Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home


photo of a man running with weights

If you want to make positive, lasting change in your life, it helps to spend some time thinking about motivation. What are your reasons for wanting to strength train? What are your personal goals? What obstacles do you anticipate and how might you overcome them? It's also a good idea to visualize your success and consider how you might celebrate your achievements.

Visualizing Your Goals

Believing in yourself—believing that you can leap barriers and achieve your goals—is the ticket to success. One of the most powerful tools for building self-confidence is visualization. This easy technique involves imagining the accomplishment of the changes or goals you're working to achieve. It is a process of "training" purely within the mind. By visualizing in detail your successful execution of each step in a given activity, you create, modify, or strengthen brain pathways that are important in coordinating your muscles for the visualized activity. This prepares you to perform the activity itself. The technique is useful in many areas of life—from avoiding anxiety during a stressful situation, to performing well during competition. You may find it a powerful tool in strength training.

  1. Identify the goal you want to visualize—for example, walking a golf course.
  2. Find a comfortable place to sit and relax.
  3. Eliminate all distractions—turn off the phone, television, etc.
  4. Close your eyes and focus on feeling relaxed. Free your mind of intruding thoughts.
  5. Now, imagine yourself on the golf course. Create a picture in your mind of the place—the sights, sounds, and smells. Imagine a perfect day, warm and sunny, with a gentle breeze. Picture yourself with your favorite golfing friends, talking and laughing. Now visualize yourself starting on your way, passing the golf carts, and setting off to walk the whole course.
  6. Take a moment to feel the pleasure and excitement of achieving this goal.
  7. Then imagine yourself walking from hole to hole, enjoying the sunshine, the views, the fresh air, the good company and excellent play.
  8. Finally, visualize yourself finishing the course and feeling great, both physically and emotionally.

montage of people exercisingNeed more motivation?

Top of Page

Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC-INFO

 2014 State Indicator Report on Physical Activity cover The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO