Motivation for Humans: Quiz Results

Let's find out!

I recently published an article discussing the different types of motivation that I see in my clients and included a quiz at the end so that you, dear reader, could identify your own motivating factors. See the original article here.

First of all - thanks to everyone who participated! I have to say, I was initially quite surprised by the results.

Here’s a quick recap on the motivation types we discussed earlier, which is a collection of motivators that I have observed amongst my clients.



Being accountable to someone other than yourself, like a trainer, or committing money like paying for sessions upfront


Positive Reinforcement:

Encouragement from a trusted person, like a trainer



Confirmation that you are doing something correctly from a trusted person


Competition with Others:

Pretty self-explanatory!

Competition with Yourself:

Striving to beat your OWN personal best rather than comparing yourself to others


The Right Goals/Seeing Results:

Getting a sense of achievement when you succeed at reaching your goals (this is why goal setting is so important!)



Being aggressively pushed by someone, like a trainer


Feeling Better:

The prize of the workout is to feel good or to feel better


The Results

Participants were asked to rank out of 10 how much a particular factor was a motivator to them. I had assumed that Accountability would outrank everything in terms of a popular motivator. Not so! The most 10’s were scored by Competing Against Yourself.

Check out the full rankings in the chart below - hit play to see how each factor fared.

Hit PLAY and see how people ranked each motivational factor. The factor is listed in the bottom right.

Once I pondered this for a moment, it is clear that this is a huge factor for a lot of people and also the easiest for us all to measure.

If we complete our reps with a heavier weight than last week or feel like that set was easier than last week, that is equal to improvement and that is equal to beating yourself. Voila! It bundles a couple of the factors in together.

Once we have beaten our personal best or last week’s workout, you also get that immediate sense of achievement. Couple that with some praise from your trainer and you’re looking at a trifecta of motivators going to work, helping you get up again tomorrow to do it all over again. And that is what it's all about.

From a personal perspective, it strikes me that sometimes motivation also depends on what is going on with me at that moment in time. Sometimes feeling better is the biggest motivator when I’m feeling shite and other times it’s just about beating last week. Having said that, I don’t ever respond well to someone yelling at me! Pressure is not a functional motivator.

So what did we learn? First of all, don’t beat yourself up for not wanting to compete with others or that you don’t like all that yelling at bootcamp. Demotivators are just as important to acknowledge as motivators in your journey to health. Know them and understand them to be able to avoid them.

Second of all, once we have identified the motvators (and de-motivators), you can start to implement tactics. Use that knowledge to make small changes to your routine which will help you achieve your goals safely, faster and with less mental gymnastics. 

For example, if outer accountability is a factor for you, train with a friend so that you have "no excuse" not to turn up. If competition with yourself is a factor then you can still "compete" in events. If you sign up for a 5km run, all you need to do is decide on a time that you want to beat. That way, it's all about beating that and not about what everyone else is doing.

As always, it takes us back to the ROCK principles. The more you know about yourself, the easier it is to set realistic goals. The more you understand your motivations, the easier it is to make small changes to your routine to help you stay organised and be consistent.

Grace xx