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Factors Affecting Motivation and How To Increase Motivation

After conducting some study around motivation and what factors affect why some people are more motivated than others, I thought I would share my findings with you as well as some ways in which you can increase your motivation.

Theory 1 - Needs Achievement Theory (McClelland 1961; Atkinson 1974)

The main aim of this theory is to understand why some people are more motivated than others.

The findings found were that there are two different types of reactions to a task. The first reaction is to take part and engage whereas the other reaction is initial feelings of fear meaning that people are more likely to retract and withdraw.

As a result of these two findings, the study showed that individuals who are high achievers choose challenging tasks (as they will see value in their success) whereas low achievers will choose easier tasks where they are less likely to fail.

Theory 2 - Weiner's Attribution Theory (Weiner 1985)

The aim of this theory is to focus on how people explain their success or failure.

The findings were that there are 4 attributions categories which I have listed below:

Stable (permanent) or Unstable (forever changing) and whether they are Internal (inside us ie. under our control) or External (outside us ie. outside of our control)

These attribution categories will affect our ability or effort or task difficulty or luck. Therefore depending on the attribution category will depend on whether an attribution is ego-enhancing (where we feel better about ourselves) or ego protective (where we stop ourselves feeling bad). These two factors will ultimately affect our motivation towards different tasks.

Both of the above findings were studies through The Open University in one of their free courses. I have provided the link here should you wish to check it out!

Tips To Increase Motivation

Now we hopefully have a bit more of a clearer understanding as to what affects our motivation, I have provided below some ways that can help boost your motivation if you're ever needing it:

- Do Tasks That Align with You - by looking at the above theories it suggests that you are either a very motivated person or you're not so motivated. Therefore complete tasks that align with you and what makes you feel motivated. This will of course be different for everyone

- Do It Anyway - however it's all well and good saying that but life happens and there will undoubtedly be times where we have to do a task that we don't want to do. Therefore, help yourself and give yourself a reward to help encourage you to accomplish it such as a tea and biscuit break, a 5 minute breathe of fresh air, a 10 minute YouTube video break. Give yourself a reward that makes you feel more motivated to achieve the task

- Show Discipline - even the 'high achievers' won't feel motivated all the time therefore be disciplined with yourself and focus on how you will feel once the task has been complete.

- Look After Your Mind and Body - when you look after both your mind and body you are increasing your ability to remain focused and increase motivation. Therefore sleep well, eat balanced, exercise regularly and keep your fluids high

- Time Block - a method I have been using recently is to time block my day into 45 minutes chunks with a 15 minute break. I have found this method to be super effective and helps maintain my concentration

- Power Pose - this one sounds a bit cheesy but it does help!! If you're feeling a bit low with motivation then create your own power pose which will make you feel confident and motivated.

So to summarise there are many different factors from the two above studies that motivate people in different ways. There are also different ways that you can help increase your motivation when you're feeling a bit low.

I have designed a checklist that you can fill out and complete yourself when you're looking to motivate yourself. You can fill this checklist with the tips in this blog post or some of your own. To get you started you can download the checklist here.


This blog post is Day 10 out of the January Series where I will be uploading 31 blog posts to help you kick start your 2021 in the right way and to help you become the best version of you.

Leave a comment below if you have any blog post ideas that you would like me to do in the future

See you tomorrow for another blog post! :)

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