Mowrer's quote was very fitting to link back to my email from last week - all about extrinsic and intrinsic motivations. Did you complete the worksheet? If not, you can still grab it here.
This quote landed in my lap one night when I was reading, Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates. This lovely book is on my night stand and I read a passage every night before bed. I had just sent off last week's email and there was this quote hinting at motivation once more.
I read it a couple times myself (I'd suggest you do too) before it clicked. 💡
Taking action is an easier way to find the feeling rather than looking to feelings to produce the action.
Let that settle.
Now, let's spin this into the exercise context.
Motivation is not a feeling, it is an action.
I say this ALL.THE.TIME.
As you can imagine I hear, "I don't feel motivated to exercise" in numerous conversations, day after day after day.
People are always asking me how do I get motivated if I don't feel like it.
I wish I could find out who started relating motivation to a feeling and hit rewind. Because motivation is a decision to take or not to take action! It is not an emotion.
Have you ever seen the Emotions and Feelings Chart? Motivation is not on it.
So if we reframe the WAY we talk about our exercise motivation by saying "my exercise motivation is low" then we can start using extrinsic and intrinsic motivators to help us take ACTION rather than depending on the feeling to do so.
Conversely, maybe we can start to identify the EMOTIONS that we link with exercise instead. Does exercise make you mad, peaceful, sad, powerful, scared or joyful?
Take it one step further, by looking at the Emotions and Feelings Chart and find the first emotion you think of when I say "exercise". Why is that the case?
Then take one step further, by identifying what emotions arise when we are thinking about exercise versus when we are doing exercise versus when we are done exercising. Do the emotions change?
Emotions do have a role to play with our exercise. They make us feel certain things, both positive and negative, and certainly can affect our motivations, both intrinsically and extrinsically.
Go ahead and take a deep dive into your emotions and see how your emotions dictate your motivation to exercise.
I'll wrap this email up with another FREE worksheet below to help you take inventory of what emotions help or hinder your exercise motivation.
If you find the topic of emotions and feelings interesting (as I do), I would suggest checking out Dr. Marc Brackett, the director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and author of Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive.
I've started listening to his book (available on my public library's system) and have thoroughly enjoyed hearing his take on emotions and feelings. There are is difference! But I'll save that for him to explain!
Stay well and happy moving, Lisa