Fitness Motivation: What It Is + How to Find It

Echelon instructor Lindsay doing a high knee with text "Find Your Fitness Motivation"

We often hear about goals but the motivation driving your fitness journey is equally important — and often overlooked. Echelon Instructor Lindsay Gurry is known for motivating our members to give 110%. But she knows that if you can’t find the will to join a class, she can do nothing. So we talked with Lindsay to discover how she keeps herself moving day after day. The secret? Her fitness motivation.

What is Fitness Motivation?

Sometimes known as “finding your why,” fitness motivation is why you want to exercise. Fitness motivation can easily be confused with health goals, and Lindsay has a simple tool to distinguish them:

  • Goal = What I Want
  • Motivation = Why I Want It

Lindsay elaborates,  “the goal is what I want; to dance all night in my wedding dress, and the motivation is why I want it; to feel confident, happy, and ready to begin my new life!”

Why is Fitness Motivation Important?

Motivation gives every workout a purpose. The benefit of that purpose comes into play when you need to choose to stop or keep going. You want your fitness motivation to be bigger than the reason you quit.

  • You can choose to skip a workout because you aren’t in the mood, or you can choose to attend because you want to have enough stamina to play ball with your kids.
  • You can choose to lower your resistance when your muscles start to burn, or you can decide to crank it up because you want to burn away your stress.

Lindsay reminds us, “​Listen, everyone has good days and bad days. There are days that I feel like, WOW, I crushed that workout and days I feel like maybe that wasn't my best, BUT I showed up and got it done. That is what is most important.” 

When Do You Need New Fitness Motivation?

Just as our fitness goals change over time, so do our motivations. What is a driving force for you now may not be as crucial in a year. Lindsay’s driving force right now is her wedding, but obviously, there is a time limit there! Your fitness motivation changes when you achieve a goal or cross a milestone. Lindsay explains, “after October 2022, my motive will change into preparing my body for future children!”

Periodically check in with yourself to see if your motivation still feels right to you if there isn’t a precise date or goal associated. Using our examples from above:

  • If your motivation is to maintain your stamina to play with your kids, that will change as your kids grow up. Maybe your new motivation is making time for yourself. 
  • If your motivation is to lower your stress, but you’ve retired, maybe your new motivation is to have the energy to enjoy new activities.  

Another way to determine if your fitness motivation needs updating is if it isn’t working for you anymore. Are your excuses bigger than your motivation? Take the time to discover why fitness is important to you where you are NOW. 

Echelon Instructor Lindsay runs up pink stairs

How Do You Find Your Fitness Motivation?

Now that we understand the importance of finding our fitness motivation, the next step is discovering what it is. There are no right or wrong answers. What motivates one person may not mean anything to you and vice versa.  

Option 1: If You Know Your Goal

Write down your fitness goal and examine why you want to achieve that goal.  Write down your response beginning with “I want.” Keep asking yourself “why” until you can no longer provide an answer. The last statement should be your motivation. For example, if you want to run a 5k, your process might look like this:

  • I want to complete a 5k race. Why?
  • I want to be a runner. Why? 
  • Fitness Motivation: I want to feel the runner’s high when I cross the finish line.

Try to dig deep, but also respect that your motivation may be something clear-cut — such as feeling your best on your wedding day like Lindsay! 

Option 2: If You Don’t Know Your Goal

Instead of focusing on a goal, consider what inspired you to work out or research fitness. Did your doctor encourage you to be more active? Are you preparing for a big event? There was something that caused you to buy that piece of equipment, sign up for that membership, or search online for “How do I get motivated to get fit?”. 

Examine what prompted you to start your fitness journey and write it down. Ask yourself “why” and try to get the root reason by responding with “I want” statements. This process is necessary because if your initial reason is “my doctor told me to exercise,” then you probably won’t stick to it. Instead, examine why you are inclined to listen. For example:

  • My doctor told me to exercise. Why do I want to listen?
  • I want to lower my risk of heart disease. Why?
  • I want to be around for my family. 

What Do I Do With My Fitness Motivation?

You have identified your motivation, and you now need to use your motivation! The next time you are in a situation when you can choose to exercise or stay put, think about your motivation: I am going to exercise because…

If you take a class with Lindsay, you know when she uses her motivation! “When you twirl that hair up, tighten the bun, NOTHING can stop you, and that means it is GAME TIME! The workout just got 100% more serious, a little harder, and things are about to get SWEATY! The Bun Means Business!


New to Echelon? Connect with Lindsay and the Echelon community to join you as you push through every last rep, stride, ride, or row!