Most of the motivational energy we use in any given day isn’t directed towards purpose or passion.

We need to motivate ourselves to do the laundry, mow the lawn, empty the dishwasher, or finish our homework. But once we’ve finished our task, we move on.

This type of motivation is known as external motivation because it’s driven by outside forces rather than any deeper, personal meaning.

Many people try to use external motivation for lifestyle change, but this approach is rarely successful.

If we rely on external motivation we can lose motivation before we reach our goal—and never develop the skills and abilities that allow us to maintain our new habits.

Examples of External Motivators:

I had to cut out red meat because my doctor told me that I need to get my cholesterol down”

I’m in a biggest loser contest at work so I have to lose 20 pounds.”

My employer will give me a break on my health insurance if I walk 5000 steps every day for the next month.”


Relying on external forces rarely leads to permanent change.

There is a better way…