Motivation can be divided into two parts:
Intrinsic motivation, in which the source of motivation is intrinsic. We act based on our own free will, with no external rewards or sanctions and feel joy in what we do, for instance exercise. Intrinsic motivation is usually more sustainable and a permanent source of motivation.
Extrinsic motivation means motivation dependent on our environment, the source of such motivation is not in ourselves. We do not necessarily feel joy in mere activity and have no motivation for activities such as exercise. The activity can be based on achieving rewards, such as positive feedback or a good result. Extrinsic motivation is often short-term and always ends when the goal is achieved. For example, a diet to lose weight – the motivation may fail as soon as the target weight is reached.
Consider these issues further when you want to motivate yourself to exercise:
Why do I want to exercise? What keeps me going and what is the importance of exercise for me? If physical appearance or a single result is the only goal, motivation is difficult to maintain. Try to find a basic reason for exercising - a healthier life and more energy, with children if you like, or relief for aches and pains, or just raising your general vitality.
Overly narrow guidelines and being unable to influence your exercise routine may also reduce your motivation. If exercise feels compulsory and is not done on your own terms, you are unlikely to become motivated. You can only exercise for your own sake, not others’!
Exercise should be enjoyable and done on your own terms, if you want to continue it on a daily basis.
Trusting in yourself and your own abilities is also a factor in your motivation. It is important to believe in what you do. A positive dialogue with yourself can do a lot of good if you feel you cannot be bothered. It is good to challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone and decide that you can do this now! More self-confidence can often help us to make exercise integral to our way of life. When failures are not a negative experience but a chance to learn and you can cut yourself some slack, minor setbacks will not destroy your motivation. Everyone knows that exercise does not feel good at times, and it doesn’t always have to. When you can read your feelings and trust yourself, you will be able to accept fatigue.