inner motivation
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“To-Dos” Don’t Matter if You Can’t Implement: 5 Steps to Sustain Your Motivation

Just a few years back, motivation was my MAIN struggle when it came to lifestyle change.


I was a new mom (again) with a small toddler and a child in grade school. One morning, I received an email in my inbox from an acquaintance (who is now a friend) who was starting a local running group at the park near my house. Since I really didn’t know where to start a lifestyle change, I thought that having a “group run” a few days a week would get me started with some type of physical activity AND hold me accountable. I decided to join in (and hoped to gain some inner motivation!)!


Over the next several weeks, I walked and jogged and walked some more until I finally worked up to running a 5k in just 2 months time. This was an exciting accomplishment!


inner motivation

Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss

What I achieved was getting started down the road to being fit. What I didn’t achieve were any stellar fat loss results. I didn’t know that cardio wasn’t the best way to achieve fat loss (see the image for the difference in weight loss vs. fat loss). Sure I shrunk in size a bit, but I still had flabby arms, a muffin top, and a less than desirable mid-section. I was a smaller, mushier version of myself.

 Then I found weight training!

I started hitting the weights and got slightly better results. It wasn’t until I ignored Tony Horton telling me to go light with 12-15 reps simply because I was a girl that I began to see true body change!!! 🙂 Instead, I started following his recommendations for MEN. Boy was there a difference!!

How I eat and exercise has changed a few times over the years since receiving that email from my friend, but exercise being a part of my life finally stuck. What changed?

I found my inner motivation!

I was tired of getting a little bigger each year. I didn’t like how my clothes fit. I had bulges in all the wrong places. Sure, I was active before I began to run. I liked to hike, camp, go on family walks, and more, but I was not a regular exerciser until I got to a place where I didn’t like the direction I was headed anymore. I was FED UP! I wanted to be a mom who was fit enough to play with my kids at the park. I didn’t want to end up with diabetes or heart disease (both run in my family). I wanted to feel better so I could get more out of life and be the best version of me!


Now that I can truly say that I’m living the lifestyle of fitness and fat loss, I often find myself in conversations about finding the motivation to keep up this lifestyle on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s a conversation with a friend or family member, and other times it’s an email question from a reader of this blog or even a client. When I’m asked about finding the motivation to get started, I have to tell you that I can’t provide you with that. I can lay out the best plan there is, guide you along the right path, give you all the “to-dos”, but I can’t offer intrinsic motivation.


Not knowing what to do and where to start can certainly squash any inkling of motivation in a person. I get that! Been there myself. Having a coach offers you an edge and provide you with some “to-dos”. A coach and the accountability offered in the coaching/client relationship give you a spark that will hopefully ignite your inner motivation (see the end of this post for my top recommendations for coaching). We all know those “fitspiration” pictures (see below) only last as motivation for so long! Ultimately, you have to dig a little deeper to find lasting motivation, because, without that, the “to-dos” will never be implemented.

inner motivation


Let me walk you through 5 steps to help you find YOUR inner motivation…


Step 1: Determine your “why?”. Why is it that you want to make a lifestyle change?

  • Is it to feel better? Don’t we all want to feel good? YES!
  • To move better? I’ve had so many clients and friends who make positive changes say how much better they feel. I remember one person telling me how awesome it is to be able to bend over and clean their own bathtub without losing balance. Who would think that any of us would get excited about cleaning bathtubs!!?? Once you lose that ability, it would be pretty exciting to regain it!
  • To gain health?
  • To look better? To fit into your jeans from college? 😉 (I get it! We are all a little vain, right?)
  • To set an example for your friends or spouse?
  • To meet a specific challenge or goal?
  • To set an example for your children? I believe this is the #1 reason for most moms!

Step 2: Write down your “why”.

Keep it in a place that you will notice daily. Maybe on a note card in the book you read each night or even stuck to your bathroom mirror. Reminding yourself of your why will help keep you focused on what matters most to you and make implementing the “to-dos” much, much easier.

Step 3: Reflect on your “why” daily.

This goes back to step 2. If you are keeping it written down and putting in a place you will see daily, you will be reminded often. When you are reminded of your “why”, take just a few seconds to reflect. Be introspective. Think about how you’re doing with your lifestyle changes without judgment. Just be real with yourself. Honesty is the best way to begin acceptance of your current circumstances and will allow you to move forward.

Step 4: Use Visualization.

Visualization is a powerful tool that many of us don’t utilize often enough. Try this. Close your eyes and visualize what it looks like in the future. Visualize how you feel when you meet a goal that you have set for yourself. Think of being healthy and fit. Pretend as if you have already achieved it. This vision gives you an emotional attachment to your “why” when you think about it. Think about success. Know that YOU WILL SUCCEED because you can see it and taste it.

Step 5: Think about the alternative.

The alternative to changing your ways is staying exactly the same. Are you happy with where you are in life? Do you like the example you are setting for your friends, family, and children? Do you feel good in your own skin? Are you happy with the status of your health and fitness level? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then great. If not, then the only alternative to changing your ways is to continue down the same old road that is not giving you the results you are after.

Assignment: Go through these steps and see if you can channel your inner motivation to get started down the road to a healthier lifestyle! Once you connect with your BIG WHY, the “to-dos” become essential and nearly second nature.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

I submit that getting started begins with the steps listed in this article. 🙂

Ready to get started? Here is my top suggestion for a program and coaching service to help you reach your goals!

FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a 6 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting – HIGHLY effective program!

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!
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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Anytime you can channel a deeper reason for a goal, you will be more successful. More on that HERE. […]

  2. […] think people quit is not having a solid purpose for exercising. Purpose allows you to tap into your inner motivation which is the kind of motivation that stands the test of time! Digging deep is how you ultimately […]

  3. […] I see my boys picking up on healthy habits at a tender age which energizes my efforts. My “big WHY” for making health a priority has switched from a focus entirely on me to a focus on how this […]

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