourself to a new pair of leggings. Been there, done that. Okay?

3. Introjected motivation

Claire Siegel: So then the third type of motivation is called introjected motivation. So this occurs when your behavior is motivated by the desire to please others in order to try and experience worthiness.

I'm gonna say that again.

So introjected motivation occurs when your behavior is motivated by the desire to please others in order to experience worthiness. So in our jogging example, this could look like going on a jog to receive praise or approval from, you know, your mother or your partner. Um, maybe just like kind of more broadly like.. society.

I think a lot of us experience introjected motivation, and we're not even consciously aware of it. And we may also not be aware of kind of like the downstream effects of that, you know? Or, or in some cases how, how toxic that can be. Because the truth is you can't really control the way that people think about you or the way that people perceive you.

Because what's happening here is really interesting, right? There's like levels to, to what's happening in the situation where you are trying to control the thoughts and feelings of others to experience more positive thoughts and feelings about yourself. Right?

So you want to go on a jog to gain approval from your partner so that you can therefore approve of yourself and experience your own worthiness.

I think when you put it that way, kind of start to see... man, that's kind of, it's kind of icky on, on a number of levels. First of all, you know, who, who is my partner, who is this person to judge me and my behavior? And also, why am I trying to kind of manipulate my own self perception by way of them?

And I must remind you that worthiness is inherent no matter what. Going on a jog doesn't make you worthy. Being thought of positively by others, being approved of by others doesn't make you worthy. You are worthy, point blank. The second you got put on the planet you became worthy, and nothing that you can do can change your worth. So this one is.... can, can run really deep.

And, and if you identify with taking action, specifically around health behaviors, with this introjected motivation behind those behaviors, I want you to, like... I don't know, we need to do like a mental highlight or mental asterisk or pause the podcast, send me a DM.

This is really something that is worth taking a look at because this is not kind of the purest form of motivation. You know? And again, depending on the situation, there can really be some negative downstream consequences of this. Okay?

4. Identified motivation

Claire Siegel: Enough of that, moving on to the fourth type of motivation. This is called identified or aligned motivation.

So, in this case, motivation stems from the desire for self-improvement, for growth or some other valuable result of the behavior. So maybe for you going on a jog today is.. You're motivated to do that because you know it's going to help you be better than you were yesterday. Right?

Or another kind of example, here would be going on a jog because it will improve your heart health, right? That there is value for you in accomplishing this behavior. And that is why you are motivated to do the behavior.

And again, we'll contrast this with amotivation, which says there's no value in doing this for me. Okay?

So we've got so far, let's just review real quick from the top before we go to number five.

We have amotivation or disinterested motivation. We have external motivation, which is, you know, threat of punishment or promise of reward, external motivation. There's introjected motivation. I think of that as kind of like people-pleasing motivation, right? Taking action to try and evoke a positive opinion from someone else or approval from someone else. And then there's identified or aligned motivation. So this is about being motivated by the value provided to you by that behavior. Okay?

5. Integrated motivation

Claire Siegel: Integrated motivation is next. And this is one of my personal favorites. It's one we really end up kind of talking about a lot in, in Flourish with our members.

Um, so in the case of integrated motivation, your motivation comes from the fact that the desired behavior aligns with your core values. Okay? So it sounds very similar to the previous type of motivation, identified or aligned, but integrated is about your specific core values.

So let's say, for example, that a core value of yours is community, and you're part of a run group. So in this case, going on a jog with your group would support your core value of community. Do you see the difference there? Okay.

So again, I love, you know, we are all about core values. It is actually something that we have all of our incoming members do through our curriculum, our first curriculum module in Flourish. And then also in working with, um, our mindset coach. That is a really important part of the experience, and we know that there are positive health outcomes associated with, you know, focusing on... let's say, knowing, first of all, knowing, focusing on, and really creating a relationship with your core values.

And obviously, in this case, it can also help you to experience more motivation. And, and kind of like a higher level type of motivation.

6. Inherent motivation

Claire Siegel: All right. Last, but certainly not least, is inherent or intrinsic motivation. Now, when most of us think about motivation, this is what we're referring to. So in the case of inherent motivation, the behavior is engaged in just for the enjoyment of it. Okay? So in this case, you'd go on a jog just because you enjoy it.

You may know people like this. I, I there's, um, one former client of ours I think of all the time when I, whenever I talk about running cause she just loved running. You know? And it wasn't really something that she had to hold herself accountable to. It wasn't something that she felt like she had to generate motivation for. It was just very much, again, part of her life.

That's walking for me. I love walking. I don't have to set goals to walk. I don't have to hold myself accountable to walking. I just do it because I love it. And it almost doesn't feel like motivation to me. Right? Because it's just so natural. It's so inherent. But again, when you are wishing for motivation, this is the type of motivation that we're commonly wishing that we had. Right?

And I know that sounds great, right? That, that's why we, we wish for it. It feels like it's the state of enlightenment for motivation. And in some cases, it totally is.

You know, intrinsic motivation is natural. It's sustainable. It requires no self-regulation. And so for behaviors that support your goals, your values, your aspirations, it is a wonderful thing to experience intrinsic motivation. Right? So I love the fact that I am intrinsically motivated to go on walks. Right? I feel like that really serves me in so many different ways.

But we can probably all think of behaviors that we intrinsically motivated to do that aren't in support of our greatest desires or that aren't in support of our future selves.

And if you go back a few episodes, we talk about, you know, the internal versus the external should, right? There are a lot of things that I know for me are an internal should, that I don't feel inherently or intrinsically motivated to do.

But I feel inherently motivated to watch Love Island. It is natural for me. And that isn't always such a good thing. Right? I think I'm on like... oh my god, I can't even say it. I think I'm on episode 20 of the US season, which is, I think each episode is, I don't know if it's 40 minutes or an hour, but like that's almost a day over the last month or so that I've spent watching Love Island.

And, you know, depending on where I'm at, um, depending on how I'm feeling, I may or may not regret that. But when you frame it like that, it's like, ouch, man, I could have, you know, maybe I could have been reading a book! But I'm not nearly as inherently motivated to read a book as I am to watch Love Island. For me, reading a book in comparison would be more along the lines of like integrated motivation. Do you see what I'm getting out here? I'm trying to use examples to make it more clear. Okay?

Inherent motivation can be great, but it's not your only option

Claire Siegel: So again, I know intrinsic motivation sounds like, kind of like the highest, best form of motivation, but that's not always the case. You know what I mean? And that is the form of motivation that is the most difficult to kind of create or generate.

Right? So this is when it can be helpful to look to those other forms of motivation when it comes to setting goals for the behaviors that you desire. All right? Really, again, I just wanted to present these six types of motivation to get your wheels turning, um, a little bit when it comes to thinking about motivation. And to, again, hopefully bring some awareness if you are in that position where you're kind of like twiddling your thumbs, waiting for that intrinsic motivation to, you know, appear out of thin air for behaviors that you're just not intrinsically motivated to do.

Well, guess what? There's other ways of getting those behaviors done. All right?

So we'll put a pin in that for this week.

Again, I want you thinking through... what, what might be helpful is thinking through, "Okay.. These are the desired behaviors that I want to do, but I'm not intrinsically motivated to do." Make note of those and start thinking through, "Are there other forms of motivation that I could leverage here to complete that desired action?"

Then I'm going to see you next week, and we're going to talk about how to generate more motivation and/or how to actually reduce your reliance on it. Okay? So this will be fun.

Thank you so much for joining me this week on the Flourish podcast. I hope you found it educational. I hope you found it, you know, inspiring. Maybe, you know, let me tell you, I hope you find it motivating. That, that was obvious.

All right, y'all. Have a great rest of your week, and I will see you next week. Bye y'all.

Claire Siegel:

Thank you so much for joining me for today's episode of the Flourish podcast. If you enjoyed it, please take a second to leave us a five-star review or better yet, share it with a friend. And if you're ready to start your own journey to get healthy for good with accountability from expert coaches and the support of an incredible community, head to the show notes to get started on your Flourish journey.

I'll see you in the next episode.

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Claire Siegel
Co-founder, CEO
Claire Siegel is the founder and CEO of Flourish. Claire has made it her life’s mission to help women create a sustainable approach to their physical and mental well-being.

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