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Different types of motivation and the effect it has on our fitness journey

Push and Pull Motivators

Motivation is what gives us a desire to behave in certain ways or the reason why we have taken a certain action. This motivation can be from a negative perspective, in that we were trying to get away from an outcome or from a positive perspective, we are trying to achieve a certain outcome. These two motivational directions can be for the same outcome, when it comes to health and fitness how we process these different motivational factors may be the answer to why we cannot sustain our health and wellness journey.

Push and Motivation

Pushing away things we don't want is a natural behaviour, we are motivated to make a change away from a painful or undesired state. People can be highly motivated to make change when they are unhappy with the current situation. An example of a push motivator would be when you can’t fit into your jeans anymore and feel embarrassed and humiliated buying the next size up.

Pull and Incentive

While push is defined by the term motivation, the pull side of the theory of motivation is defined by the word incentive and incorporates a desire for an end result.

We move toward incentives by choice, not being forced (or pushed) towards them. The closer we get to an incentive, the more we want it and try to get it, as if it is pulling us to the end goal.

Things that are incentives pull us towards them because the desire for them comes from within ourselves. This is the main difference between push and pull motivation; push motivators are external forces, while pull incentives stem from chosen goals.

Goal Setting - Push and Pull

When we set out on a fitness journey, we are always encouraged to set goals as it is a proven method to help us remain on track. When we have clarity, focus and a destination we are much more likely to succeed.

Both push and pull factors help us to understand our desired destination, however, once you have clarified where you want to go it is our pull motivators that will then support us to achieving this.

When you are purely focusing on the push motivators – the dislikes, on the what if’s and the emotional discomfort you will create a fear-based mindset when trying to achieve your goal. This creates a desperation energy that creates feelings of uncertainty and insecurity. In this mindset you are much more likely to make emotional, irrational and illogical unconscious decisions that will sabotage your journey.

When you focus on the pull incentives – the desires, the success and the emotional gains you will create a gratitude-based mindset, allowing you to celebrate the little wins, when trying to achieve your goals. This creates excitement about what you are moving towards and clarity that you will achieve your goal, it is just a matter of time. In this mindset you are able to step into your best self and are much more likely to make consistent, controlled and logical conscious decisions that is congruent with the person you are growing into each day.

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