Christel Price

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How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise


For as long as I can remember, I have loved to take nana naps. I’m guessing it started when I was a baby, and it was much more acceptable to nap.

The problem is that although I have always preferred napping to exercise, I know that exercising is an important aspect of living a long and healthy adult life.

Janis Martman, who’s part of the science team at HeadSpace (an awesome meditation app) wrote a great article with science-backed tips on how to motivate yourself to exercise. And that article inspired this video!

Here’s a recap of the 3 points mentioned in the video:

Scientists have found that people are motivated by three universal psychological needs & we’re able to realise our potential when we’re in an environment that supports these three things.


We’re motivated by our perceived ability to achieve something. For example, I have 0 motivation to become a model, because my perceived ability to be the next Kendall Jenner is non-existent. Among other things, I’m vertically challenged. Now, you may be thinking, modelling isn’t exercising. Well, isn’t it? Looking pretty is tiring.

Got a bit side-tracked there, but my point in all this is that we will be motivated to exercise based on if we believe we can master it. That’s why it’s important to pick exercises that suit our level of fitness. So we start off where we are, set small, sustainable goals that lead to small wins and slowly improve as we go.


We are also motivated by our need to interact and connect with others. Makes sense right? We’re built for community. Connecting with others who have similar exercise goals and values is another way to increase motivation.

Should I start a nana napping Facebook group? Any takers? Not sure how this will help my exercise habits, but regardless, could be the start of something beautiful.


The A word refers to the satisfaction that comes from being in control of your life and doing things that are in line with your personal values and desires.

You’re going to be most motivated to exercise when you’ve chosen to do so, as opposed to being told you should.

Is exercise something you inherently value? Is it important to you to live a healthy & balanced life? If it is, you’re more likely to take actions that support that belief.

So the 3 techniques that will help motivate you (and me) to exercise are:

  1. Competence
  2. Relatedness
  3. Autonomy

Try include these three things and it should help you build an exercise habit. Well, here’s hoping! The appeal of the nana nap is strong, but I believe in the potential of all humans to change. Including me.

Download the free PDF video summary & worksheet:



Joe says:

Cute video but the music was too loud – had trouble hearing your voice.

Vishal says:

Great video and points Christel. I think the secret to a good workout is also finding a good workout partner who motivates you, and whom you motivate. Exercising with someone eventually increases the resilience and strength of both members.

Christel says:

Thanks Joe. Good to know. Will adjust it for future videos.

Christel says:

Thanks Vishal. Like how you say that a workout buddy increases the resilience of both people. So true. And that comes under the relatedness point, so makes sense that it helps increase motivation! It’s also a great form of accountability.

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