Finding personal motivation to start working on your physical health is tough.

I remember the awkward, nervous feeling of going into a gym for the first time in a while, hoping this year was the year I got healthy.

I’d hop on the only piece of equipment that looked familiar: the treadmill.

I hate running, but it’s what fit people do, right? I’d look around to see what everyone else was doing. Then I’d try to look like I’ve been doing that for years.

I felt stupid, like an imposter.

I was.

I wasn’t on my health journey. I was on someone else’s. I was comparing myself to everyone else.

My goal wasn’t to be healthy; it was to look like I knew what I was doing.

So, when two weeks went by, and it was cold outside and I was tired and sore, I’d start skipping days. Each year my new year’s resolution died a slow, quiet death.

Recently, David Asencio reminded me just how important it is to ask two simple questions: Why do you want to change, and what works for you?

Your answer to these seemingly simple questions will, like so many before you, give you the leg up you need this year.

Why Do You Want To Change?

More than any plan, diet, machine, or membership, the most influential aspect of your fitness is how you answer this question: Why do you want to change?

When the days get cold and yesterday’s leg day makes walking down the stairs for your morning coffee feel like a descent from Mt. Everest, you need more than an outside voice saying, “You ought to do this.”

It’s time to let your own voice rise up and declare, “My goals are worth it. This is my choice!”

Why are you getting fit? What goals are worth the pain? Only you can answer that.

It’s your body, your journey, so it needs to be your answer.

For some, it’s to be able to keep up with their grandchildren, or the soccer team they’ve always wanted to join. Perhaps, it’s that vacation you’ve wanted to take but were too embarrassed about how you’d look on the beach.

Only you know.

Find your ‘why’ and hold on to it. Your own voice is the best, most personal motivation.

What Works For Your Personal Motivation?

Since getting healthy is often about self-denial, we sometimes assume that anything we like works against our fitness goals.

We think: I like running, it’s easy for me, so I should probably lift instead.

But when we think that way, we feel guilty when we enjoy ourselves.

Plus, we’re unhappy when we do what we think we ‘should’ be doing.

The truth is that you should do the exercises that give you a healthy motivation you to continue exercising. Ask yourself, “What makes me feel strong, fit, fast, successful?” and then do those things.

These questions have carried me through the grind of hard days and sore legs.

Find your OWN voice. Find your OWN motivation.