There are so many ways to seek physical fitness. The quest for health, strength, endurance, and aesthetics can take us down a million different paths. Ultimately it becomes about finding what works best for us in our own lives. What sparks us to want to move? What makes us keep showing up? The answer won’t be the same for any two people, which is why it’s so important that we get really honest with ourselves and the commitments we make. How can we honor the intentions we set in a positive, effective way? I believe the answer lies in how mindful we are.

Ask yourself what’s at stake.

Is it a health goal, like being able to get off that blood pressure medicine? Is it increased mobility like my desire to be active with my son for many years to come? When we identify and name a motivating factor we can more easily find ourselves motivated.

Don’t be afraid to be selfish!

Doing something that is one hundred percent just for you will make you a better person at home, at work, and in your everyday life. Every Monday I am transported back in time to my childhood as I shuffle ball change my way through an adult tap class. Tapping challenges my agility, coordination, balance, and brain, but I’m having so much fun that the actual health benefits of the class are an afterthought.

Consider including a partner.

A member who takes my fitness classes has enrolled in an aerial silks class with her daughter. I have people tell me how they’ve utilized jump park passes to join in and jump with their children. Every now and then, I will kick my way into a karate class with my son. When we involve those we love we are reminded how easy it is to burn a lot of calories while having so much fun.

Leslie Dobbins, 43 is the mother of a five year old son and an Elite Fitness Instructor for Lifetime Fitness. A dancer from the age of two, Leslie served on the Rebelette Dance Team at Vestavia Hills High School and with the Nationally ranked UAB Golden Girls.