Motivating Yourself to Succeed with Fitness Goals

by Susan Donovan

If you find it difficult to get yourself motivated, several simple tips can help.  Self-motivation is key if those "excuses" arise when your new fitness goals becomes challenging or inconvenient.

Self-motivation is what fuels you to accept and conquer the challenges of growth. It drives you to complete a task without needing reasons or a push from someone else. Defined in the spirit of wellness, self-motivation is the ability to do what you know is right for you, despite a lack of energy, time, or other perceived or real barriers. It's the ability to do what is good for you—even if you don't feel like doing it—because you know that the future rewards will be great.

We all have a natural sense of self-motivation; for some, it is more difficult than for others. But it's possible to enhance your level of determination and ambition by practicing specific behaviors and actions. 

There are a number of ways to increase self-motivation.
  1. Clarity: Be clear about your goals. When you clarify your destination, you set yourself up for a smooth(er) ride.
  2. Define reasons: It’s vital to be clear about why you want to accomplish something as this gives more purpose to your actions.
  3. Simplify: Defining small, simple goals easily within reach means you are more likely to achieve them. When you do, it will offer a great opportunity to jump start your internal motivation.
  4. Positivity: Surround yourself and your environment with positive people and messages that build you up. The better you feel, the more you'll prioritize your motives.
  5. Visualize the outcome: By envisioning the outcome, you recognize that there will be results beyond what you feel in the moment. Harness the power you have and believe you can accomplish what you set out to do!
Here are some additional tips from JCC of Greater New Haven's personal trainers and health coaches:

“One of the biggest roadblocks to getting results is that we tend to get overzealous and want what we want now! Just remember those extra pounds did not appear overnight, and they will not go away overnight either. Stay strong and take it one-step at a time.” ~ Alex L
“It is so important to find something you enjoy doing and find time for you. Work out, walk, bike take a class with a friend. This can help motivate both of you, encouraging each other on your journey.” ~ Debra F
“Exercise is a natural elixir to the mind, body and soul. Without exercise, the body and mind can prematurely rust and die.” ~ Beth H

“For the body, motion is lotion, (too much) rest is rust.  Know that if you invest in your body, it will pay you back in full... with interest!” ~ Steve F

“Find a dream or goal truly worth changing for...a dream that will inspire you at every moment of choice, and keep your commitment level high. Create a healthy support system around you with friends, family, coach, or a group.”
 ~ Betsy O

Let the JCC of Greater New Haven's fitness professionals help you be the best "you" can be in 2020.  

Contact Susan Donovan, JCC of Greater New Haven's Director of Wellness Services, at for a free wellness consultation.
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