As I am at the beginning of my fitness journey, I’m looking for ways to make the transition into daily exercise a little more manageable. Internal motivation isn’t the easiest for me, despite my desire to be stronger, faster, healthier. I need some encouragement to put on my sports bra, move the coffee table, and do whatever the YouTube instructor suggests.
I’ve never been one for covering my fridge with quotation-laden magnets or placed a sticky note reminder on my desk to tell me, “I can do this,” and, “I am great.” So, turning to motivational sayings isn’t natural for me. However, I want to succeed. I don’t want my day to always include a 30-minute internal battle before I work out.
I’ve hand-selected these 25 motivational quotes to help me maintain my focus. I’m sharing them with you in the hope they can inspire you too. Enjoy.
1. It’s a slow process, but quitting won’t speed it up.
We all need reminding that one weight session will not lead to a noticeable increase in muscle tone. Likewise, a few cardio sessions aren’t going to get rid of my belly fat. Stopping due to frustration is only going to stall the process. It’ll be good to keep this quote in mind when I feel like I’m not seeing results for my efforts.
2. No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.
I’ve used this one before in life. When I was at my maximum weight (around 225 lbs), I went on walks as my primary exercise source. It wasn’t much, but I was doing more physically than sitting watching reruns of bad T.V… If I move my body at all, I’ve lapped old me, the unhealthy one I want to say bye to. I think this line will help me when I’m disappointed in a workout – doing something is a lot better than nothing.
3. If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” – Thomas Jefferson
More valid words have never been uttered for my situation. I’ve never been fit, nor ever been at a healthy weight. For there to be change, there needs to be action. If I want to succeed in my weight loss and fitness journey, I need to be willing to do something new. Well said, T.J., well said.
4. Making excuses burns zero calories per hour.
I’m a great one for excuses when it comes to putting off a workout. “My legs hurt from yesterday,” “I feel tired,” “It’s too late in the day.” Trust me, there are plenty more where that came from. There are very few valid reasons to skip a workout. Hospitalization is probably the best one. There’s always time for 20 minutes of effort, a short walk, or even jogging on the spot. I need to burn calories and ditch the habit of making excuses.
5. When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.
I was doing a video workout this week, and when the third set of slow mountain climbers came up, I wanted to collapse on the floor and rest instead. I’m not going to get fit giving up like that. I found a way to push through. Granted, I didn’t get as many reps in the set as the trainer, but I did SOME. To move through my desire to stop and breathe, I considered why I was in my living room, choosing to sweat rather than finish The Crown on Netflix. I’ve only just started; it should be hard. That’s why this quote resonates, and I must always keep it in mind. It’s this sort of thinking that will get me through those tough, painful sets.
6. Strive for progress, not perfection
I’ve struggled to the point of severely affecting my mental health with the idea of perfection. It took me years of growth to understand there is no such thing. Not for humans. We’re too complicated for the subjective classification of perfection to be applied. I’m not on this journey for my looks, to be better than someone, to do the perfect workout. No. I’m in this because I want the fitness and health to hike, run, explore. I sense if I were to measure my progress by comparing myself to others, it wouldn’t be long before I gave up.
7. We cannot start over. But we can begin now and make a new ending – Zig Ziglar
I chose this quote to stop me from dwelling on why it has taken me so long to fully commit to my health journey. Yes, I could’ve done this in my twenties, or last year, or even months ago. Frankly, such considerations do not help the path I am now on. I’m beginning now. This is my time. At least I have started.
8. Suck it up, and one day you won’t have to suck it in
O.M.G., so true! Any time I’m having my picture taken, I am sucking in my abdomen. The way my belly fat hangs over my pants at times hits my self-confidence hard. I can’t imagine what not sucking in feels like. However, looking good isn’t what concerns me most about my midriff – it’s what all that excess fat is doing to my organs. I need to lose this fat from my body, so I need to suck up the hard parts of living a healthier life.
9. Success starts with self-discipline
I won’t be successful in this journey if I don’t employ self-discipline. This applies to food and working out. I need the discipline to control my calorie intake and the mental strength to get myself moving. Without it, the outcome of my journey will be a failure.
10. Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
I need to be assured of this. As most people do at the beginning of a new task/hobby/adventure, I have enormous motivation. Sustaining these heightened enthusiasm and motivation levels for a year and beyond does seems challenging if I think seriously about it. I’ve read that it takes 30 days to create a habit, which doesn’t seem too bad. That’s why I chose this quote. I have the mental strength to force myself to make good choices for a month. After that, habitual acts can take over, so my brain doesn’t have to drive me any longer.
11. The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow.
Ha! How apt. I’d love to have the words to describe how painful my legs felt earlier this week. As I haven’t worked out in years, doing any exercise was always going to hurt. I felt it in my calves, hamstrings, and quads. Bending down was a struggle. Seriously, I groaned every time I sat on the toilet. Feeling pain like that doesn’t seem smart. Until you think about this quote. My muscles hurt because they are getting stronger. It’s a healthy pain I should embrace.
12. It’s actually pretty simple. Either you do it, or you don’t.
A statement like this resonates with me. Weight loss and fitness are perhaps two of the most talked-about topics, but achieving both is remarkably simple. Eat right and move. Therefore, this quote is accurate. If I work out, I’ll get fitter. If I eat right and create a calorie deficit, I’ll lose weight. It is that simple.
13. The hard part isn’t getting your body in shape. The hard part is getting your mind in shape.
I think this is a little too simplistic. Getting your body in shape is hard. However, I chose this one because I think the mental aspect is where I need to shape up. If my mind is in good shape, it will have the resilience to keep me on the right path and make it possible to get my body in shape.
14. I may not be there yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday.
I need to remind myself of this constantly. I’m leaning on the starting post; the finishing line is far in the distance, I cannot possibly see it. My point being, the adventure I am on is a long one. I am closer to the end today than I was yesterday. Every journey starts with the first step ‘n all that. Keep going, stay the course, and the end will come.
15. 70% of people that start a fitness plan quit. Except you. Not this time.
I have been part of 70% a few times. It is my aim to be part of the 30%. Honestly, 30% is pretty inspiring. That’s a higher rater of success than 1 in 4. There is absolutely no reason I cannot do this. As NASA said, failure is not an option. Statistics are on my side.
16. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have decided to be a fit and healthy person. I won’t become that without making that active choice. While some are naturally thin, no one is fit without putting the physical effort in. My destiny is in my own hands, and it’s time I shaped it to be what I want it to be.
17. Most people fail, not because of a lack of desire, but because of a lack of commitment. – Vince Lombardi
If you are reading this, you most likely have a desire to be fit and healthy. Humans are full of passion. Myself included. It’s what motivates us into action. A spark, though, can only do so much. After that, you need fuel to sustain you. The energy in this journey is commitment.
Having the commitment to be mindful of what I put in my body and the drive to push my body. When I see myself veering from my chosen path, I have to question my commitment, not my desire.
18. Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body. It is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. – John F. Kennedy
I’ve focused a lot on getting in shape to live a longer life. There are other benefits, too, and J.F.K. summed it up nicely. Being overweight has adverse effects on every aspect of life, and I don’t want my body to let my mind down. I use my intellect every day at my science job, and I like to be creative in my spare time. Seeing these remarks helps remind me that my decision to be healthy will have positive ramifications throughout my entire life.
19. Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels.
I’ve heard this saying for decades. I never took it to heart, though. I’d listen to it and laugh it off as something people on restricted diets say to justify not having the decadent chocolate moose before them. Let’s look at the truth of the statement, though. What will bring me long-lasting pleasure? Food does bring me joy, but it is fleeting. It lasts a few minutes. Feeling healthy, well, I imagine that can last a lifetime. I’ll reach for these words next time I want to eat something that doesn’t fit with my goals.
20. Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want the most.
Making good/better choices is where my struggles lie as I begin my journey. I know I need discipline for that. I was at Target yesterday, and I put a packet of Milk Duds in the shopping cart. Shira, my girlfriend, asked me if that was what I really wanted. She’s great that way; if I said yes after thinking it through then, that would be the end of it. At the same time, she knew if I thought it through, I might adjust my decision. I put them back. I had my Lindt advent calendar in the cart already, and I decided that was enough candy. It’s only by having discipline that I won’t throw away my goals. I wanted the Milk Duds, I did. However, I want to be fit more.
In those moments where I am still finding my way, still learning moderation, I support the one I love to encourage me.
21. Never say the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.
I love this one, not just for a fitness journey, but for life’s journey. There is no telling what this body could do if I work it. Sure, right now, I can’t do a push-up. I couldn’t finish a 5K in under 30 minutes. One day that won’t be true. Goals are meant to be broken and to shift with you. I can sit here and say, “One day, I’ll be the fittest person you know.” From this starting block, that does seem a tad ambitious, but the point is, it’s not impossible.
22. Everyone starts somewhere.
Everyone does have a distinct beginning. Some people have a lot more weight to lose than me. There are equally people with tiny frames that need fitness too. We all come from diverse mental backgrounds, we all have slightly different genetics, we all have environmental factors. No two fitness journeys are the same. Nor do they progress at the same rate or have the same end. I have to start now. I have to start with where I am. There is no point considering any other time now because now is when I take my first steps.
23. Some quit because progress is too slow, never really grasping the fact that slow progress is still progress.
While I haven’t undertaken any sort of fitness or weight loss plan officially in recent years (I worked out a bit back in 2011 and got down to 170 lbs), I have tried to be mindful of weight gain. The efforts were half-hearted, going for the “I ate well all week, let’s get take out for dinner” approach. The improvements I had made toward a healthy body were eradicated by such decisions. If I had allowed those morsels of progress to mount, I would be starting from a more manageable place today. Fitness can’t be rushed. Some days it will feel like a leap forward in-between many days where my efforts feel stagnant. Even on those days, however, I need to remember I am continually making progress.
24. Starve your distractions. Feed your focus.
Another quote I should use in almost every aspect of my life! As this millennium has progressed, I’m increasingly distracted. However, I’ve never considered starving distractions and feeding focus as a technique. I like this way of thinking. Distractions cannot win. In terms of this journey, it would mean maintaining my focus on the prize I genuinely want. I liken it to saving for something and then spending the money before you’ve reached the goal on something else. Suddenly, owning that expensive item seems further from reality. I don’t want that to happen here.
25. When I lost all of my excuses, I found my results.
Excuses are easy.
“My knee hurts.” “I have work.” “I didn’t sleep well, and I am too tired for this.” “The gym is closed.” “There’s no food in the fridge, so I’ll have to order something.” “People are larger than me; it’s not that bad.” “I closed my Apple watch rings; there’s no need to do anything more.”
It’s the noise of excuses following me around. I’m trying to shed their echoes, attempting to not fall back onto them to justify my moments of weakness. I believe that I can only achieve the results I want if I leave the excuses behind.
Motivational quotes are adopted for a reason. They are the bite-sized pieces of encouragement and motivation we all need to combat the difficult moments. I hope you can find something here to help you on your journey.