Setting Goals, Finding Motivation & Inspiration

By Wellness Educator and Endurance Coach Nadia Ruiz

One thing I teach my athletes, students, and clients is to learn the difference between motivation and inspiration.

  • Motivation is what you get in an instant, perhaps when we read a quote or see something on social media. However, this can come and go.
  • Inspiration is what gets you out the door, even when you don’t want to go—inspiration is your “why.”

The hardest step is getting out the door.

Here are 10 tips on finding motivation and inspiration:

  1. Begin by writing three goals for yourself. What do you personally want to achieve at the end of this program?
  2. Write down three reasons why these goals are important to you. This might be the hardest step.
  3. Set a time and schedule for yourself. Keep it simple, such as “I will give myself 30 minutes a day, four days a week, and stick to it.” You wouldn’t miss a work meeting. You are your own boss of your body. Be the boss and stick to your self-care meetings.
  4. Set it at a time of day that works best with your schedule.
  5. Don’t compare yourself to others or how others are progressing faster or slower. This is your journey, your effort, and your goal.
  6. Accept that there will be days when you don’t want to exercise. Remind yourself of no. 3—you are the boss of your body, and you sometimes need to push it when the mind doesn’t want to go.
  7. The hardest step is getting out the door. On those days when you really would rather skip it, tell yourself: I will go at least one mile, or for 10 minutes, and then turn around. I promise that you once you start, you will feel so much better. Regardless of what happens, you at least put in one mile and that is always better than none.
  8. Allow yourself to accept you are starting a new journey for a new goal, whatever that may be. All the greatest professional athletes started with that first step, too. When you start and you have a hard day, allow yourself to take walking breaks when you need it and breathe. We know that it is a true gift to move our bodies. Walking in itself is a gift. Embrace the beauty in walking and running together.
  9. Find an accountability partner who believes in you. Call or text one other and set a virtual run date where you both go out at the same time and send videos to each other. This can be motivating and helpful for both of you.
  10. When you want to give up, see no. 2—always remember your “why.”

As always, be sure to follow your local, state, and national safety guidelines. Also, be sure to talk with your doctor before beginning or changing any new diet or exercise program.

Have you signed up for the Virtual Run for Mobility? There is no cost to register. Register now at freewheelchairmission.org/run.