How to get and stay motivated to exercise

Published 12:47 pm Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Motivation is the third part in setting goals. It actually comes from a military leadership course I took as a young soldier. I incorporated it into my fitness lifestyle.

Greg Leidal

Greg Leidal

“Motive” defined is an impulse that causes a person to act. Motivation is an internal process that makes a person move toward a goal. Let’s look at motivation in relation to the upcoming holiday season.

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Affiliation motivation is the drive to relate to people on a social basis. OK, got it. Guess what’s coming up on our calendars? Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Can the holidays motivate an individual? They do me. I’m fairly guaranteed to see my family and friends and want to look and feel good about myself.

To accomplish ANYTHING, you need a driving force. Otherwise nothing will happen. A wish is not strong enough to make you take action. A wish is a weak desire. Everyone wants to look good to their family and friends. Life is too short and we are given a certain amount of time on Earth, so let’s make the best of it. Enjoy your time with family and friends, feel good about yourself and your accomplishments.

To get motivated, you need to know exactly what it is that you want. We want to look good to our family and friends, right? Well, you need to possess a strong desire and be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that desire. If you desire to look good, but you don’t feel motivated enough to act, it means that the desire is not important enough. So make it important and get motivated.

How do we get motivated? I have a couple sample motivators I use personally. I’m a firm believer in weighing yourself every morning. I do this in similar fashion everyday. The results can work in different ways with different people. A gain or loss in weight works the same for me. I set a target weight for myself, and if I’m less or at that target, I’ll initiate a plan to maintain. If I’m plus that target, I’ll initiate a plan to reach that target weight.

I’m also a big fan of fitness devices that monitor heart rate, steps, calories, distances, floors, active minutes, sleep, etc. You know what they are, there’s all kinds. I personally use a Fitbit Charge. The one thing I recently discovered that really motivates me is my Fitbit friends. I can view their steps and they can see mine. We can challenge, taunt, cheer and message each other. Friends are an excellent outside source of motivation, not just relying on self-motivation. These are just some examples I use for motivation. With that, I’m not telling you to go out and buy a fitness device. Just saying.

Be creative, set goals and get motivated. Enjoy your time with family and friends!

Greg Leidal is employed at Minnesota Corrugated Box Inc. as a key account manager. He spends his off time as a certified personal trainer and a fitness instructor at the Albert Lea Family Y. He is a retired Army National Guard infantry platoon sergeant. His motto is “Go big or go HOME!”