To discover what motivates you internally, start by asking yourself a few questions, Charland says. First, what do you truly desire in life? Also, how will achieving your health and wellness goals help you get what you desire? 

Then as you’re setting your goals, make sure they not only hold meaning to you but also have a why behind them. “Finding the why will help you achieve lasting results,” says Erin Clifford, a holistic wellness coach in Chicago.

For instance, you want to give up sugar and processed foods because you’re on the verge of developing type 2 diabetes and you want to be around for your children and grandchildren. Or you want to lose 20 pounds because you just went through a divorce and you want to feel confident getting back into the dating game. “Both scenarios give you leverage to keep going even when your inspiration might be dwindling,” Clifford says. “By focusing on your why, you’ll feel renewed to get your lifestyle plan back on track.”

That’s what happened to Jonathan Jordan (left), 38, now a trainer at Equinox in San Francisco. For more than ten years, he’d been a successful—though extremely stressed, he admits—public relations executive and partner at a large consulting firm. Although he had money, awards and the respect of his peers, he was miserable. “My body and spirit were slowly dying,” he says, explaining that he used food and alcohol to cope with his stress.

During this time, Jordan began working with a personal trainer, and that’s when he came to a discovery. “The only time I was happy was when I was in the gym with her,” he says, adding that after years of struggling with addiction, he got sober. He was ready to make a change in life to do what truly motivated him, and four years ago, he switched careers to become a personal trainer and fitness blogger. Since then, he’s helped hundreds of clients and other trainers find their own paths toward health and balance in life.

Just make sure you don’t fall victim to a common mental trap that can sap your motivation. “People often use the same thinking from the past, which can deter them from meeting goals,” Charland says. For example, you try to adopt a new habit, you fail, and you ultimately throw in the towel. If you continue to view every new start as a win-fail situation, you’ll never excel. That’s why Charland recommends using an experimental mindset, viewing every situation with a curious mind.

For instance, if you’re using a food diary to track your intake, look at the data only as numbers without passing judgment. So you went over your calorie goal? Learn what you can from it so you can apply it to the next day, and then move on. 

Most importantly, be in the now. Betchart encourages professional athletes to play present, which he recommends for everybody looking for lasting motivation. As he says, “Being in the present changes your self-talk and helps you tap into the joy of what you’re doing, which will ultimately keep your spark going.”