9 Ways How To Measure Motivation (2024)

Motivation drives us to accomplish our objectives, become more satisfied, and increase our overall quality of life. It helps us to gain control and excel in almost every facet of our lives, be it our professional life or the personal one.

Motivation is like taking a shower — you stink if you don’t get it every day! Since motivation is qualitative and not quantitative, measuring it can be difficult. In other words, motivation isn’t easy to quantify using percentages or data. 

However, in this article, I will show you 9 ways how to measure motivation. Are you motivated enough to read them?

Let’s dive right into it.

How To Measure Motivation
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9 Methods For Measuring Motivation

To put it in literal terms, the method of initiating, guiding, and maintaining goal-oriented activities is known as motivation. It’s what drives you to take action, whether it’s having a drink to quench your thirst or studying a book to learn something new. 

Considering the different dimensions of motivation, below are 9 ways of measuring motivation. We take the help of related quantifiable feelings such as drive, commitment, etc.

#1 Belief That You Can Achieve

Motivation or determination are two words that come to mind when describing a desire to succeed. However, it’s still worth considering from the standpoint of attitude. 

Positive thinking believes that creativity is innate and that we cannot develop our abilities through hard work and dedication alone. On the other hand, a development mindset believes that hard work and dedication are good enough to instill in us the desired abilities. 

According to research, people who think they can succeed are much more likely to succeed in the field they choose. Before one can have the drive (or actual ‘motivation’) to achieve, he or she must have a strong belief. This belief to achieve can be seen as a way to measure motivation.

Watch this incredible video to understand the science of belief and how it contributes to focused motivation:

#2 Being Committed To Your Goal

Commitment is described as a desire to participate in a specific association, cause, or belief. Individuals who are loyal to a goal and really believe in it, they turn up, push through, and keep going — no matter how demoralizing things get.

Commitment indicates behavioral measures of motivation. It entails committing yourself towards something, whether it’s an individual or a mission.

For instance, when you accept a job offer, you commit to showing up and doing a good job, and your boss commits to paying you at the end of the month. The bigger the motivation an employer can create to have the task done, the more people will be loyal to his/her company. 

#3 Taking Initiative

Initiative is described as beginning something with the intention of continuing it. Initiative is the ability to take action and make a decision without anyone telling you what to do. 

You may also consider initiative to be a personal trait. An individual with initiative is driven to accomplish goals by motivation. You’re eager to get tasks done on your own if you take the initiative.

Sometimes taking initiative is dangerous — with great risks come great rewards. But, a person who never starts is certain not to cross the end line. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

#4 Thinking Happy Thoughts — Optimism

Optimism refers to a psychological attitude characterized by confidence and hope in a bright future or success. In simpler terms, it is a positive outlook and belief in one’s ability to succeed and build a bright future.

Optimists believe that positive things will happen even if the current situation appears hopeless. On the other hand, pessimists believe that bad things will happen no matter how good the signs are.

Optimistic behaviors are attributed to a variety of advantages, including improved communication strategies, reduced stress levels, improved physical fitness, and greater target persistence. It can directly be used to explain the motivation levels of an individual.

#5 You’re The Best — Self-Confidence

Apart from the unfathomable grind, do you know what makes top athletes stand out? 

Self-confidence is one of the most prominent methods of measuring motivation. It is the mindset of relying on one’s own strengths and skills.

It implies that you embrace and believe in yourself and that you are in command of your destiny. You have a positive perspective of yourself and are aware of your strengths and weaknesses. 

You speak assertively, set reasonable goals and expectations, and can absorb criticism. 

Motivation without self-confidence is a myth! You can hear these words echo in every top athlete’s interview, “In my mind, I’m always the best, not just this year.” 

Measuring Motivation
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#6 Accept Defeat & Improve

Defeat is inevitable in our everyday life: we win some and we lose some, but the ability to stand up and plow through failures is crucial. 

If you’re someone who strategizes, plans, and then does these things all over again (should they not work the first time), congratulations, you’re “motivated” to avoid past mistakes and get better each day.

#7 Mind Over Matter

Mindset is an aspect of growth that is not obvious to the outside world. Mindset encompasses almost every other point in this list; it’s like a huge umbrella of virtues. A great way to keep track of your motivation is to be conscious of your mindset. 

Think about how you feel about different aspects of your life. You are high on motivation if you get up on days that feel gloomy i.e. your mindset is strong enough to look past temporary disbeliefs. Be it healing or triumphing over lethargy, your mind is the best tool you have. 

#8 Speed of Completion

You move fast when you are motivated. There’s no stopping you and you want to get to the finish line as fast as possible. This ties back to your willingness to learn and improve — the better you are at doing something, the quicker you’ll do it!

On the flip side, if you’re delaying your tasks for instant gratification that wouldn’t matter in the long run, you are very, very low on motivation.

#9 Gauge Your Motivation By Your Relationships

Social interactions with others may not be at the top of your priority list, especially when you’re dead-set on achieving something, but they can be a good measure of motivation. 

Motivation can be measured using relationships with others, which is why it is often said that you can’t fill a cup from an empty cup. Though this is often used in the sense of self-care, that saying applies to motivation as well.

You can try it yourself! Do you carry the same determination to your office when you’ve had a disagreement with your spouse? Emotional fulfillment will more often than not translate into a willingness to work towards your goals.

FAQs About Measuring Motivation

The vastness and vagueness of an abstract topic such as this are bound to give rise to many apparently naive questions. In this section, I try to shed more light on some of them.

How Do You Evaluate Motivation?

Motivation can be evaluated in a number of ways. Cognitive and affective measures of motivation include goal activation, evaluation, devaluation, experience, and perceptual biases.

Behavioral measures can be easily identified by speed, performance, choice, and various other things mentioned above.

Photo by Clique Images on Unsplash

How Do You Measure Motivation at Work?

You can measure employee motivation by ascertaining their carelessness at work, their number of absences, antisocial behavior, and unwillingness to take responsibility or accept new projects. 

However, all of the other methods I have detailed above can also help you gauge the focused motivation of your employees.

In the corporate world, employee motivation is of utmost importance. 

It’s one of the silent but most important determinants of an organization’s growth.

What Are The 4 Types of Motivation?

The four types of motivation, as discovered by experimental social psychology, attest to the different dimensions of motivation. 

They are extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation, identified motivation, and introjected motivation.

Extrinsic motivation is derived from sources outside our aura. We do something by being compelled to do it, for instance, when we are ordered to by those with authority. 

Intrinsic motivation is the motivation from within. It is often to satisfy internal motives such as aligning with ideals or accomplishing personal goals.

Introjected motivation is internalized in the same way as inherent motivation is. The unique part of this is that, if not finished, the individual will experience feelings of guilt.

Identified motivation occurs when an individual recognizes that something has to be done but he’s yet to take action for completing that ‘identified’ task.

Experimental social psychology has observed these four categories to explain why people do the things they do. Understanding them better can help you apply the right measurement according to the dimensions of motivation being activated.

Focused motivation is good motivation. I’ve shown you 9 ways to measure it. Thanks for stopping by and reading my guide. Share this piece with a friend to help them too!

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About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.