Motivation & Goals

In this category, you will find all our science-based articles on motivation, self-determination theory, goal-setting and modalities like motivational interviewing.

20 Most Popular Theories of Motivation in Psychology

motivation-theory

To describe the indescribable seems to be the ambitious undertaking of motivation theories. The many approaches to defining what drives human behavior are best understood when considering the very purpose of creating them, be it increased performance, goal pursuit, resilience, or relapse prevention, to name a few. There is nothing […]

17 Motivational Interviewing Questions and Skills

Motivational-Interviewing

Have you ever been “healed” by a long conversation with someone where you were given full attention and felt the other person really listened to you without judgment? Has a particular relationship made you feel normal, lighter, or good about yourself again? Chances are this happened in an environment that […]

The Vital Importance and Benefits of Motivation

motivational benefits

Being passive is not our default mode as human beings. Otherwise, we would have been born as a slough or a panda bear (no offense to these lovely creatures). It is in our nature to strive, to want, and to move in a direction of something we desire and deem […]

How to Measure Motivation By Understanding the Science Behind It

motivation-science-research-assessments

Motivation is a psychological force that enables action and has long been the object of scientific inquiry (Carver & Scheier, 1998). The study of motivation is a behavioral science that concerns those internal processes that give behavior its energy, direction, and persistence. Science must begin with myths, and with the […]

What is Motivation? A Psychologist Explains.

motivation

Motivation has as many faces as there are human desires. The simplest definition of motivation boils down to wanting (Baumeister, 2016). We want a change in behavior, thoughts, feelings, self-concept, environment, and relationships. People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it […]

Motivation and What Really Drives Human Behavior

Motivation and Human Behavior

In our world of exponential change and ever-increasing complexity, the power rests with those who act, and especially those who act with self-determination and persistence. Our motivation is our most valuable commodity. Multiplied only by action, its value fluctuates with how we invest our attention. Why is it that we […]

17 Motivation Tools, Worksheets and Activities for You and Your Clients

motivation tools

One size does not fit all when it comes to motivation, so we will often find that we have to try new techniques, new mindsets, and new approaches in our search for that perfect ensemble. All the same, it’s good to have a few tricks up our sleeve, whether trying […]

What is Client Engagement in Therapy and How to Apply It?

Client engagement in therapy

The outcome of psychotherapy is mostly dependent on the quality of the relationship between the therapist and the client. Any form of therapy requires self-disclosure from the client’s end and an immense commitment to bringing about the desired change. Client engagement or treatment engagement in psychotherapy is one of the […]

Intrinsic Coaching: What Is It and How to Apply It?

intrinsic coaching

In coaching, there is something called the coach’s stand. Coaches start working with clients with the notion that the client “has all that she needs and all that she has she needs.” Intrinsic coaching utilizes this stance from a values perspective and for igniting change within the client from their […]

21 Best Goal Setting Books to Read

goal setting books

Most people live their lives drifting from one day to the next. Their goals change but are rarely sought after with vision and purpose. What sets high achievers apart from those who continue in their regular “life is happening to me” routine, is effective goal setting. Having clarity and a […]

The Importance, Benefits, and Value of Goal Setting

The Importance, Benefits, and Value of Goal Setting

How often do you set goals? How often do you revisit your list? We all know that setting goals is important, but we don't often realize how important they are as we continue to move through life. Goal setting does not have to be boring. There are many benefits and […]

47 Goal Setting Exercises, Tools, & Games (Incl. PDF Worksheets)

How many times have you approached the start of a new year with a list of positive goals you want to achieve, only to feel like you’re still stuck on square one when December rolls around again? Creating and setting goals is great, but actually achieving them can be much […]

How to Set and Achieve Life Goals The Right Way

Fulfilling life goals

Goal-setting theory draws on the concept that our conscious ideas guide our actions (Locke, 1968). So, can we take this premise and apply it to the biggest, most meaningful objectives we could possibly set for ourselves—our life goals? And what would that really mean, in terms of planning and getting […]

The Science & Psychology Of Goal-Setting 101

goal setting psychology

Imagine yourself going to work aimlessly every day, talking to others without a reason, working out just because you have to, and not having any aspirations for yourself or those around you. How would you feel? Goal-setting in psychology is an essential tool for self-motivation and self-drivenness - both at […]

Goal Setting for Students, Kids, & Teens (Incl. Worksheets & Templates)

goal setting for students and kids

Do you remember when you learned how to set goals? If you have trouble answering that question, you’re not alone! Most of us don’t spend much time thinking about how we set goals. In fact, many of us don’t even think of goal setting as a skill; rather, it’s just […]

What is Locke’s Goal Setting Theory of Motivation?

goal setting theory

Do you often find yourself struggling to change your habits, regardless of how willing you are to set objectives? If your goals rarely reach fruition, you are not alone. For many, there is the ‘you’ who you would like to be, and then (more consistently) the ‘you’ that you are. […]

Goal Setting in Counseling and Therapy (Incl. Workbooks & Templates)

goal setting and therapy

Goal setting is important for those who want to improve their life. Setting goals helps you remain accountable for those things you want to achieve. Goal setting is even more important for those in counseling and therapy. Not knowing how to properly set up goals can often lead to failure. […]

What is Goal Setting and How to Do it Well

what is goal setting and how to do it well

Do you ever feel like you’re sleepwalking through life with no real idea of what you want? Perhaps you know exactly what you want to achieve, but have no idea how to get there. That’s where goal setting comes in. Goals are the first step towards planning for the future, […]

Self-Motivation Explained + 100 Ways To Motivate Yourself

What is Self-Motivation? 100+ Ways to Motivate Yourself (Definition + Quotes)

The best kind of motivation is self-motivation. To demonstrate this point, let's consider two scenarios you've likely experienced: You have something you have to do. You’re not excited or passionate about it, but you know you need to get it done. This feeling of obligation motivates you to work hard […]

Self-Determination Theory of Motivation: Why Intrinsic Motivation Matters

What is Self-Determination Theory? Definition and Examples (+PDF)

You may be familiar with “self-determination” in the context of foundational government documents and speeches from people long-dead. Traditionally, self-determination has been more used in this diplomatic and political context to describe the process a country undergoes to assert its independence. However, self-determination also has a more personal and psychology-relevant […]

Motivation and Well-being: Flow and Finding Success

motivation wellbeing

When it comes to motivation, literature still lacks a general definition. Despite the fact that many theories have been proposed over the years, we are still unsure what determines what we want. Meanwhile, research in the field of Positive Psychology has come closer to understanding whether what we want actually […]
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