Some people seem to have ‘it’. They constantly do what it takes. They have the discipline. They find the willpower. What can we learn from them? What makes them so successful at setting through? In this insight we’ll dig deeper into one of the key drivers of their success: their motivation. What puts these people apart is that many of them are almost ‘obsessed’ with following through on their commitments. Whereas those who give up (or don’t even start) typically are not motivated enough.

Imagine for example that you want to do more sports, spend less time on your smartphone, spend more time with your family, voice your opinion more clearly, or anything else…. The good intentions are there, but you don’t get yourself to act consistently. Chances are high you don’t have enough motivation to follow through…

In our experience, there are 4 levels of motivation: 

motivation to follow through


1. The level where you tell yourself ‘I don’t want’

This is when you don’t want to change, but somebody else considers you should (and they keep repeating it over and over again). ‘Stop smoking!’ ‘Stop watching your smartphone all the time!’ If the commitment requires willpower and discipline, let us tell you upfront – it won’t work. It’s as simple as that. At this level of (lack of) motivation, your subconscious mind will find excuses all the time not to do what it takes..

2. The level of ‘I should’

This is when you consider the commitment is very worthwhile, but deep inside, you are still hesitating. ‘I should make more time for my family – but wouldn’t my work suffer?…‘; ‘I should voice my opinion more often, but do the benefits outweigh the costs? …‘; ‘I should do more sports, but is it really that important? …’. If you consider the commitment is a ‘should’ and you’re not really convinced, you’ll stick to it a couple of days. Maximum. But unfortunately not longer than that. You’re just not motivated enough.

3. The level of ‘I want’

When you have this level of motivation, you are convinced the commitment would bring lots of good. You are convinced of the benefits. You realize it is the best course to go. ‘I want to do more sports. It will give me so much energy. I will feel so proud about myself’. Sometimes ‘really wanting something’ is sufficient. But often it isn’t enough… Especially when the commitment requires a lot of willpower…

4. The level of ‘I desire’

This is the level of motivation where you set yourself up for true success. You are not only rationally convinced – you are emotionally committed. More than that. You crave for a successful outcome on the commitment. You cannot accept a life anymore without. The desire is there. The hunger. You have decided – and decided BIG that you would be successful at this. You didn’t only feel so passionate at the moment you decided. You continue to feel that same passion over time

So think about a good intention you’ve had – you didn’t follow through, and you regret it. What level of motivation did you have? Was there ‘true desire and passion’? Or could it be that you were not motivated enough? If so, you now know what to act upon.

This article digs deeper into 1 of the 7 reasons why people don’t get themselves to act on their good intentions. Click here if you want to read the 6 other typical obstacles.   

Contact us if you want if you want help in getting yourself to continued motivation and sustainable peak performance..