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Motivational Instagram posts might be a dime a dozen, but motivation itself is a precious resource.

When you have it, it’s the fuel that powers your progress, and propels you towards your goals with a sense of purpose. However, when you don’t have it, it can feel like you might have bitten off more than you can chew. You may even start doubting your goals altogether.

It’s important to understand that we all experience ebbs and flows in motivation. Despite what social media might lead you to believe, nobody is always motivated all the time. Nobody. Even the world’s top motivators experience lulls in drive from time to time. It’s only human.

So, how is it then that these high-profile trainers, fitness instructors, and lifestyle coaches are able to seemingly rediscover their motivation so routinely, and why does it sometimes feel like it’s so much harder for the rest of us? What mantras are they repeating to themselves that enable them to rekindle that fire over and over again?

That’s what we wanted to know. So we asked them.


“You can’t win if you don’t play.”

– Brian Gallagher, lifestyle coach and founder of Simple Man Guide

“Sometimes I still struggle to get started,” admits Gallagher, who is just as susceptible to internal debate as the people he coaches. It’s a deliberation as old as time: the comfort of procrastination versus the benefit of action. “When I’m hesitating to take the initiative and do something I know could be beneficial for myself, I know I just need to take the first step,” he says “To get off the couch. To get dressed. To stop hesitating.” Showing up is half the battle, so start there.

"Find what you enjoy doing, because you'll need to do it consistently."

– Lauren Schramm, Nike trainer

“Sure, there are optimal ways to achieve just about any physical or aesthetic goal you could think of,” says Schramm, who trains clients in New York City and leads workouts on the Nike Training Club app. “To me, however, this approach misses the mark.” Schramm likes to remind her clients that in achieving and maintaining any goal, there will be work that needs to be put in daily. “If you have to do something every day, wouldn’t it make the most sense to find an activity you actually enjoy doing and see how far that takes you?”

"You don't have to be perfect; just be present, and willing to grow.”

– Anthony Crouchelli, founder of The .1 Method and Director of Talent at Liteboxer

“Oftentimes I encounter clients who want to pick up the heaviest dumbbell or hit every boxing combo perfectly from the minute they start a workout,” Crouchelli says. Instead of holding yourself to a standard of perfection right out the gate, however, Crouchelli preaches focusing on what he calls “micro growth.” Every single workout doesn't have to be perfect from start to finish, he says. “If you are fully present in your workout and can set one meaningful intention, that alone in itself will have the greatest impact. At the end of the day, it's just about being 0.1 better than yesterday.”

“Aspire to never expire.”

– Jimmy T. Martin, co-founder and trainer at Brrrn

“Too many people are focused on attaining an ‘Instagram worthy,’ physique, but that really isn’t a very constructive way to show up for yourself,” says Martin. “The pursuit of betterment is a lifelong process, and cultivating a lifestyle that fosters a healthier mindset and body over time is the approach that will win in the long run.”

“Train as if an audience is watching.”

– Christine Lee, instructor and performer

To emphasize proper form, Lee tells her clients to train as if they are being watched by an audience that is paying close attention to their every move. Not only does this approach help to reduce the chance of injury and improve the quality of each movement, but it is a great way to stay focused on your goals and train with purpose. “This will really help light a fire under you to perform at your absolute best and push yourself to the next level,” she says.

“Winning builds confidence. Losing builds character.”

– Jimmy T. Martin, co-founder and trainer at Brrrn

“Defeat is the best teacher of life lessons,” says Martin, who lost his wife to cancer at age 29 and then just a few years later had to close his fitness studio in New York City due to the pandemic. “But having lived through both of those difficult experiences, I found that my tolerance for challenging times had increased exponentially,” he says. “It has now become my superpower.”

“Go in for the kiss.”

– Brian Gallagher, lifestyle coach and founder of Simple Man Guide

Not literally, of course. “This is a reference to that high-pressure moment at the end of a date,” says Gallagher. “You debate whether to ‘make a move.’ If you don’t, you remain in limbo, not knowing where you stand.” If you do, however, the feedback is instant, for better or worse.” The same applies for many things in life, including your fitness,” Gallagher says. Put another way, if you don’t give yourself the opportunity to find out what you’re capable of, you’ll never find out. What do you have to lose?