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Be Fit Fit: Success sometimes depends on the ‘Why’

(Magdalena Romanska/Courtesy)

(Magdalena Romanska/Courtesy)

In September, I was asked to share my two cents about the topic of negotiation on a TV real estate program. When I was reflecting on the issue, I realized that the success of our fitness- and wellness-related endeavors highly depends on our skills to negotiate … with ourselves.

Not all actions, resulting in an improved level of fitness, health, and wellbeing are always pleasant or enjoyable to all of us. Some of us hate exercise. Some of us rely on unhealthy eating and carb loading to calm their nerves. For some, seeing the long-term benefit of waking up early to train is as impossible as seeing well in a thick morning English fog.

Success of the negotiation with myself highly depends on my “why.”

Why do I do what I am or plan to do? Am I motivated intrinsically or extrinsically? Studies show that extrinsic motivation does not result in as much success as the intrinsic one. In other words: If I want to lose weight and tone up because my spouse tells me so, I might not stick long to my wishful plan. (It must especially true if an ex-spouse tells you to lose weight and you do it for them. Very bad idea – never listen to an ex).

But if I want to lose the same weight and tone the same 51-year-old muscles up in a pursuit of an intrinsic motivation - because I want to stay healthy and spend my retirement savings on travel rather than doctors - I might succeed! Even if my plot includes harsh, alarm-accompanied early morning awakenings at 4 a.m. and trotting out onto deserted trails, chances are on my side.

To succeed at anything, fitness or not, you must believe in the cause and in those involved in it, and you must own that belief. Over the lifetime of running businesses, people tell me that I am an excellent negotiator. And I believe I am. Because no matter if I negotiate with myself for the benefit of my own health (ex., Jezz, Magdalena, stop eating those Linds chocolates by a handful!), or if I negotiate a real estate deal for my clients, or if I negotiate with my fitness lient to stick to their fitness program – I simply believe in the result and see a good chance at reaching our goal. Whatever that goal is.

FYI, I am quite fake and only look “gentle” and “all smiles.” Negotiation is my passion and has always excited me, so once you have me on your side, meaning that you trust me and I believe in you and in your goal, I would fight for you big time and feathers might fly.

Examples of intrinsic behavior (driven by internal rewards) include purpose, autonomy, sense of accomplishment and pride, love of the task, personal growth, physical health, self-acceptance, and contribution, independence, freedom and enjoyment.

When it is hard to stick to a “good for you” goal, you might simply reflect on all those intrinsic factors to it, rather than look for a semi-valid justification to abandon your ideas. Remember, things which are worth it often come at a price. And you are worth it.

Magdalena Romanska, Ph.D., is a certified wellness coach and fitness specialist. She is the owner of the Be Fit Fit Personal Training Studio and the Top 5% Chairman’s Board Realtor at the Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International in Sedona. To contact Romanska or to visit her blog, visit

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