How to Stay Positive and Motivated on Your Fitness Journey

Learn how to keep a positive attitude when working towards your fitness goals and keep your motivation battery topped up. #motivationbattery #positivethinking #getyourgoals



If you’re here, it’s likely because you’re committed to improving your fitness, but struggle with how to stay positive and motivated. Positivity and motivation are key elements that can make or break your journey’s success. But, maintaining a positive mindset and staying motivated isn’t always easy. Life has a way of throwing obstacles in our path, and the allure of the sofa can sometimes overshadow the allure of the gym. So in this post, I want to discuss how a positive mindset can influence your progress, and how to stay motivated despite any setbacks you may face.


Table of Contents

The Importance of Learning How To Stay Positive and Motivated in Fitness

Your mindset is the number one factor when learning how to stay positive and motivated. It’s not just about physical strength but also about mental resilience. A positive mindset can turn obstacles into opportunities and setbacks into stepping stones. By developing a mindset focused on growth and progress, you lay the foundation for success in achieving your fitness goals.

Positivity and motivation are the keys to consistency and progress towards your fitness goals. When you approach your workouts with enthusiasm and determination, you’re more likely to stick to your routine, even on days when motivation isn’t at its highest.

If you approach health and fitness goals with the wrong mindset, staying positive and motivated isn’t going to be easy. Life can throw a lot at us, and the road to success is usually dotted with challenges. From busy schedules and fatigue to self-doubt and plateaus, many hurdles can test your resolve. Learning to face these challenges with grace and resilience is key to maintaining your motivation and momentum.

how to stay positive and motivated

Set Clear and Achievable Goals

Setting SMART Goals

SMART goals give you clear direction, making sure that you have a clear target to aim for. By making your goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, you set yourself up for success and make it easier to track your progress along the way. I have an entire post dedicated to how to set SMART goals: Smart Weight Loss Goals: How To Make A Plan To Lose Weight

Breaking Down Long-Term Goals into Smaller, Manageable Milestones

Long-term goals can sometimes feel daunting, with no end in sight. That’s why it’s important to break them down into smaller and more manageable milestones. These will be like checkpoints along your journey, allowing you to celebrate small victories and stay motivated as you work towards your larger goals.

Celebrating Progress Along the Way

When chasing a goal, it’s easy to get caught up in the destination and overlook the journey. But every step forward, no matter how small, should be celebrated – you’ve made progress! Whether it’s a new personal best, completing an extra rep, or simply showing up and giving it your all when you didn’t feel like it, take the time to acknowledge and celebrate your progress. This will serve as fuel for your motivation, reminding you of how far you’ve come and inspiring you to keep pushing forward.

celebrate small wins

Find Your Why

Before you start working towards your new goal, take a moment to reflect on why you want to achieve it. Is it to improve your health, give you more confidence, or feel better in your own skin? By understanding your underlying motivations, you’ll be able to stay committed when the going gets tough.

Connect Your Goals to Deeper Motivations and Values

My own 80lb weight loss journey was only successful because I found my intrinsic motivation, I found my ‘why’. Your goals should be more than just numbers on a scale or milestones in a workout plan – these are extrinsic motivations, and while they have their place, they’re not a reflection of your deeper motivations and values. Whether it’s for personal growth, a commitment to self-improvement, or wanting to feel a sense of accomplishment, tapping into intrinsic motivations keeps you moving forward, even if you hit hard times.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY! > How I Lost Over 80lbs: Tips For Starting A Weight Loss Journey

Using Your “Why” as Fuel During Challenging Times

Challenges are inevitable on any fitness journey. There will be days when motivation is low, progress feels slow, and obstacles seem to keep coming. During these times, it’s vital to reconnect with your “why” – the reasons that inspired you to start this journey in the first place. By tapping back into your intrinsic motivation and reminding yourself of your deeper purpose, you’ll find the resilience to push through the toughest of times and sustain your commitment for the long haul.

find your why for weight loss

Surround Yourself with Supportive People

Starting a fitness, or weight loss journey can sometimes feel a bit isolating, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Surrounding yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, and like-minded people can make all the difference. Not only does a support system provide encouragement and motivation, but it also offers accountability and understanding during both the highs and lows of your journey.

Your friends and family can be some of your most motivating sources of support on your fitness journey, but they can’t help if they don’t know what you need. Take the time to share your goals, challenges, and needs with those closest to you. This could be asking for encouragement, scheduling workout times that work around your family life and commitments, or simply sharing your progress and milestones. Involving your support system in your journey can strengthen your commitment and even encourage others to join.

If you want to seek out more like-minded people, have a look for local fitness classes or join an online community that participates in challenges. This way you can find people who share your new passion for fitness and understand the challenges you may face along the way. Together, you can celebrate victories, offer support during setbacks, and hold each other accountable for your goals.

group of people in gym while exercising

Focus on the Process, Not Just the Outcome

This was a big step in my own health and fitness journey and is one of the core values of Shape & Joy: Finding joy in the journey.

In a world obsessed with end results, it’s easy to get caught up in the outcome. The number on the scale, the size of your muscles, or the time on the clock. But, true success lies not just in the destination but in the journey itself. By changing your mindset from obsessing over the end goal to embracing the process, you’ll find greater fulfilment and satisfaction in every step you take towards your fitness goals.

Although you may think that you will find happiness when you reach a goal, the opposite is true. Studies have shown that happiness makes you successful rather than success making you happy.

Every journey is made up of countless small victories – the extra rep, the improved form, the consistency of showing up day after day. Instead of fixating on the ultimate goal, take the time to celebrate the small wins along the way. Not only does this boost your motivation and morale, but it also reinforces positive habits and behaviours that contribute to long-term success.

Setbacks are an inevitable part of any journey. But rather than only looking forward and seeing how far you have to go, look back and see how far you have come. When you can see the progress you’ve made, you will see there is no point in going back. Just keep moving forward and use setbacks as a chance to reflect on what went wrong and adjust your approach going forward.

how to stay positive and motivated

Incorporate Variety and Fun into Your Routine

Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore – it should be something you look forward to. When you enjoy your workouts, you’re more likely to stick to your routine and stay motivated in the long run. Find activities that bring you joy and make exercise feel like a reward rather than a punishment.

Instead of sticking to the same routine day in and day out, mix things up by trying new exercises. From strength training and yoga to swimming and rock climbing, the options are endless. Not only does this prevent boredom and burnout, but it also challenges your body in new ways. Leading to better overall fitness and performance.

Practice Self-Compassion and Patience

When you hit a rough patch or encounter setbacks on your fitness journey, it’s important to extend the same compassion to yourself that you would to a close friend or family member. Instead of berating yourself for not meeting expectations, acknowledge your efforts and challenges with kindness. Offer yourself words of encouragement and understanding, knowing that setbacks are temporary detours, not permanent roadblocks.


how to practice self compassion

Stay Consistent with Habits and Rituals

In the fast-paced world we live in, it’s easy to expect immediate results from our efforts. However, sustainable progress requires time and consistency. Meaningful change doesn’t happen overnight but rather through small, consistent actions repeated over time. Embrace the journey, focusing on gradual improvement rather than quick fixes, and trust in the process knowing that every step forward, no matter how small, brings you closer to your goals.

The Power of Building Sustainable Habits

Consistency is the cornerstone of progress, and sustainable habits are the key to consistency. By establishing habits that align with your goals, you create a solid foundation for success. These habits, whether it’s a daily workout routine, a balanced nutrition plan, or prioritising adequate sleep, provide structure and stability, making it easier to stay on track even when motivation dips.

SEE MY COMPLETE GUIDE ON HABIT FORMATION > Mastering Habit Formation and Behaviour Change For Your Health

Creating a Routine That Supports Your Fitness Goals

Design a routine that incorporates all aspects of your fitness journey, from workouts and meal prep to recovery and self-care. Tailor your routine to fit your lifestyle and preferences, ensuring it’s both realistic and sustainable in the long term. By sticking to a consistent routine, you’ll build momentum and make steady progress towards your goals.


how to stay positive and motivated

How to Stay Positive and Motivated on Your Fitness Journey: Key Points To Takeaway

  • Positivity and motivation are crucial for fitness success, but maintaining them isn’t always easy.
  • A positive mindset can turn obstacles into opportunities and setbacks into stepping stones.
  • Setting SMART goals and breaking them down into smaller milestones is essential for progress.
  • Discovering your intrinsic motivation and using it as fuel during challenging times is key.
  • Surrounding yourself with supportive people and communicating your goals are vital for accountability and encouragement.
  • Focusing on the process, celebrating small victories, and learning from setbacks are crucial mindset shifts.
  • Incorporating variety and fun into your routine keeps exercise enjoyable and sustainable.
  • Practising self-compassion and patience during setbacks fosters resilience and perseverance.
  • Building sustainable habits and routines supports consistency and progress in the long term.

How to Stay Positive and Motivated on Your Fitness Journey: Actions You Can Take

  1. Define Your “Why”: Spend 15 minutes reflecting on and writing down your intrinsic motivations for starting your fitness journey.
  2. Set SMART Goals: Write down three specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound fitness goals for the next three months.
  3. Create a Milestone Plan: Break down each goal into weekly or bi-weekly milestones to track your progress.
  4. Join a Supportive Community: Find and join a fitness group or online community where you can connect with like-minded people for support and accountability.
  5. Schedule Regular Check-Ins: Set a weekly or bi-weekly reminder to review your progress, adjust your goals if needed, and celebrate your successes.
  6. Experiment with New Workouts: Commit to trying one new exercise or fitness class each week to keep your routine interesting.
  7. Practice Self-Compassion: Start a daily journaling practice where you write down one thing you’re proud of yourself for each day, no matter how small.
  8. Prioritise Consistency: Schedule your workouts and self-care activities in advance, treating them as non-negotiable appointments with yourself.
  9. Celebrate Small Wins: Create a reward system for yourself, treating yourself after reaching a milestone.
  10. Communicate Your Goals: Share your fitness goals with at least one supportive friend or family member, asking them to check in on your progress regularly.



No matter what challenges lie ahead, know that you’re capable of overcoming them. Believe in yourself, stay committed to your goals, and never underestimate the power of positivity and determination. Your fitness journey is unique to you, so embrace the ups and downs, celebrate your victories, and remember that you’re capable of achieving anything you set your mind to. Knowing how to stay positive and motivated will allow you to keep pushing forward, stay focused, and most importantly, enjoy the journey. You’ve got this!

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