One of the most daunting things we do in our life is knowing you want to change or need to change. We all aspire to improve our lives and wish to take on the challenge to make those changes, but quickly we’ll realize that motivation is the key to that change. You can’t become a better submissive if you don’t have the motivation to make those changes. A Dominant can’t make you change, nor should they. You have to want to improve for you or it just won’t work.

I’d like to teach you in this article about the three key elements of motivation and the factors in your life that help to feed your motivational drive. Hopefully, you’ve followed along with this series and have a few goals you’d like to reach. If not, check the previous article, Prioritize Your Submissive Goals With a 4-Box Matrix System to get a handle on the goals you can tackle now.

Factors that Influence Motivation

More and more people make New Year’s Resolutions and in that list making, your motivation may soar to dizzying heights. You’ll feel driven to start them, you may even do some planning ahead of time and when the day comes, you are all over it. That is until your motivation wanes and then all those well-intentioned goals fall by the wayside, to be picked up again next year.

I know, I did it every year until I realized that it wasn’t the goal that needed to be resolved, it was my motivation for change. I knew I needed to change, but I didn’t feel the drive or the consistent energy focused on that goal. As soon as the priority of the change dropped, I stopped feeling motivated to do anything about it.

But if you know what factors can influence your motivation and the key elements to fueling your motivation then you can achieve anything you set your mind to. All those submissive goals will become attainable!

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors Influence Motivation

Intrinsic factors are the internal forces that motivate you and extrinsic factors are the external forces. Intrinsic factors are the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs and desires that drive your desire to change. You desire to succeed, your focus on being the best submissive you can be and strength of your convictions are all internal forces that motivate you.

Extrinsic factors are the external things we use to help us motivate change. These things are bonuses, rewards, and the threat of punishment. I think any of us in a D/s relationship that has an element of discipline know about rewards and punishments. Well, often, we also set these for ourselves when we want to effect change and set goals for ourselves. It’s proven to work to drive our motivation forward if we have something to look forward to.

Balancing each of these extrinsic and intrinsic factors is important to continued progress.

For example, I wanted to make kneeling in meditation a habit one year. I was so excited about doing it because I knew of the mental health benefits and the submissive focus it would give me on a daily basis. So, the first few days went well but then I hurt my knee and I used that as an excuse to not meditate at all. Simply because I couldn’t kneel for a while. I was no longer driven to make that change. I got lazy and less interested in making the change a priority. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to meditate anymore or that I didn’t want the submissive focus and health benefits. It was that I had l failed to balance the factors that keep motivation high.

3 Key Elements of Motivation

There is a commonly used 3-part model for talking about motivation. These three parts are:

  • Direction

  • Intensity

  • Persistence

Let’s break each one down a bit so you can see how each one helps move you towards your goals and build motivation.


In simple terms, this is the goal you’ve set. Every bit of progress you make in that direction, every micro or mini milestone you set is all for reaching that goal. Don’t you feel good about yourself when you’ve moved just that little bit closer to the end goal? I know I do!


Similar to direction, the intensity is the strength of response to your desired goal. Essentially, if you want to reach that goal really badly, that it drives you forward with a perception of success. When you make a list of goals you’d like to reach, I’d recommend you pick one that when you think of it really makes you excited of the potential for reaching it and living your best self.


This is the hard one for me and likely for a lot of other people too. Persistence is that “stick-to-it-ness” that your motivation has. How much energy you expend in making progress and how diligent you are in tracking the movement to your goal is just as important as feeling excited by it.

What can happen with persistence is that what motivated you for change at the beginning may have moved and you failed to re-evaluate that and move your direction so that your intensity can get a renewed boost. Or, over time, you may find that you don’t need to reward yourself with a fancy coffee for getting up earlier because you’ve learned that getting up earlier is personally satisfying. You’ve replaced an extrinsic motivation with an intrinsic one!

How to Drive Motivation to Effect The Change You Want

We all have fears and reasons for not taking action on our goals.

They are false walls. That’s right, they aren’t good enough reasons for inaction. You can overcome them. I’ve dealt with my share of fears and reasons for not making the positive changes that would make me a more valuable human being let alone submissive. You can face these fears.

The following exercise is meant to help you fuel your desire for change and break down those fears. These are 3 affirmations for you to practice reflecting. Read and repeat as often as necessary.

I embody strengths. Name the strengths that you see in yourself. This will help you celebrate who you are.

I embody human weaknesses. Embrace these too. Remember, having weaknesses is part of being human. If you, like me, tend to be self-critical, it’s important that you give some more time to this than you do thinking about your strengths and successes.

I am a combination of my strongest and weakest qualities and everything in between. If you can embrace this, it will give you a sense of balance and self-acceptance. Self-acceptance drives motivation which, as you can see will help you reach your goals.

Make It Happen

  • Create Space. You won’t make the changes you want, to achieve the goals you have if you don’t make the space to do them. If you want to exercise, when will you do so? Make a scheduled time to add your new habit or to work on your goals. Don’t wait for you to have time, make time.

  • Surround Yourself. The best way to make change happen and to keep your motivation high is to surround yourself with people trying to reach the same goals. Find a few people, online or off that can be your support team.

  • Make Yourself Accountable. It could be your support team, or a close friend or even a tracker, but you need to keep yourself accountable and not let yourself off the hook. Change is hard, but having someone that won’t let you make excuses does wonder for your motivation and success.

Don’t Want to Do Something - Bribe Yourself

We’ve all experienced a moment or two where no matter how motivated we are to make the changes we need, we just don’t want to do the steps to get there. I’ve been there on numerous occasions where I just stare at the task I need to do, and no matter how small I couldn’t get my head around actually doing it.

That’s when I bribe myself. I am all for setting up a punishment and reward system to keep myself moving forward when the motivation that was driving me fades. In fact, reaching a milestone via the rewards system will then re-intensify my motivation and then, well, rewards aren’t necessary but they sure are a nice boost!

For most punishment and reward systems I set up a tracker. Since I use The Bullet Journal System I can make a habit tracker and along with accountability, I can see myself getting closer and closer to a reward and that’s so motivating on my own! You should try it sometime.

Read Submissive Journals: Bullet/Analog Journal Review by kallista

Remember, we all aspire to be better and improving ourselves so that the submission we have to offer is the very best it can be. Fueling motivation for change is often a tricky thing, but with the right tools and knowledge, you can make it. Drive the motivation for change by being present with a support system and accountability. Let’s reach those goals together!