What is Motivation, Anyway?


Making a few changes to how you go through your day can boost your brain and protect you from cognitive decline. To make these changes, you’re going to have to tap into your motivation.

Motivation is the energy that drives you to make a change. Where will this energy come from? People find motivation in different places. Some find it from fear. (“I don’t want to lose my memory!”) Others find motivation in the idea of improving a situation. (“I want to work out so I can lose 15 pounds!”) Sometimes motivation comes because the activity itself is enjoyable.

So, which motivation is the best kind? If something motivates you to make a healthy change, then it’s the best kind of motivation for you. Research suggests, however, that people are much more likely to make and stick with changes when motivated by positivity or enjoyment, and not fear.

Take a second to think about your motivations. Can you file them into one of these three categories? If you’re feeling motivated by fear, can you take those fears and reframe them so you think of the potential rewards?