Staying Motivated


It’s that time of year when it’s not quite as hard to imagine a thinner, stronger, healthier self.  The turning of the calendar page creates a clean slate; it gives us a sense of optimism and bolsters our “can-do” attitude.  But after the newness of January fades away and everyday life sets in, how do we sustain our momentum?

For those of you with exercise on your minds, our team pulled together the following list of tips for staying motivated:

  1. Leave equipment (weights, exercise ball, athletic shoes) in plain sight as a cue.
  2. Stock up on enough comfortable clothes to get you through a week’s worth of exercise.
  3. Keep track of your workouts, either online or in a hard-bound journal.
  4. Reward yourself for completing exercise a certain number of days of the week or month.  The reward could be something like a massage, a new book, or spending an afternoon at a coffee shop.
  5. Organize a workout competition among friends or family.
  6. Come up with a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C.  Plan A might be your first choice for exercise; for example, going to the gym.  If you don’t have time or energy to go the gym, shift to Plan B, which might be taking a walk in your neighborhood.  If that doesn’t happen, resort to Plan C, which could be doing an exercise video or even a short series of calisthenics at home (10 jumping jacks, 10 sit-ups, 10 push-ups).
  7. Make a playlist, download a podcast, or select a book on tape that you listen to only while exercising so that you have it to look forward to.
  8. Find a meaningful quote that is related to exercise, reaching goals, or doing hard things and place it in your gym bag or with your running shoes.
  9. If you’re striving to get up early to exercise, use the night before to set the stage for success.  Begin winding down early and practice going to bed at a consistent time.  Just as you might have a ‘wake up’ alarm, set a a ‘shut down’ alarm to remind you to head to bed.
  10. Just after you finish exercising, write a letter to yourself describing how you feel physically and emotionally.  Try to capture those endorphins and feelings of self-confidence.  Keep this letter by your alarm clock or in your gym bag and read it to remind yourself how good you will feel after you exercise.

Fluffy spent 30 minutes on the treadmill today!

Leave us a comment if you have other motivating tips to share!

Katie Huffman

Photo by Flickr user Make Lemons, via Creative Commons

This entry was posted in Exercise, Physical Health and tagged , , by Katie Huffman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Katie Huffman

Katie is a Wellness Advocate with the Clergy Health Initiative. She has an undergraduate degree in History and French and a Masters degree in Gerontology; prior to her current position, Katie worked as a social worker in a retirement community in Chapel Hill. Outside of work, she enjoys gardening, spending time outdoors, baking, and hanging out with her husband, Noah, their daughter, Ada, and two kitties, Grady and Gracie.

1 thought on “Staying Motivated

  1. Fluffy should be in great shape in no time spending 30 minutes a day on her treadmill. Excellent photo! It is a great reminder for all those people who bought a treadmill yet never use it, or those who bought a gym membership yet never go. You have to use it to shed those pounds.

    The tips on staying motivated are great. I love the Plan A,B,C tip. For those times when life gets in the way of your normal exercise workout it’s a great idea to have something to fall back on rather than skipping a day. Too many workout regimens are ruined by skipping a day, and then another, and another …..

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