Trainer Talk! Beating the Motivation Mind-Game

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When it comes to living a fit life, we are completely at the mercy of our motivation. We all KNOW we need physical activity, but yet only around 22% of adults in the US are getting enough (according to CDC).

Why is that number so low when we all know we need it?!! No surprise here, it’s that never-ending mental battle we all face with finding the motivation to do it.


So let’s do this. Let’s pretend I’m your personal trainer. “DROP AND GIVE ME 20!” …joking! (no I’m not actually)  The first thing I do with trainees struggling with motivation is take a step back and look at the whole picture. Because before you can be successful at exercising regularly, you need to understand the obstacles keeping you from doing it.

Usually, the reasons we aren’t exercising enough come down to one of two things. Here they are, along with some ways to beat them:



“I’M SICK, TIRED, OR INJURED”:  So here’s the deal. If we wait to feel good to work out, we’re NEVER going to work out. Unless you’re under doctor’s orders, stop letting your brain get away with this excuse. You’re likely sick/tired because you haven’t been exercising regularly, and so getting exercise is more critical than ever.

Here are my suggestions if this is one of your obstacles. But first and foremost… if you’re injured, seek professional advice on how to exercise without exacerbating your injury. Then:

  1. Make a weekly exercise schedule. Set a day of the week for it; I make my weekly plan every Sunday. Set an alarm in your phone so that every week you get reminded to WRITE YOUR WORKOUT SCHEDULE for the upcoming week! I can’t stress enough the power of writing down your exercise plan…even something as simple as a 15 minute power-walk, WRITE  IT! Once it’s out of your head and scheduled on paper, it’s harder to ignore.
  2. Plan your activities for around an hour after waking. At that time, you’ve moved around a bit to loosen up, and in the morning your hormones are working to your advantage. Plus, and this one’s very important for those already struggling with the exercise mind-game,  if you plan it for the morning life is less likely to distract you and get in the way. If you save it for the end of day, you could be setting yourself up for failure.




“EXERCISE IS NO FUN.”:  As humans, it’s in our nature that when something’s not FUN, we don’t want to do it. If interested in why that is, I go into depth on that HERE. As for how to deal with it, here are some suggestions:

  1. Seek out physical activity that is as close to fun as you can get and avoid activity that you dread.
  2. Are you social? Get a buddy involved.
  3. Are you competitive? Sign up for an event a couple months out and train for it!
  4. Do you like sports? Take some lessons or join a league.

The key here is to find physical activities that are the most tolerable for you. The more you like them, the more likely you are to stick with them.


So here’s the deal and the most important thing for you to remember:

The ONLY way to health, vitality and living our best lives is with regular exercise.

There’s just no way around it. You can only float along for so long before avoiding exercise will come back to bite you in the bootie. So, my hope for you is that you’ll take this to heart and spend some time looking at what your fitness obstacles are. Get them under control now and you can totally rock your fitness through the rest of the year AND BEYOND!

Rooting for you!

xoxo, Stef

After 15 years as an educator in both the public K-12 setting and the University level in Special Physical Education, Stef made the leap to her true passion… the fitness world. She’s currently a personal trainer and wellness coach specializing in seniors, medical conditions, and injuries. Stef loves running, cycling, and being “Mugga” to her two favorite mini-humans — Punky and Marshmallow. ❤️

    2 thoughts on “Trainer Talk! Beating the Motivation Mind-Game

    1. Brian Hjelmervik

      Thanks for the good points. I ride my bike a lot, because I like it – although I don’t have an athletic bone in my body. 3003 miles last year at 65 years old. Maybe better than most – not as good as many old guys I know. The problem is my habits are unbalanced. Which of your programs is good for correcting the balance problem? How often per week?

    2. Patti Walker

      Great encouragement, Stef. I’m feeling the love and importance in your message. I’ll set more alarms on the phone 😉 Thanks, Patti


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