Monday Motivation: Just BEGIN

Don’t make change too complicated…just BEGIN. Nothin’ like a Monday Motivation quote to slap you right in the face, right? Well, maybe it’s a gentle slap.

Humans (or maybe just me, ha!) have a tendency to over-analyze and pick things apart. That includes health and fitness goals. While it’s nice to lay out a structured plan of short-term, medium, and long-term goals, it’s easy to get bogged down in all of the tiny details of what makes up a good fitness/dietary regimen. According to the FITT Principles, there are a certain number of recommended minutes for cardiovascular exercise, and a general recommendation of days we need to strength train throughout the week. In the grand scheme of things, does that matter? Debatable.

While I strive to get all of my clients to work towards the 150 minutes of exercise and 2-3 days of strength training each week, that’s hardly realistic when first starting out. Maybe it’s unattainable for the first few MONTHS of training. Rather than having people get discouraged when trying to get from Point A to Point B, I tell them to just START SOMEWHERE. As a mentor and personal trainer, I don’t care if – for the first month of starting exercise – you only make it to the gym one day per week. It doesn’t matter if you manage only 15-minute walks a couple of times each week, especially if you’ve never set out specific time to exercise before. What’s important is that you’re taking steps towards lifelong habits that involve your health and fitness.

We have to start somewhere, no matter how small the “somewhere” may seem. Small starts lead to consistency; consistency leads to bigger changes; bigger changes lead to lifelong habits.

Just Begin

When I initially considered changing jobs to become a full-time personal trainer, it was nerve-wracking. There were a number of things I had to do, and I was anxious about the steps: study for and pass the certification exam, interview for a job, and the big one: make money.

No matter how many lists I made, it all boiled down to one thing: starting. I was never going to become a successful trainer if I didn’t BEGIN. The to-list would be looming over my head until I dove head first into the new journey.

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One move (so far) and a few years later, and there’s no place I’d rather be!


Let’s chat!

  • Have you made a big change in your life (move, career, etc.)?
  • Are you guilty of over-analyzing scenarios?
  • What goal can you “just BEGIN” this week?
  • How did you spend your weekend?

By Jess

Jess is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and yoga teacher. She enjoys sharing her passion and enthusiasm for health and fitness with friends, family, clients, and readers.

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26 comments

  • Rachel

    December 14, 2015 at 7:47 am

    This one speaks all too true to me this morning! Thank you for your motivational words. It really is all about STARTING. Whether it has to do with health and fitness or any aspect of life. Have a great Monday Jess!

  • Susie @ SuzLyfe

    December 14, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Taking a life changing leap is terrifying, but if you don’t start, you will never go. You totally have to just get that first foot out the door.
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Working with a Clinical Nutritionist + Brick Betty Trunk Shows!My Profile

  • Bri

    December 14, 2015 at 8:05 am

    I’ve gotten way better at “just beginning” over the last year. I think once I accomplished that one big thing (run a marathon), I know that when I set goals I can actually achieve them. It makes everything else seem easier!
    Bri recently posted…Year-end check in: Did I achieve my 2015 goals?My Profile

  • Jenn – a traveling Wife

    December 14, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Oh you know me, I’m all about change – specifically a change in scenery. Starting anything new is scary and stressful, but you are right, jumping in head first might be the best way! 🙂
    Jenn – a traveling Wife recently posted…Ginger Mint Tea – Two WaysMy Profile

  • Jen @ Pretty Little Grub

    December 14, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Love this message Jess. I think everyone gets so worried they need to be perfect and do it all that they become paralyzed and don’t start. Something is better than nothing!
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…Weekend Recap – Christmas CheerMy Profile

  • Kelli @ Hungry Hobby

    December 14, 2015 at 10:46 am

    When I left WIC to work at a major gym as a Dietitian I was scared like crazy! I really wanted to become a Personal Trainers and become more specialized in sports performance but taking a commission job only was really scary! Luckily it worked out and I set myself up to open my own online counseling service and offer Personal Training and Group Fitness classes around the valley which has allowed me to connect and meet with so many awesome people! I think if you can just enlist some support from a friend or family member you take on whatever it is you want to do!
    Kelli @ Hungry Hobby recently posted…5 Words for 5 Pictures Weekend RecapMy Profile

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    December 14, 2015 at 10:47 am

    YES! Girl, I love these Monday posts! Always such great truths!!
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Tummy Healing Soup For OneMy Profile

  • Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen

    December 14, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Pretty much the queen of over-analyzing, over-thinking, OCD, type A perfectionist. Trying to get better but it is definitely ingrained in me. It took me a while to finally start my blog because I wanted everything to be perfect. But when it finally happened, it was such a relief, even though I knew I had a lot of work in front of me still. Of course I am continually learning things along the way too. And couldn’t agree more with the health/fitness stuff. People will ask me to help them eat better. And I say “Just start!” And I know it’s more complicated than that for most, but does it really have to be? No. 🙂 Thanks for a lovely post, Jess, as always <3
    Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen recently posted…Cranberry Orange Bundt CakeMy Profile

  • Jen@jpabstfitness

    December 14, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    I LOOVE this and it is SO true!!!
    Jen@jpabstfitness recently posted…Fit FridayMy Profile

  • Gretchen | Gretchruns

    December 14, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Great message! Love this. 2016 is going to be the year of change for me (getting married, possibly moving, hopefully new job, marathon, Dan getting a new job) so it feels overwhelming, but I know I can do it 🙂 I just need to BEGIN, right?! 😉 Love!
    Gretchen | Gretchruns recently posted…Weekend StuffMy Profile

  • Daisy @ Fit Wanderlust Runner

    December 14, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Jess I always enjoy your Monday motivation. You seem to always pick things that are so relatable. I was all about change this year. With a move back home and a new job…I embraced it all! Super happy with the end results. This year has had its ups and downs but overall couldn’t be happier with how my year is ending.
    Daisy @ Fit Wanderlust Runner recently posted…How to Survive Night ShiftMy Profile

  • Kat

    December 14, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Such a great message. I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in the end goal that maybe it overwhelms us. That feeling is what keeps us from starting, or even trying!
    Kat recently posted…Iced Gingerbread Bars [Paleo,Vegan & Gluten-Free]My Profile

  • Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes

    December 14, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Love this! This is something I’ve been repeating to myself lately – things don’t need to be perfect to begin! I’m a planner and sometimes it can turn into too much over-analyzing – at which time I just need to force myself to start and actually do rather than just dream.
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Mile Markers 12/7/15 – 12/13/15My Profile

  • Erin @ Erin’s Inside Job

    December 14, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    This is definitely great advice. It’s fear that a lot of times holds people back. Just taking that leap means you put in that work and you’ll get the results. It’s always easier once you start instead of sitting there worrying about everything that could happen.
    Erin @ Erin’s Inside Job recently posted…Pomp and a PartyMy Profile

  • Dani @ Dani California Cooks

    December 14, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Great post! I had been talking about starting a blog for so long that finally I had to just start the goddamn blog!
    Dani @ Dani California Cooks recently posted…Vegan Chocolate Maple Gingerbread (gluten free)My Profile

  • Farrah

    December 14, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    So very much agreed! Starting is often the biggest part of the battle. I think a lot of the time (myself included), we keep waiting for the right time/moment to start. The time is now!

    Med school is my blanket term for big changes in my life, hahaha. 😛
    Farrah recently posted…A Week of Catch-UpMy Profile

  • Amelia

    December 14, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    I just started following your blog! I’m so impressed with all the great posts! Starting and forming the habit is always the toughest part for me as well (ebb and flow of ambition I suppose). I’m in Fredericksburg, where are you located in VA? Great work!

  • Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner

    December 14, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    You are right just taking that step to start is the hardest part. I tried to convince my hubs of that when we did our training plan.
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Holiday Funfetti RiceMy Profile

  • Les @ The Balanced Berry

    December 15, 2015 at 12:02 am

    Love love love this. The idea of just starting can be applicable to just about anything in life. I’m a chronic over-analyzer…I’m trying to get better about that!
    Les @ The Balanced Berry recently posted…Gluten-Free Cranberry Bliss Bars + Epic Holiday Cookie ExchangeMy Profile

  • Kristen

    December 15, 2015 at 1:11 am

    Love this! That first step is always the hardest. I get so anxious about all the things that go wrong that I end up talking myself out of starting today. Thanks for the motivation!
    Kristen recently posted…My Return To Running!My Profile

  • Annmarie

    December 15, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Preach, girl! If you over think something you’re bound to psych yourself out of giving it a try!
    Annmarie recently posted…Unique Gifts for Runners + JHill Design GiveawayMy Profile

  • Jen

    December 15, 2015 at 10:28 am

    So with you on this. I tend to over analyze things too. Sometime I just need that kick in the pants that says – Just Do It!
    Jen recently posted…3 WAYS TO STRUCTURE YOUR NEXT STRENGTH TRAINING WORKOUTMy Profile

  • Sam @ PancakeWarriors

    December 15, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    YES!! It’s so easy to plan and make these big complicated goals but NEVER START!! I took the plunge this year into self-employed and holy crap bananas it’s still really scary but if I never started, how would I know if it was the right move!!
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese CroutonsMy Profile

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    December 15, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    This is something I need to hear! Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the details, that I forget that you just have to start somewhere.

  • Carly @ Fitlivingblog

    December 16, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    This is a great post! It reminds me of something I read not too long ago about at a certain point, you have to stop learning and just do it. That’s how I feel about blogging sometimes. There are always webinars to watch and articles to read, but sometimes, I just have to take the necessary steps to get from point A to B!
    Carly @ Fitlivingblog recently posted…A Festive Holiday Sangria Recipe + Tips for a Healthier CocktailMy Profile

    1. Jess

      December 27, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      YES!! Blogging is best learnt by just DOING (most of the time). I’ve been learning as I go.

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