Learning about the three main types of motivation can be just what you need when you are starting in a winter slump. It helps with general laziness and procrastination. [I am not a doctor or scientist, these are purely my personal opinions and observations]

For a long time now I have been fascinated with motivation. Also I like to see patterns and core principles. This has led me along in this path of seeing what gets us doing the things we might not naturally ’want’ to do. Learning this has helped me no end on occasions when I have a lack of motivation.

So, please let me share with you the three main types of motivation that I have observed over time and working with many different people.

A picture showing 3 types of motivation - head heart body. For each one there is a picture of a woman showing the different elements of motivation

Head Motivation


Head motivation is connected to capability, and responsibility. It is motivation from the brain.

The positive is: Responsibility. The negative is: Fear/Anxiety.

What this means is that people that have a natural inclination towards being head motivated are scanning for what they must do, and what is fearful to do.

It means they can quite easily do things they don’t want to do because they see the need to do them. They see the need and they view themselves responsible and they do it.

The issues that people might have with this motivation is seeing lots of needs and viewing themselves responsible for too many things, therefore, ending up overworked and burnt out.

Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, they might see things mostly as other people’s responsibility and not help out with very obvious needs.

Because the negative is fear, someone who leans into that will end up very stuck in comfort zone mode.

How to develop head motivation?

If you find yourself, like me, struggling to do things you don’t want to..tapping into your head motivation might be the thing you need.

Ask yourself…What are my responsibilities with this? What am I reasonably capable of? Am I letting fear hold me back? If I don’t do this what is likely to happen?

Heart Motivation


Heart motivation is connected to emotions and connections. It is motivation from the heart.

The positive is: Connection. The negative is: Shame/Guilt.

What this means is that people that have a natural inclination towards being heart motivated are scanning for what they should do, and what is shameful to do.

Those that have heart motivation as one of their main type of motivations are very focused on relationships and connections. They like to be liked, admired and understood.

They need purpose and meaning as motivation to do what they do. For them the purpose is often found in other’s perceptions of them.

They are the group that continue and continue and continue while ever they see the meaning and connections that result from their actions.

The negative is shame or guilt. This can lead to this type struggling to feel content with their choices and beating themselves up for their inaction.

How to develop heart motivation?

If you are a bit distant from what other’s expect and how that can affect your life, you might need some heart motivation.

Ask yourself…What is the purpose of this? Will this lead me to have better relationships or worse? If I do this, how will I feel?

Body Motivation


Body motivation is connected to passion and drive. It is often described as motivation from the gut. This is my natural motivation.

The positive is: passion. The negative is: Anger/Resentment.

What this means is that those who have a natural inclination towards body motivation are scanning for what they want to do, and what is annoying to do.

Gut or body motivated people love to follow a passion pursuit, for this they have enough drive to keep going forever.

They focus on the experience itself, they want it to be pleasant to them and something that keeps them interested and excited.

It is possible for this group to ignore reason and sense if they want to do a certain thing. Their drive can be that strong. Rebellion might even spur them further in their pursuit.

On the other hand, if something makes them annoyed or angry they will hate to do said thing. They will even get sick to avoid it.

How to develop body motivation?

If when you think about doing something and you coil up, you might need to develop some body motivation.

Ask yourself…How can I make this experience more pleasant? Will this be in line with my authenticity? If I don’t do this will I have a clear conscience?

picture of a pile of clothes with some feet sticking out the top. Part of the article - learn three main types of motivation.

In Summary!

So the summary to the main question of what are the main types of motivation is:

We all get motivation stemming from our head, heart, and body. We are though more likely to be stronger in one particular type of motivation.

The main way to improve our motivation is to become practised in recognising which motivation we are lacking and work on that.

Do let me know which one resonates with you most and which you want to improve in. I’m always interested to hear.