Find Your Motivation Style

By Krista Large – October 20, 2021

Motivation and accountability go together like mac and cheese, like jelly and peanut butter, like cardio and strength training. However, we are all motivated differently. But to understand what motivates you, you can set up the winning accountability agreement and crush your goals.

Throughout my coaching career, I have identified five different varieties of motivation.

  1. Reward-driven motivation 
  2. Partnership motivation
  3. Consequence-driven motivation
  4. Mentor motivation
  5. Big scary goals

It’s safe to say that you may be a mix of many different styles, but it’s important to determine which one sticks out for you to keep you motivated. Here are questions to ask yourself to find what motivates you and solutions for personalized accountability agreements.

Reward Driven Motivation:

Here are some questions to ask yourself.

  • Do you love the idea of a medal, gold star, or trophy at the end of a race?
  • Do you like earning your purchases? 
  • Do you look forward to asking your boss for the next raise?
  • In school, did you strive for an A grade or extra credit?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are rewards motivate you. Reward-driven personalities are far more likely to succeed if there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

ProTip: Here are some possible rewards

  1. Purchase a new workout outfit 
  2. Book a manicure or pedicure (or both!)
  3. Buy new equipment (like dumbbells, battle rope, etc.) 
  4. Acquire a new yoga mat
  5. Invest in a new fitness tracker like a Garmin or Apple Watch
  6. Sign up for personal training sessions
  7. Try a new fitness class or studio
  8. Get new headphones 
  9. Book travel
  10. Reward yourself with new workout shoes or a gym bag
  11. Book a massage
  12. Purchase a sauna or float session

Partnership Motivation:

Questions to ask:

  • Do you usually put others first before you?
  • Are you more likely to show up when others are involved?
  • Do you hate disappointing others?
  • Do you have less energy when doing something alone? Like a workout?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are you are motivated by a partnership.

ProTip: Nothing says accountability like having someone else do the thing with you. Have someone complete a program with you. Sign up for group fitness classes. Join a challenge. Enroll yourself into a group, a community, or start something up yourself!

Consequence Driven Motivation:

​​Questions to ask:

  • Do you fear what bad things may happen down the road if you don’t change?
  • Does your mind go to the negatives before the positives? Ex. consequences of smoking cigarettes
  • Do you often think more about what you DON’T want?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are you are motivated by consequences.

ProTip: Make a bet with someone! Give them money and tell them to keep it if you fail to get to the goal! Hand over your concert tickets or season tickets to a game. Bet to shave your head. Whatever feels “painful” to you will work well here. Think about putting yourself in timeout.

Mentor Motivation:

​Questions to ask:

  • Do you show up when you pay for something?
  • Do you enjoy one on one attention?
  • Do you respond well to encouragement or a cheerleader?
  • Do you like learning from someone experienced?
  • Do you want to be told what to do?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are you would work well with a coach!

​ProTip: Hire a coach. The ultimate accountabili-buddy. Sometimes you need to have skin in the game and pay someone to stay on you about the goal! Someone who understands the process and who can be there every step of the way! Someone who can help you get clear and avoid wasting time in the long run. 

Take action and do this now: Enroll someone else into your goals!

  1. Tell them what your goal is!
  2. Tell them when you need it by!
  3. Tell them why it’s important to you and what the consequences, or rewards, could be in achieving, or not achieving, the goal.

Motivated by Big Scary Goals 

Questions to ask:

  • Do you perform well under pressure?
  • Do you enjoy having a deadline?
  • Do you enjoy jumping into “the deep end” first? 

​If you answered yes to these questions, chances are you are a big dreamer, and having something REAL and BIG will benefit you to keep you motivated.

ProTip: Sign up for an event. Maybe a photoshoot, a vacation, a competition, or anything that makes you “why” that much more impactful. Only pick something with a deadline or something you can assign a deadline!

​Mix & Match for Best Results

If you find yourself answering yes to a lot of the above questions across various sections, try mixing and matching. Everyone is different, and the right equation for you won’t be the same for someone else. You got this!


About the Author

Krista Large smillng.

Krista Large is a nutritionist, habit coach, and online fitness trainer. Her passion in life is teaching others to dream big and Live Large, which starts with health. Large is an Ole Miss Rebel and runs her own brand and business based here in Austin. You can learn more about her at


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