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Q: I’ve found it hard to get to the gym. Do you have any motivation tips?

Posted February 12, 2014 in Advice Column, Des Moines West

A: Well, you’re not alone. Many people who use willpower to lose weight find their resolve flagging by February. It’s important to realize that weight is only one factor in the broader desire to be healthy. Take a good look: are you really wanting just a number on a scale, or would you like to also have great sleep, feel refreshed in the morning, physically strong with good endurance, have peace of mind and great relationships? If so, make a picture of what that would look like in your life and take the steps to create it. Remember: we get what we focus on, so if we’re focused on what we don’t want, guess what? Right! We get more of that. That’s why diets and exercise alone don’t work. We must be the dominant creative force in our own lives if we want to thrive and not just survive.

One option might be to check out This is a national campaign designed to help you set some 12-week goals in one or more areas: healthy eating, weight, healthy movement, sleep and healthy inner life. Sign-up goes until March 1. There are health coaches, daily emails with health tips, exercises, etc., and it’s free. Sometimes a structure, with resources to assist, is all it takes to begin the journey of a lifetime.

Information provided by Dr. Cheryl Child, D.O., certified health coach with Take Shape for Life.

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