One thing I’ve come to learn more and more is that when we have a passion for something, an inner need, we are more likely to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves.

If it’s about weight loss, it can be that moment when we feel empowered. We’ve looked into the mirror and picked a part the negatives, that extra 20 or 30 pounds, for the last time.

If it’s about health, it can be that moment when we’ve just become fed up with the aches and pains in our lower back, and joints, and getting tired easily. We may not know how to begin this new road to physical freedom, but we are determined to find it. It can be as simple as that. That’s passion.

To give you a better example of this, this year alone I’ve worked with men and women who decided to rekindle their interest in fitness training and weight loss because they were reaching milestones in their life. Some were turning 30 or 40, others 50 or 60. These milestones are perfect passions, because it is no secret that fitness training reverses the aging process, and increases one’s quality of life and longevity. In addition to this group, I also worked with new mothers, couples getting married, and men and women who recently divorced. All going through different journeys in their life, but all sharing one thing in common, a true reason to make a serious life change.

To put this in another perspective, in all the years that I’ve been involved in health and fitness, I’ve rarely seen anyone successfully execute their desired goals without true motivation. It’s like New Year’s resolutions. Every year I see people treat the New Year as their single reason to turn a new leaf and start a new chapter. But after a few months the newness wears off and they fall back into their old habits and routines. This single reason is simply not a strong enough motivation for most to successfully make their goals a reality.

And when it comes to passion, you should always see the big picture and not just the immediate need. Yes, you want to look good for your upcoming class reunion or for the new man or woman you are dating. But you also want to feel healthy and virtually look the same 10 or 15 years from now. You want to lose the baby fat you put on, but you also want to prevent complications of diabetes, hypertension, and high blood pressure because it’s prevalent in your family. Whatever the reason or reasons, these are the things that will encourage and motivate you to make a life change and to stay motivated.

An example of this is beginning a new training program. You’ve decided that you’re going to lose those 20 pounds that have nagged you for the past 3 years. You’re ready to reclaim your youth and your health. You remember bits and pieces of exercises you did years ago, but really don’t have a clue on how you’re going to get this done now. You have no intention of giving up this time, so you hire a personal trainer you heard good things about; you explain your hopes and desires to him, and then take a leap of faith. Over the course of the next several months you give it all you got. Your trainer becomes more than just your trainer; he becomes your teammate, determined to see you do this. You transform your body during this time and literally motivate yourself and others to travel the same road you just traveled. It’s an exhilarating feeling. I’ve seen it many times over the years.

Jump roping, weight training, boot camp, and cardiovascular exercises become your new normal. Working out three to four days a week becomes something you want to do, not have to do. Learning how to work out both indoors and outdoors keeps you constantly interested. Adding sports conditioning and HIIT training helps you to constantly improve and advance.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said, “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” He was right. Nothing fuels us and motivates us like passion.

Imagine and envision exactly how you would like to feel and how you would like to see yourself, and find the passion, the true reason why you want to make this change, and then set a plan of action to make that happen. We are the authors of our own life, and only we can ignite our own passion to make our goals a reality. Ignite yours today!

Michael Shaw is a certified fitness trainer, sports performance nutrition specialist, owner of Shaw LLC, a member of the Maryland Advisory Council on Physical Fitness, and a fitness/fashion model agent. He can be reached at www.michaelroyshaw.com