What Happened to My Exercise Motivation?

Would you attend an outdoor party on a day that was cloudy, windy, and barely felt warmer than 30 degrees? That might not be your idea of a good time, yet, thousands did. It happened on Brown’s Island in Richmond, Virginia on a cold day last November. There was a live band, food trucks, and beer.

The party was for people who just finished the Richmond Marathon and Half-Marathon. As they crossed the finish line they were handed a medal and a blanket and invited to enjoy the party across the short bridge on the island.

Even though the weather was horrible, Brown’s Island was full of smiles. Each person wearing a medal around their neck had just accomplished a big goal.

One of my favorite days of the year happens in late December. It’s the day I sit down and think of all my goals for the New Year. It’s a day filled with the hope of transformation. I pick areas of my life that I don’t like and determine the change I want.

That excitement extends through the first week of January before it begins to fade. Sadly, the excitement ALWAYS fades. This is why more than 90% of all goals fail. That initial burst of exhilaration cannot be the fuel that keeps it going.

If you are doing The 30 Day New Year Fitness Challenge what will keep you going once the excitement fades?

Every one of those people on Brown’s Island had to answer that question well before race day when the excitement of THE IDEA of getting a medal was replaced with the HARD WORK of training. At some point the work of reaching a goal gets hard.

I still spend part of a day in late December thinking through what I want to change in the New Year. I still feel the excitement that comes with that. And, I also know that feeling won’t last more than a week.

But, I’m OK with that now.

I’ve learned through experience that the feeling of accomplishment at the finish line is far sweeter and far more meaningful than what I feel before I even start.

At Mile 16 of the Richmond Marathon my wife, and everybody else doing the Marathon, ran across the Lee Bridge. This was after running uphill for about a half mile. They were tired when they hit the bridge and their reward was a strong, cold wind right in their face.

It was brutal!

That made crossing the finish line ten miles later even sweeter!

You will have your own “Lee Bridge” moments. Don’t give up because it’ll make reaching your goal more meaningful and far more exciting than the day you actually set the goal.

It’ll feel so good you won’t even notice the weather.


If you don’t have a daily step goal, I want to challenge you to give it a try and create a fitness habit. I call it The 30 Day Fitness Challenge. This free guide will walk you through how to get started. It’s very easy.

If you don’t have a Fitbit I recommend the Fitbit Inspire HR. This is the Fitbit I use to track my 20,000 steps a day. The Inspire HR also tracks your heart rate and sleep so you get an even wider picture of your fitness progress.


(By the way…if you use the links in this article to make a purchase this blog will receive a small commission. It won’t add anything to what you pay, but letting you know is the right thing to do)

This blog is designed to help you embrace walking as a fitness activity. It’s sustainable, flexible, effective, and fun. Every week I post new articles with stories and helpful suggestions to Win at Fitness.

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  1. As someone who has absolutely no interest in running, the running and marathon references are getting a bit tiresome. Otherwise I am appreciating the daily blog.

    • Hi Missy. I am married to a runner and I think she’s a rock star. It’s hard for me to avoid the references, but even more important, I’m actually trying to shift the narrative. I believe strongly that walking is viewed as “less than” and I don’t buy it for a moment. In many ways, walking is “more than”. The mentions of running are my way of acknowledging the tension a lot of us feel about whether walking is enough and how it compares (and often beats) running as a fitness activity. I’m sorry it’s hitting you differently and I’ll be more sensitive moving forward.

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