Goals & Having Motivation

A Balance Resource Article by Molly Visco

Balance Intern and Senior at Penn Charter

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Being motivated and having goals for yourself is the key to success in the gym. Whether your goal is to lose weight, feel good, have fun, relieve stress, etc, staying focused, committed and disciplined is going to make achieving your goals much easier.

What is Motivation?

Motivation can be defined in simple terms: what drives us to maintain or achieve goals. This is a form of desire. But, for many of us, exercise is usually thought of as having one end goal. You need to figure out what motivates you.

Extrinsic Motivation & Intrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation occurs when we are motivated to perform a behavior or engage in an activity to earn a reward. In this case, you engage in behavior not because you enjoy it or because you find it satisfying, but in order to get something in return. Extrinsic motivation is going to the gym to workout, even if you do not like it or enjoy, to get the reward of working out and feeling better, but you put yourself in the position with the motivation to go even though it is not something you enjoy.


Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation involves engaging in a behavior because it is personally rewarding; essentially, performing an activity for its own sake rather than the desire for some external reward. Essentially, the behavior itself is its own reward. Intrinsic motivation can be going to the gym and working out because you truly enjoy spending time working out.

The primary difference between the two types of motivation is that extrinsic motivation arises from outside of the individual while intrinsic motivation arises from within. Both are important driving behaviors.

How to Get Motivated to Exercise & to Stay Committed

Being in an environment that helps you feel comfortable and confident in inessential to staying committed & to stay motivated. Balance makes it easy to feel welcomes and make sure there is a place for everyone, whether you are just beginning your journey to your goal and you have been working towards it for years. Before you think about how you want to achieve your goal you should stop to think about yourself. Think about what you really WANT for YOURSELF. The proceed in how and where you can achieve that goal. There are plenty like reasons and challenged hat get in the way of our goals and can make exercising and motivation hard to get. One tip I got through all of my training and challenges is to not wait. Motivation is not something you wait for. You never know what lies ahead and you should not wait to get started! It is hard to get to the gym if you do not enjoy it. Holding accountability for extrinsic motivation is challenging but in the long run, will have a positive effect. Finding a reason to motivate you to the gym whether you pick a class you are interested in or find the perfect trainer for you will help.



SMART goals are about taking baby steps to achieve a bigger goal in the long run. Making micro daily realistic steps and goals will help you get to that one goal. Trainer Susan Brown says “A little win every day adds up to big wins over the course of time when you hit the bigger goal.”. For example, walking into the gym and saying ‘I want to lose 30 pounds’ is unrealistic. You need you to take realistic steps every day like ‘I want to lose 6 lbs in 6 weeks’. Have micro goals every day and every week.

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Question: What keeps you motivated and moving during workouts?

Knowing that I will feel better after. What keeps me going during a shorter workout is that ‘anyone can do anything in 30 seconds’. You have to set goals and hit those goals. Working with someone helps too. Cardio in the middle of things to raise your heart rate keeps me going too.
— Trainer Tip by Alex Stoddart

Congratulations and Good Luck to our 2019 Balance Interns!

Emma Wilson, Penn Charter Class of 2019

Molly Visco, Penny Charter Class of 2019

Addy Campbell, Germantown Academy Class of 2019

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Kathy Luong