Skip to main content
Explore URMC

UR Medicine

menu

Increasing Your Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is inner drive. It is your ability to do something without being prompted by an external or outside stimulus. It is also the ability to act according to the way you think instead of succumbing to how you feel at the moment. Thinking you should exercise, for example, and summoning intrinsic motivation to do it instead of slouching on the couch is intrinsic motivation in action. To acquire more of this life-changing behavioral trait, follow these steps: When deciding on a goal, come up with as many “reasons” to do it as possible. This is called finding the “big why.” The more reasons produced, the more urgency you’ll feel. Also list positive feelings you have for your success. This will multiply the effect. Break your goal into small pieces to overcome mental resistance to this new behavior. If daily exercise requires getting off the couch to put on running shoes, write it down as a step. If the very next step is putting your hand on a door knob to leave, write it down. This highly conscious process can start you toward having better reflexes to respond immediately to goals with action steps. That old internal debate of “should I or shouldn’t I” will diminish or vanish. Practice is the key to developing intrinsic motivation, but acquiring this skill will lead you to the achievements that come from it.

Tracy Bussey | 5/16/2016

You may also like