noun: Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy to seek or be committed to a goal.

Motivation is critical for reaching any goal. It’s especially true when it comes to health and fitness. Motivation is often the key difference between success and failure. I find most people who are building a health program are motivated by one of three things:

Desire – Perhaps it’s something you’ve always wanted to accomplish, like running a marathon. Or maybe it’s a part of your life you’d like to improve, like being able to play and keep up with your children even after a busy week.

Personal Connection/Personal Reward – Like everyone else, you want to look good on the beach or in your new jeans. Or perhaps your motivation runs deeper–nothing energizes us like a charity run or other event that is centered on helping a loved one.

Necessity – Pain and illness are very strong motivators. Many people reach a point where they have no choice. They must change their health habits.

However, you don’t have to wait until it becomes absolutely necessary and you’re forced to make changes. You can identify positive motivations to make changes right now!

Here are some ways you can motivate yourself to be healthier:

  • Sign up for a charity run or bike ride with your family.
  • Plan a vacation that requires some level of fitness, like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or an overnight trek along the Appalachian Trail.
  • Get friends and co-workers involved–join a runners club, a softball league, or plan a race together. Sign up for a group fitness class and encourage everyone to participate.
  • Try something totally new. Take dancing lessons with your spouse or sign up for those scuba lessons you’ve always wanted to take.

Don’t wait.  Get out there.  You’ll be happy you did!

-Antonio Sini