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What Keeps You Motivated?

Tips for Sticking With Your Program


Updated November 25, 2009

Motivation often seems to be the missing ingredient when it comes to exercise but, what you may not realize is that motivation isn't constant--it may change from day to day depending on your mood, goals and attitude.  The trick is to find something that gets you moving; fitting into a certain pair of jeans, less stress or being healthy for your family.  The comments below, posted by some of our Exercise Forum Members, prove that anyone can find a reason to exercise.
  • "I was wondering what keeps you motivated...I know one thing that helps me is to keep a log book of the days I exercise and the things that I did." - Sweet-pea
  • "For me, my goal is to compete. And I want to be at the very best I can be. I wake up at 4:30 in the morning to work out. It can be hard at times because we never know if what we do would pay off." - ERICS13
  • "My motivation.....a pair of size 8 Calvin Klein's hanging in the back of the closet. I not only want to wear those jeans but I want them falling off!" - STARSUPONTHA
  • "I've gained 20 pounds on my bench press max in six weeks.  On the wall of my gym, there's a list of names for bench press records:  275, 300, 350, 400.  I want my name on the 350.  I could take the 275 and maybe even the 300 right now, but I want the 350.  And when I get it, and I will, I'll aim for the 400.  Just getting me on the bench is enough to get me started." - PARISI88101
  • "1. Feeling good- I gained weight my senior year of college and felt incredibly bad about it, as I had been really fit before that...2. Britney Spears videos - I am not thinking I will ever look quite like that, but why not have a goal of some sort?" - Songbird
  • "I can't speak for anyone else, but my motivation comes from family members. First is my children...now better nutrition and regular exercise is a normal occurrence at our house. My second motivation is from my father...My Dad died when I was 9, heart attack at 45. I am closing in on 40 and I decided that I shouldn't allow myself to follow in his footsteps." - THEBIGDT
  • "My motivation to workout is how I feel each day.  If I'm tired, depressed or achy, I know exercise will bring immediate relief and will last the rest of the day.  I'll sleep better and have more energy to get things done.  My entire day is better when I exercise...can't beat that with a stick!" - Ab_Exercise
  • "The hardest thing I find is just getting there, once your there it's fine, so if you just keep your focus on being at the gym instead of focusing on the journey you might find it easier!" - MELLICENT
  • "I've been weight training, doing step aerobics and walking on a consistent basis for about five months.  I went shopping today for the first time since losing 27 pounds and found that I was two sizes smaller." - CMM472
  • "My motivation is the mirror and the fat that I'm getting rid of around the middle.  Pinching the fat a couple of times a day and feeling my pants get looser and looser keeps me going (for now).  And being around for my son." - TFAIGLE
  • "Log books are great, but one thing that I have found even more effective is to let others read your log book. I post a daily journal on another forum as I get prepared for a competitions coming up soon." - ERICS13
  • "I am motivated by survival. I am a police officer and my physical condition can mean the difference between life, death or serious injury. I have had more than one "reality check", i.e. a physical confrontation where my strength versus my opponents allowed a for an injury free quick resolution. My family counts on me to come home after every shift, my fellow Leo's count on me to back them up and the community counts on me to protect them and maintain the peace. Ya, I think that makes for good motivation." - mlk18

Remember, sticking with an exercise program and a healthy diet is more than just motivation.  It takes discipline, patience and a constant, daily commitment to your goals.  There aren't any shortcuts when it comes to health and fitness but, once you make it a part of your life, you won't regret it.

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