The majority of my clients have what I call “extrinsic” goals, and motivation. To be honest, most people probably have more extrinsic reasons to want to stay healthy vs intrinsically. I don’t judge either way, but I know one will be better off in the long term scheme of things —
When people workout to lose weight, gain muscle, tone, work a specific part of their body — they are using extrinsic goals/motivation — this is their means to keep going. When someone is working out to feel good, be more confident, to stay active, because they love working out — generally speaking, they using more intrinsic goals/motivation. I, myself use intrinsic motivation to keep me going, while I do have extrinsic goals, if none of them were met, I would still maintain exercise because I like that it helps my mental health/well-being (overall gives me a good feeling). The problem with extrinsic motivation is it fades away eventually — either you hit the goal & now what? , you give up because you feel hopeless, you rely on others to push yourself or hold yourself accountable & when they fail to do so; they are to blame for you giving up, and you tend to be harder on yourself because you seek something that you want RIGHT NOW. Whereas, intrinsic people, tend to be okay with taking their time, they have a purpose that fuels them enough where if they don’t meet the extrinsic goals, they can keep going, they hold themselves accountable and they don’t give up very easy.
Having a little of both is normal as well, because sometimes we want extrinsic goals to help us feel better about ourselves and the intrinsic goal is now maintaining that afterwards. We spoke on motivation in the previous post and how we use it as a form of reasoning to do an act or behavior — so when you need the motivation, you want to find something that gives you overall purpose in the long term, and not just a short term gain.
Extrinsic goals aren’t bad, but intrinsic goals will last longer and keep things from going stale. Having a bit of both is a safe way to manage your goals and keep yourself motivated. If you are like myself and have more intrinsic reasons than you will probably make fitness a lifestyle rather than a fad & if you are extrinsic, think about things that are important to you in your day to day activities — things that as you get older will get harder/more challenging and how you see yourself conquering them <— this might help to put into a different perspective.