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“The Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” —Lao Tzu

Have you ever set a fitness goal and failed to achieve it? If so, you’re in good company. Often, the problem isn’t willpower but motivation. Here’s how the psychology of motivation can help you achieve your fitness goals this year with minimal effort and a lot more fun!

The Problem: Relying on Willpower

Most of us think of exercise as a chore to endure in hopes of a future outcome (e.g., I should exercise to lose weight and avoid disease). Yet, when exercise itself isn’t rewarding, we’re relying on willpower to do it.

Willpower can get a behavior started, but it CANNOT keep it going.

Like a muscle, willpower strengthens with practice and fatigues with overuse. So when we over-rely on willpower to go to the gym or choose healthy foods, we can quickly exhaust it.

The Solution: Letting it Feel Good

To achieve our fitness goals with ease, we just need to choose activities we enjoy. When moving our body makes us feel really good, we naturally want to do it more often—no willpower required.


  • I lift weights to feel stronger.
  • I dance to enjoy music, learn new skills, and socialize.
  • I swim because I love the freedom and ease of movement.
  • I enjoy the mental clarity that comes from a brisk walk.
  • I play basketball to challenge my body and meet new friends.
  • Yoga makes me feel peaceful and energized.
  • I run for the joy of being in nature and exploring new routes.

4 Easy Motivation Tips to Achieve Your Fitness Goals

1.Align Fitness with Your Core Values

What has lasting value to you? Is it time with loved ones, contributing your talents, a meaningful career, exploring the outdoors, financial freedom, personal growth, something else?

The truth is, enhancing our health and fitness allows us to better live out our purpose and enjoy what’s most important to us.

So link fitness to your core values—your passion and your purpose—and you’ll be unstoppable in becoming the fittest version of you.


  • An active lifestyle helps me enjoy more healthy years with my grandchildren.
  • My physical stamina and lean body help me enjoy more outdoor adventures.
  • Peace of mind and physical vitality help me be the best nurse/spouse/parent I can be.


Align your fitness with your core values so that every time you move your body, you recognize that you’re moving toward what’s most important to you.

Write down your affirmation (as above), ensure it elicits strong emotion, and reference it often.

2.Keep it Fun

  • Do what you enjoy most. Exercise is there to help us feel good. If an activity ever doesn’t feel good to you, try something else!
  • What makes you feel your best? Is it basketball, yoga, swimming, weight lifting, running, pickleball, dance, biking, watersports, bodyweight training, or walking; solo or with a buddy, indoors or outdoors? Mix it up, and keep it fun.
  • Try Something New! Variety keeps routines fresh and fun and challenges the body to adapt in new ways. Just like our food and clothing preferences change from day to day, it’s healthy to vary our movement based on what feels best today.


List 15 or more ways of moving that feel good to you. Circle 3 that feel the best, and plan to enjoy one of those activities this week.

3.Get the Support You Need

  • Share Goals with friends, family, coworkers, or on social media for added encouragement and accountability.
  • Make Fit Friends. Goals and habits rub off, so surround yourself with fitness-focused people, and let the group’s healthy momentum carry you toward greater fitness.
  • Join Group Fitness classes to add more variety, friendships, and fun to your routine. Setting gym dates with friends is a great accountability tool!
  • Take advantage of a Personal Trainer who’s in your corner. A professional, certified trainer can make all the difference by encouraging you, educating you, and giving you the extra accountability you need to get the results you want.

4.Track Your Progress

  • See Results. Seeing our progress is immediately motivating and drives us to even greater success. Whether it’s a wearable fitness tracker, pencil and paper chart, or mobile fitness app, be sure to track progress visually for the greatest results.
  • Reward Yourself in ways that promote your fit lifestyle. Examples:
  • If you log 20 workouts in January, treat yourself to a Personal Training session.
  • Run 50 miles in February and get a new pair of shoes, or enter that race.
  • Lose 15 pounds by June and plan a weekend hiking trip in the mountains.
  • Look for Progress, not Perfection

Thankfully, we don’t need to get it perfect every time to succeed. Backsliding happens—that’s how we learn what works best for us. It’s consistency that carries us to our goals, and even baby steps will get us to the top of a mountain.

What one step can you take today to support your fitness?


So take action now!

You have the opportunity today to begin living your greatest life.

Let this be the year you transform into the fittest, happiest version of you.

Get motivated and fit the easy way—align fitness with your core values, keep it fun, get the support you need, and track your progress for maximum success.

The Sports Center offers the fun variety, fitness community, and professional trainers you need to achieve your fitness goals this year. We’re here to help, every step of the way.

To your success!

Summer Flowers Ricketts
Healthy Lifestyle Coach
Sports Center of Morehead

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