What Motivates You?

I get a lot of comments and emails asking how I motivate myself to run everyday and still love it. I guess I take it for granted that I love running and working out. I don’t see it as a chore, or a task, but more like something I get to do not something I have to do. I think that is an important distinction. I have always been really active and it helps that my husband is extremely active too. I grew up, thankfully, in a safe neighborhoodย that allowed my brother and I to be outside and active little kiddos. I guess it just spilled over into my adult life! But here are some tips that help motivate me and maybe they will help you too!

1. Know your body! I know that I NEED to workout first thing in the morning. So I plan accordingly. I wake up early and do my workout first thing. It sets the tone for my day, gives me energy, grounds me and makes me feel AWESOME! I also know what kind of exercise I like! I like running!!! But if you don’t then that’s okay. Let me repeat that: IT IS OKAY TO HATE RUNNING! I feel like a lot of people run because they think they should, or because other people do and not because they want to. There are thousands and thousands of types of exercise! Find what works for you and do that! It might be swimming, spinning, kickball, aerobics, softball, golf, etc. You are much apt to stick with exercise if you are doing something you truly enjoy!

2. Get a Quote!ย Or find a mantra! Something that will motivate you! It should be something that you can draw on to help you through a tough workout and make you feel like a champion! My favorite quote is: “One day I will not be able to do this, Today is NOT that day!” And my running mantra is simply the word “fight”. When I get tired I will just sync the word fight with my footsteps and I just repeat it. It makes me feel strong and reminds me that I am a fighter!

3. Write down your goals! Write your goals down and re-evaluate them often. Actually seeing what you want to accomplish is a great motivator. When you reach one goal make a new one. Then periodically go back and look at the goals you set and achieved! It will show you what your hard work can accomplish! I write down my daily workouts and then go back and look to see how much I have improved. It is really fun to go back and look a past years and see how much strongerย I have become!

4. Tell People Your Plan! Share your goals or your plan. If someone else knows what you are working towards you are a lot less likely to skip a workout. Tell your husband, your friend, or write it on your blog what you plan to do and then you will be more accountable to actually do it!

5. Believe In Yourself! This is most important! I always believe in myself! I don’t second guess…I just do. I set my mind and I go. If my goal was too lofty then I back off but I don’t quit and I always finish what I start. Take failure off the radar! If you say you are going to run 4 miles then do it! If you have to walk, then walk, but always finish what you start. Once you start quitting on workouts because you are tired, or your legs are sore, then you will be much apt to quit again.

I hope some of these help. I realize that I can sound harsh but really I am just extremely passionate about exercise and although I know not everyone is as “crazy” about it as I am…I think all of these tips can help! Now tell me yours!

What are things that help motivate you to work out?


50 Responses

  1. Great tips, Kelly!! It can definitely be hard to find motivation, but I think remembering that excercise should be FUN is definitely key. A little challenge is one thing, but if you’re dreading your workout every day, something is wrong and you need to change up the routine! I’m kind of like you– I look forward to my workout every day as a way to center myself, build up my energy, and start the day out right!

  2. I workout because I like to eat. ๐Ÿ™‚ And it makes me feel better!

    I think this is a great post. It’s sooo important to choose something you LIKE to do. I lost my weight through swimming and so many people in my life tried to do the same but said they hated swimming so they gave up. I told them it didn’t HAVE to be swimming. Not everyone likes the same things. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. The blog world is so supportive and helping. And I always think I’m going to feel 10 times better after a tough workout than if I laze around and don’t stretch.

  4. I have recently realized that I am stronger than I think I am, and try to push it. If it’s too much than I can handle, I back off. As long as I’m not injured, I try to push it. Also agree about not quitting because once you start, you’re more likely to do it again! And having great ipod music with words to get you going helps. i.e. songs from Glee are great for working out! “Push It” and Kanye’s “Stronger”

  5. i just love working out because it makes me feel as strong physically as i feel mentally ๐Ÿ™‚ plus it’s fun and makes me feel good about myself!

  6. This is a great list and reminder to find something that we enjoy. When you enjoy it, that’s motivation in and of itself.

  7. Bahahaa! I love the motivational poster. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And I love how you point out to do what works for you and not what you think you should be doing. I think that is something that is a big hindrance to lots of people and their desire to exercise. I also love the thought of being positive and believing you can do things.

  8. I absolutely LOVE that motivational poster. I have a thing for dinosaurs ๐Ÿ™‚ What motivates me is watching other people push themselves athletically. I love watching the Olympics and other endurance events because it makes me want to try harder! Signing up for races also motivates me and gives me a goal to work towards.

  9. lmao. i love that poster. i wonder if I can buy one printed. i would totally put that up in my house so that i can get motivated.

  10. Thanks for the awesome tips girl! I know that I struggled for a couple of years trying to find the right work out routine for me. I was a gymnast from the time I was 3 until I was 18 so when I quit I was pretty much clueless as to what I should try next. Good thing yoga found me a few years later! xoxo

  11. Wow Kelly, we share a brain, I swear! I feel EXACTLY the same about exercise – its just part of who I am. It makes me feel alive. It makes me happy. It centers me. It keeps me sane, healthy, fit and energized. I could go on and on and ON. Like you, I am totally a morning workout person, but CAN switch to night and be ok -especially when it comes to running. I love this. As for my favorite quote? “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”

  12. oh i love this! i agree to get it done and set the tone for your day and to tell others your plan too-great post!

  13. #6. Injure yourself. Then you’ll be forced to exercise lest you never heal. What–you don’t think that’s helpful? OK fine.

    Seriously though, that’s what motivates me. I have a dream one day of not having knee pain and if it means going to the gym even when I don’t feel like it (which is most of the time) then I’m going to do it.

  14. These are fabulous tips on staying motivated!! I too really genuinely love working out. I don’t usually need much motivation to workout, but when it comes down to it, my ultimate never ending motivation is my health.

  15. Great tips for staying motivated.

    What gets me motivated is knowing how great I’ll feel after a work out. What has really helped me is sticking to it, I wasn’t a big fan of exercise because it always remind me of how out of shape. Now that I do it regularly I get stronger all the time.

  16. great tips!

    sometimes what motivates me is realizing that I am strong and have the abilitity to workout when many people dont–that gets me going!

  17. These are great tips! Thanks, Kelly. I’ve recently decided my mantra is “Today I will respect my mind and body.”

    I still haven’t found anything that will get me to run. So far the only thing that keeps me running is being chased. I may try “fight” and see if that gets me past the running wall. Thanks!

  18. I’m with you on the time of day. I am extremely motivated in the morning and actually love my workouts, but at 5PM, I can often feel the have to instead of the want to when it comes to exercise.

  19. Great tips! I agree, working out for me is something I get to do, not have to do. It’s my favorite hobby! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Unrelated to your post, I am making your egg salad recipe (or your inlaws) tonight…I’m excited to try it out!

  20. Great tips – you don’t sound harsh at all. Exercise is (my favorite) part of my day; I think of it as Katie-time. I get to spend an hour or whatever making myself feel great (because I have never finished a workout and regretted it). That thought is what gets me out of bed some mornings.

  21. Those are AMAZING tips! I can’t figure out which one I like the best. They’re really ALL so necessary when it comes to finding motivation.

  22. Your posts lately have been so inspiring! I love all of these tips. I wish I could get up and work out every single morning. I try to most mornings, but since I have to work at 8 I have to get up pretty early to do workout. I also love your tip to find a quote or mantra!

  23. I work out early so I can get coffee! No seriously, I do get up early to work out and at first it was because I knew I needed to get it over with before anything got in the way during the day…now I just feel so good getting up and getting my day started! Great post Kelly!

  24. good idea about completing the workout no matter what– ive quit way too many times!

  25. I definitely believe that telling people your plan keeps you accountable! I love that about blogging. You blog, people know, you don’t want to disappoint yourself or them. It just keeps you going in a way!

  26. Great post!

    What gets me to the gym everyday is the results I get and how I feel. I always feel AMAZING after a great workout and my 6 pack abs and hard biceps and muscular legs is what get me to the gym everyday ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. Great tips – especially the one about knowing your body!

    My biggest motivation is how I feel after a good run, both mentally and physically. Physically I feel refreshed, and mentally I feel proud that I truly accomplished something. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. I love this post! I agree with Katie – there is nothing more motivating than how you feel AFTER you exercise! It’s the best feeling on earth!

  29. Loved your post! ๐Ÿ™‚ Things like picking out a race to train for helps me…and also- summer is RIGHT around the corner- so that makes me push it even harder in the gym- Bathing suit season!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Love this post! Telling people my goals and plans definitely motivates me.

  31. Great tips for people Kelly. I think #6 is valuable for everything in life…believing in yourself is key to accomplishing anything – without that there’s not much…I’m learning that now.

  32. I always forget that a lot of other people DON’T like exercising. These are great tips. I use music and magazines to motivate me if I’ve lost my mojo.

  33. This is an awesome post Kelly!

    My dog is a big part of my motivation. I know I’m going to need to walk her every day nomatter what (she won’t let me sleep if I don’t) and I also know that 90% of the time if I choose to walk, I think the whole time “I’d rather be running”. I try and remember that when I don’t feel like it.

  34. My motivation is thinking about how far I’ve come in my weight loss journey. I keep a picture of myself at my highest weight in my wallet and whenever I feel down, want to eat, want to be lazy, I look at it and am proud for how far along I’ve come and thats my motivation right there!

  35. I’m a morning girl too, so I always lay out my clothes the night before. When I feel like I want to just roll back over I usually catch a glimpse of my clothes and I think “what the heck. My clothes are ready and raring to go so I might as well be too!”

  36. GREAT QUOTE!!! I often think “I’m blessed that I can not only run but just WALK!”

  37. Solid helpful information. Glad I have this blog on my daily reading list. Cheers!

  38. the scale. and tight fitting jeans. vane, absolutely.

  39. Now that I am injured and can’t exercise I so envy people who can do that! I see exercise as my fun time, something that makes me feel good. It is also about taking care of one’s health and body. I always think “If there is a will there is a way”.

  40. Thanks for the great tips and ideas. I am motivated by exercise in the morning also. It makes me feel better and eat better throughout the day. I do think there needs to be balance, your body needs a break, even if you don’t feel it. That’s what I struggle with. I’ve made a conscience effort to give my body a rest day 1-2 days per week.

  41. haha I like that dinosaur sign!! what motivates me is that when i am being lazy, I think of all those people at teh gym working hard, kicking as* and it makes me want to get in there and TEAR it up!

  42. I love all of these goals to stay motivated! I find that for me, changing it up a lot helps me stay motivated and interested in my work outs. Sure it would be easier if I could just run every day, but my body doesn’t agree and I’m pretty sure even if I could I’d get bored after awhile ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. […] love it. And, if you’re wondering, this post is totally inspired by Kelly’s recent post on motivation, over at Healthy Living with Kelly. Go check it out when you get a sec, I told her the […]

  44. Besides the fact that I don’t want a big butt, I want to spend my golden years enjoying life and spending time with my children, not sitting in waiting rooms at the doctor’s office.

    When I worked as a massage therapist I often did chair massage at health fairs. Most of the attendees were over the age of 60. It was interesting to see the difference between those who exercised and those who did not. I always came home from those events with a renewed passion for fitness.

  45. Great post Kelly! I’m motivated by the thought of not being able to do anything at all if I DON’T exercise. ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Great post! Here is a quote that I love:

    “Running is the classical road to self-consciousness, self-awareness and self-reliance. Independence is the outstanding characteristic of the runner. He learns the harsh reality of his physical and mental liminitations when he runs. He learns that personal commitment, sacrifice and determination are his only means to betterment. Runners only get promoted through self-conquest.” ~Noel Carroll, Irish track trailblazer

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