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Three Factors Influencing Your Motivation

By Stéphanie Boivin
Olympe Kinesiologist

Everyone has tried adopting a better lifestyle at least once. Without having to consult an expert, most of us are aware of bad habits that we would benefit from changing. Nonetheless, despite our best intentions and strong social support, not all of us manage to achieve the desired changes. Indeed, there are a plethora of factors that can negatively impact a person’s motivation and make it hard for them to reach their goals. Today, I will present you with three such factors, namely genetics, treatment-induced motivation and deprivation level.

1 – Genetics

Freud believed that a person’s behavior was influenced by genetics. In his view, among other things, genetics determine the amount of energy and the quality of the reflexes with which a person is born. The biological tradition to which Freud subscribed accepts the idea that some people are born with more aggressive instincts than others, and that those instincts determine a person’s motivation to act. Hence, if one follows that reasoning, some people may be genetically more motivated than others.

2 – Treatment-induced motivation

A person may be highly motivated to achieve a given goal, like losing 20 pounds or breaking the smoking habit for instance, but that is not enough to ensure one’s success. One must find a treatment that will motivate them to effectively modify their problematic habit. In other words, a treatment that a person doesn’t find motivating, such as going to the gym to lose weight, will negatively impact their self-esteem and actually draw them to perpetuate their problematic behavior. Finding a treatment that appeals to one’s tastes or interests and suits one’s way of life is a fundamental condition of success!

3 – Deprivation level

The deprivation level is a factor that can significantly increase the risk of relapse in the case of deeply rooted habits. For example, trying to resist the urge to buy a cookie from the vending machine for three days when one used to buy at least one each day increases the risk of relapse. By contrast, in the case of a less pressing habit, the deprivation level will not be felt as strongly, and the person will thus be more likely to succeed. For instance, if the person hasn’t bought a cookie from the vending machine in a week whereas they used to buy one only occasionally, it will be much easier for that person to give up the cookies altogether.

Of course, these three factors aren’t the only ones that can affect one’s motivation. Many other factors, both internal and external, can significantly influence a person’s actions. I hope this text has helped you see your habits from a different perspective and that it will inspire you to try new strategies that will help you achieve all your goals!

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