How To Get (and STAY) Motivated

Let me ask you one simple question – what is your motivation?

What I mean is – what drives you to do the things you do? When you make a decision, a choice, or take action – what moves you?

Maybe you have some areas in your life that you aren’t exactly happy with and feel like you need to make some changes. Why have you? Or better yet – why haven’t you?

We all have various reasons for doing what we do. But, in the grand scheme of things, there are really only 2 major motivators ——–

Fear & Love

Take a minute to think about this. Let’s say you know you want to be healthier, so you need to make some changes to your diet and fitness lifestyle. Ask yourself – WHY?

Is it because you had a visit with your MD, and he told you all the terrible things that can happen as a result of your weight? Diabetes, heart disease, etc.? – That’s fear!

Maybe you have a reunion or family gathering coming up, and you don’t want to hear any remarks about “putting on weight” or that you, “used to be so small.” – Guess what? That’s fear, too.

Fear can initially be a great motivator to get you started, but here’s the problem –

Fear is a terrible motivator to keep you going!

Here’s a great example. Think about every scary movie ever in life. We typically see a beautiful young woman, who seems to always be wearing a dress and missing a shoe (Note to self: don’t wear dresses, and always wear two shoes – got it.). She gets scared by some psycho killer, and what happens?

She takes off – sprinting like mad through the woods (Addendum to note: especially don’t wear a dress in the woods.). She runs with all her might to get away from the thing she is afraid of.

But then what happens?

As soon as she feels like she is far enough away from the psycho crazy mad-man killer, she stops running.

Does that sound like you at all?

Maybe your doctor scared you into “eating better,” because of the bad news about your cholesterol. But, as soon as your cholesterol gets below “scary levels,” you go right back to eating all the cheeseburgers and bacon cheese fries you want.

Here’s the problem with the girl in the woods and with us. When we stop running, we give that crazy man time to catch up with us. The thing we’re running from is always on the move.

Research shows that when we use fear as a motivator, the further away we get from what we’re afraid of, the more likely we are to stop.

“Okay, so what’s the answer?”

I’m so glad you asked. We can take a look at Jesus to get a really good picture of what SHOULD motivate us.

Let’s take a trip back to the Mount of Olives. Jesus knows he is about to be handed over to be tortured, beaten, and crucified. Jesus was scared.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” – Luke 22:42

Want to know how scared he was? We learn this just a couple of verses later…

“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” – Luke 22:44

If Jesus had allowed fear to motivate him, he would have run for the hills.

But, instead, He chose love.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

Because of love, He was drawn toward the cross. He was pulled TO something instead of running AWAY from something. And because of that, He saw it through.

So, what’s your motivation?

If you’re just trying to get away from a bad report from your MD, switch gears. Find something to run TO.

Maybe you want to feel good enough again to play with your children or grandchildren? Perhaps you used to love hiking, but hiking into Wal-Mart is too much now.

Find something you love!

Find something to run TOWARD.

As long as you are pursuing after something you love, you’re much more likely to reach your goals. So, run – and don’t stop until you get there!

Your DoAhead Friend,


About Adrian Jessen

Adrian Jessen has worked as a Physical Therapist, Certified Athletic Trainer, and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist for over 14 years. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Life Coaching from Liberty University. Her passion is helping women reach their goals! That’s right – Adrian’s passion is YOU! Her desire is that you would realize that your goals of physical, spiritual, and mental health are so much more achievable than you ever dreamed. Adrian is a monthly contributor to DoAhead Woman but you can receive weekly inspiration from Adrian by visiting her at


  1. Good stuff!! Find your “why”! Thanks for your words…& the fun visual of the scene from every scary movie ever!

  2. Lauren Fletcher says:

    Great insight!! So true.

  3. Dana and Lauren, so glad you found it helpful!!!

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