What Motivates You?


With such a large range of health and fitness options even within a few blocks of us here at CoreWorks, it would be easy to suppose that there is a constant tribe of well motivated people easily filling the spaces at peak times and a constant presence in the off peak hours.

The options on how and where to exercise certainly provides a wide range of choice. Without motivation, it is unlikely you’ll reach your desired goal.

For instance, recent studies have shown that for many people having a concrete goal increases the odds of sticking to an exercise regime, and in fact if the anticipated time it’ll take is longer term, the chances of sticking with it are increased.  This is because there is a period of discomfort in the initial stages of a new exercise program we have to get through, before we start to appreciate and notice the difference.  Joseph Pilates already knew this when he said:

“You will feel better in ten sessions, look better in twenty sessions, and have a completely new body in thirty sessions.” J. Pilates

At the studio we get to spend time with all of you, and help you through the ups and downs of a constantly evolving program, designed to keep challenging you.  So, it makes sense we often see that people recovering from an injury, who want to get back to running, go skiing with the kids or get back to the tennis courts etc., are often the most consistent and dedicated. But what if you don’t have that clear definition of reward?

Our group classes fall into another useful category: The motivation that comes from finding your tribe, your community.  A good instructor will ensure every member of the group is exercising correctly and being challenged, but the social aspect of groups can provide a social motivation. There is laughter, a commonality of purpose, encouragement from the instructor and other practitioners, perhaps conversations about… well, anything, all while you’re working hard and noticing how a small correction made what seemed so simple, way more challenging.

It's clear that motivation is not like a switch, either. So, if you can be more motivated or less motivated, the next question is, what does it take to be able to push yourself to the limit? Capacity.


I was at an exercise class recently (not Pilates) and they were discussing capacity. What it takes to push you to the limit.  Some people feel music fuels them or metrics, comparing yourself to yourself or to others in your class. Some feel emotion feeds their motivation; they see exercise as a chance to get rid of anxiety or frustration.  I think I fall under the latter group.  For me, exercise is completely related to my mood. If I feel off, I go on a run or to a spin class. If I feel frustrated, I do a Pilates class and most of the time after, I feel much better. Bonus points if any of it is outside!  Exercising also makes me feel strong and empowered as I can measure my progress, ie. running longer, or being able to do Pilates exercises that used to be very challenging. Pilates is still one of the best ways to elevate my mood.  I also find teaching it hugely rewarding.  Helping people is my motivation for teaching Pilates.

In exercise, everyone has their own motivation and that’s fine.  Go to the place you need to go to make it happen. Once you’ve figured that side of it out, it makes it so much easier. Easier to have faith that the exercise will be worth it, even when you’re least motivated.