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Health & Wellness Articles  ›  Emotional Health

Become Your Own Best Motivator

Take this Quiz, Never Lose Your Motivation Again!

-- By Dean Anderson, Behavioral Psychology Expert
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There are several kinds of motivation problems that people run into, and each requires a different set of strategies. Let's start here with a little quiz to find out which motivational problems you might be dealing with.

Get out a small piece of paper to mark your answers to the following five questions. Respond to each statement with "True" if you think it applies to you more often than not or "False" if you think it doesn’t apply most of the time. Next, indicate on a scale of 1-10, how big of a role you think the statement plays in your motivation problems. If you think it plays almost no role, give it a one. If you think it is by far the most important factor in your motivation problems, give it a 10.

1. True or False: My motivation seems to depend on what the scale (or tape measure, fit of my clothes, etc.) says. I feel motivated when I see results, but unmotivated when I don’t. SCORE (1-10): _____

2. True or False: I feel like I am in a constant battle with myself. In my “normal” state, I want to eat whatever I like, whenever I want it, and/or my body just naturally gravitates towards the couch. It’s very hard to make myself do what I know I need to do. SCORE (1-10): _____

3. True or False: I really want to eat healthy and exercise most of the time, but I just can’t seem to resist the temptations that I run into most days. SCORE (1-10): _____

4. True or False: I think I would do much better if I had more control over my life and my time. There are just so many demands on me that I can’t fit exercise and healthy meals into my day as often as I want to. SCORE (1-10): _____

5. True or False: I do well for a few hours (or days or weeks), but then I have a bad time and things really go downhill. All I see is what I did wrong, not all the things I did well. I get flooded with negative feelings, and just want to give up. SCORE (1-10): _____

Interpret Your Results: Identifying Problems & Solutions

Continued ›
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About The Author

Dean Anderson Dean Anderson
Dean Anderson has master's degrees in human services (behavioral psychology/stress management) and liberal studies. His interest in healthy living began at the age of 50 when he confronted his own morbid obesity and health issues. He joined SparkPeople and lost 150 pounds and regained his health. Dean has earned a personal training certification from ACE and received training as a lifestyle and weight management consultant. See all of Dean's articles.

Member Comments

  • My only "True" was Question 3, and I scored it as a 10. But I completely disagree with the idea that this has anything to do with external factors: it's very internally-driven
    . I LOVE food. I can workout for hours, and then blow it all by giving in to the urge to have that second cookie. I can always justify a treat, and I almost always kick myself for doing it.

    I'm not sobbing, though: this is just a part of my quirky personality. And I'm the first person to light up my social media statuses whenever I stretch my will power and fight off the cookie monster. - 1/29/2014 3:49:07 PM
  • PLIDC1
    I love Coach Dean for saying this! "Imagine you live on a planet where scales and mirrors have never existed, where everyone wears one-size-fits-all unisex robes that effectively disguise their actual physical appearances. There are no standard height and weight charts, and your doctor has never heard of the Body Mass Index or waist-to-hip ratios. How will you decide whether your body is the way you want it to be? If you decide some changes are necessary, how will you know whether you are making progress towards those changes?" - 1/1/2014 3:17:44 PM
  • This is a truly excellent article. I particularly appreciate the explanation that it is not weight loss or a certain size that matters. It's how we feel! That should be motivation enough. I know I feel better now that I am healthier. I aspire to be even healthier! - 1/1/2014 8:25:24 AM
  • I scored very high in all of these. These points were very clarifying for me, though. It's a different approach about motivation than what I usually read, and it really hit home.

    I've written a short list for each point to post on my bathroom mirror (I'll try to remember to change locations of the list so I don't end up "not seeing it" after a while)

    What it comes down to, is it's all a matter of slowing down and thinking about the choices we make. - 1/1/2014 6:09:36 AM
  • This article really helped me put things into perspective. I am pretty motivated and do quite well most of the time but sometimes I think that I want to eat whatever I want...lately I have been thinking about a Big Mac value meal, which probably doesn't even taste good...for medical reasons I can't have the Coke or bread so this probably isn't an option anyway, but I was worrying about not being able to eat what I want whenever I want....so I guess it is okay to think this way at times...it is just part of human nature, and we just have to make choices to get us through these times. And if we for some reason make choices that we do not like in the end, then we pick ourselves up and move on. - 8/20/2013 9:10:58 PM
  • My results were quite bad, I scored 'True' with 5+ marks in every question. But this article is so helpful I have printed it to keep it away and read it again and again. I have realized that I need to work on my motivation and this is a good starting point. - 5/30/2013 10:07:12 AM
  • Awesome. - 8/28/2012 9:04:04 PM
  • Great Article! Very helpful - 4/25/2011 1:03:19 PM
  • Yes a very good article and one that I think is going to be the one that gets me on the right track. - 4/13/2011 10:30:24 PM
  • Yikes, I answered True to all the questions. The funny part is I already knew this stuff about myself it is just very difficult to change. But I keep trying and there were some great strategies in the article to work with. - 5/13/2010 2:25:22 PM
  • Powerful article, thank you so much. I have been on Sparkpeople for a while - but this is the best and most appropriate article I have read, it may change my life!!!! - 5/6/2010 6:21:51 AM
  • Great article, it did help me understand some of the motivational issues. My main problem is I really enjoy being on the computer and have trouble getting away, then when I do there is always pet stuff to do. But I'm going to start making a mile walk to the store and back. - 5/5/2010 3:56:43 PM
  • Oh la, I've scored close to 10 on each and every question. - 5/5/2010 2:12:35 PM
  • Great article and quiz. I am also encouraged by the fact that I think I'm finally getting it! My "10" is number two and one of the big differences between this time and all the other times I've lost weight is that I'm trying really hard not to deprive myself. I realize that I can't be successful long term unless I meet ALL my needs and desires...includi
    ng those for yummy and not always healthy foods! - 5/5/2010 12:48:25 PM
  • Thank you, SparkPeople for this series of articles. Joining this site was on of the best moves I made, this year. - 5/5/2010 11:59:30 AM