Sometimes being active takes motivation. There are some tips and tricks I use to help motivate myself and my family into an active lifestyle.

You might be wondering, “Is it even possible to motivate yourself?” The big thing I have to do is ask myself what activities I actually enjoy spending time doing. I am more likely to engage in movement when I enjoy the activity. So, if you don’t like running, setting a race day as motivation may not be what you need. Maybe you’d enjoy hiking or yoga more. In that case, setting a goal around those activities could be more motivating.

Accountability is important. One tip for accountability that helps me is participating in 30-day challenges with friends. Each day we check in via text to let the others know we did the daily challenge or ask how they are doing on their goals. Having someone to answer to can really increase motivation! Another tip is working a fitness program where you can check off the “boxes” of activities. This helps me stay on track while feeling like I am accomplishing something. Somehow, checking off the box helps the goal to feel more tangible.

In the winter, I am motivated to stay in shape from the fitness activities I’ve done over the summer. I don’t want to lose the results of the hard work from the season. So, in the winter, I try to shift my activities inside (or gym-based activities), like strength and weight training. Staying in shape is the motivation, and I must alter my activity to achieve my goal.

A lot of times, in order to motivate kids to be active, we have to model the behavior and invite them along. This summer, I had goals for my own running. What I did to involve my kids was invite them along to bike with me while I ran. They liked it because they didn’t have to go as fast on the bike; at the same time, they were able to help me run faster. We were doing separate activities together, and the kids seemed to have fun with it.

Another tip for motivating your family to be active is to create little hunts along the way when you are running, biking, hiking, or skiing. We will pick something and count how many we can see along our route. In the winter, you could pick how many snowmen you see while out for a walk, or how many people wearing red jackets while skiing. The options are endless.

Just like for yourself, you can ask your family what types of activities they like doing and then participate with them. I’m talking about movement-based activities here – playing sports, hiking, running. My son likes to play football, so I’ll spend time with him in the yard running drills or playing catch. The point is, the more interested they are in an activity, the more likely they are to do it.

These are some ideas for motivating yourself and your family to stay active. What else works for you? ​