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Find your motivation style to kick start your goals

by Yvette Maurice

Whatever you want to do, finish a project, try something different or embark on a career – you need to be motivated. Without motivation, our goals and dreams stall but if we learn to harness the power we have within us, nothing is impossible.

Different types of people are motivated in different ways

What type of person are you, and how does your brain take in information? According to a scientific research theory, some of us are visual learners, others learn best by touching or experiencing things. By discovering more about how you take in new information, you can learn to motivate yourself better by giving yourself the tools to succeed.

Alexandra Wennerholm is a qualified trainer in Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP, an approach to communication and personal development. She works at Open Colleges as a full-time performance coach, helping to motivate and support Open Colleges’ team members to achieve their goals.

“Always be clear on your goals,” Alexandra says, “because you then have a desire to start. If you’re after success, motivation means you start with the right attitude to be as successful as possible.”

What is motivation and why is it important?

Yes, we’ve all heard the word but what does it really mean? Psychology Now offers a nice definition: “Motivation is the driving force that causes the flux from desire to will in life.”

So, to summarise, motivation is what turns a desire into a reality.

“Motivation is an inner drive to behave or act in a certain manner,” says the source. “These inner conditions such as wishes, desires and goals, activate us to move in a particular direction.”

There are some scary statistics about what can happen when workers do not feel motivated. Up to 75 per cent of people say that they have left a job because their managers had failed to motivate them, rather than because the job itself was uninteresting. 

So which motivation style suits you?

Alexandra says that it’s imperative to discover your own motivation style, in order to streamline your goals. “I identify what motivation style each person has,” she says, “for example, a person might be a visual learner, so I get them to print out a picture of what motivates them.”

This technique often works. “If you see the picture everyday it will help you to stay motivated and achieve your goals,” Alexandra explains.

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment,” the NLP coach explains.”When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”

According to Alexandra, most people fall into one of four major categories. “Finding which one you are will help you to get a better understanding of which learning and motivation styles work best for you.”

Visual motivators: 30-40% of people


Visual people prefer taking in information via images, pictures, colours, and maps to organise thoughts in their mind’s eye. They tend to be very spatially aware and have a good sense of direction. They are great with maps, diagrams and rarely (if ever) get lost.

Auditory motivators: 20-30% of people


Auditory people tend to retain information more easily when it is reinforced through sounds. Auditory learning methods could include anything from live lectures and classes, learning with music, voice recordings or chants. People with strong auditory learning preferences may prefer class lectures to assigned readings.

Tactual motivators: 20-25% of people


Tactile people can remember information best when they can use their hands and fine motor skills to make or handle relevant materials while learning new or complex work. They generally like to write or make notes while listening and can concentrate while they manually manipulate information.

Kinaesthetic motivators: 20-25% of people


Kinaesthetic people like to be involved in physical activities while they are learning. Often, they will apply information and “make it their own” by practising a technique or skill, or constructing something. Often they prefer “hands-on” types of activities and group interaction.

Find out your motivation style to determine what type of motivation you need!

Answer these 8 quick questions

Question 1: When I learn new things I prefer to:

  1. Use a highlighter to emphasise notes
  2. Explain the information to someone else
  3. Use a chanting rhythm to memorise
  4. Undertake tasks to learn

Question 2: I learn new information best when:

  1. I am in a group so I can listen to others
  2. I am alone in a quiet place
  3. I am with one other person using role playing games
  4. When I can use my hands

Question 3: I remember things best if I:

  1. Make lists and write them over and over
  2. Write things down and read them back
  3. Can physically examine them
  4. Record the information and listen

Question 4: I like to discover new things using:

  1. Photographs and diagrams
  2. Rhymes and chants that I make up
  3. Labs and demonstrations
  4. Written words and notes

Question 5: Sometimes when nobody is looking I might:

  1. Create songs with my homework information
  2. Draw a picture showing a process I need to understand
  3. Act out information
  4. Read a book for hours

Question 6: I remember things most when I:

  1. Hear them
  2. Say them
  3. Read them
  4. Act them out

Question 7: I have trouble remembering information if I:

  1. Read it and don’t talk about it in class
  2. Can’t discuss it in class
  3. Can’t take notes
  4. Can’t see the objects I am learning about

Question 8: I remember

  1. Faces
  2. Names and faces if I can shake hands
  3. Names
  4. Where text is located on a page

How did you score?

Head to your results to find out!

Motivation helps you achieve your goals

We all have things that we want to achieve, usually ranging from large-scale projects and ambitions to small, everyday goals. Finding your motivation style can be a great way of understanding the way you take in information.

“Motivation is your drive to achieve your goals,” Alexandra says. “If you not motivated you most likely won’t achieve your goals.” So, make every day count and start setting some constructive plans and see your life start to take shape!

 Feeling motivated? Search 100 online courses here.

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