Jillian Michaels on Motivation & Excuses

Jillian Michaels on Motivation & Excuses

She’s one of the country’s leading health and wellness experts, a best-selling author, and the star of NBC’s The Biggest Loser. Jillian Michaels even has a new fat-fighting video game for the Wii. If she can’t get you pumped up to get ripped, no one can. We asked her for her best tips on getting motivated and overcoming the most common willpower busters.


Set your sights!
Before pursuing any goal you must clearly define it for optimal success. Often people have a generalized idea of what they want, but without a concrete destination it’s impossible to chart a roadmap that leads to success. Think of it like this, saying you “want to be healthy” is like saying your heading north east. That is far too amorphous. Defining what healthy means to you (run a half marathon, live to 100 etc.) is like saying you are heading to the empire state building. So, take a moment to think about your goals and specifically outline the details of your dreams. This is critical to controlling the trajectory of your life.

Knowledge is power.
Once you have a clear vision of your goals educate yourself about them. Taking action without proper information is at best useless and at worst destructive. If you want to lose weight you have to learn about calories. How many are in a pound. How many to eat and how many to burn etc. This rule applies to any goal you’re pursuing. With the proper information you can make powerful choices that affect lasting change!

I’m sure your girl is always preaching at you about this one. Well, she’s right. We spend nearly all our waking hours working with people and they can be a huge source of support or sabotage. Which role they play can be greatly influenced by your communication skills. Work on asking for what you need. People are NOT mind readers. Give them the tools to support you in the ways you find most helpful. In addition, when resolving conflicts, make sure you listen “empathically”. Put yourself in the other persons shoes and seek to understand them as opposed to just waiting for your turn to talk. This will build good will with the other person and better inform you on how to reach a mutually beneficial win win resolution.


I don’t have any support from friends and family. I’m doing this on my own.
One of my favorite quotes says it all: We can tolerate any ‘how’ if we have a ‘why.’ In other words, identify all the reasons you want to lose weight to begin with. Write them down. Post them everywhere you can. Meditate on them first thing in the morning and at night when you go to sleep. Motivation always comes from within—bring it out!

I keep slipping up.
Failure is a pain in the ass because it’s unavoidable. Many tend to see failure as a validation of their deepest, darkest insecurities. It can throw us into depression and erode our confidence and self-esteem. The trick is to recognize failure as an entry point for learning and an integral component of growth—and not make the same mistake twice.

I have good intentions—but at the end of the day, I’m tired and just want to go home and relax.
I’ve been here. Many times. It’s easy to settle into a relationship or a routine and stop taking care of your needs. Remember that you have to make time to take care of yourself. Try to get your workout in during your lunch hour or in the morning before work. Get a piece of home cardio equipment and exercise while you catch up on your favorite TV show. Or, clear all the crap snack foods out of your cupboard. You can’t eat what’s not there.