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Expert Advice: The Secrets of Lasting Motivation

Aug 28, 2023 by Vreny Blanco · 8 min read · Interviews, Mental Health

Athlete ready to run with the message Are you ready?
Image by Freepik

Welcome to the fourth edition of our Ask the Expert article series on the 1Focus Blog. Today, I am honored to introduce you to the exceptional Kate Otte.

Kate is a psychologist, performance coach, and holistic health expert. Her cheerful energy inspires confidence and makes every conversation with her an enjoyable experience. In this interview, she explains the connection between the mind, fitness, and health. She also gives tips on overcoming procrastination and staying motivated for the long run.

Get ready to be inspired!

Tell us something about yourself.

My name is Kate Otte. I am a psychologist and performance coach. Recently, I launched Body meets Brain with my boyfriend, where we offer one-on-one coaching in German or English, both online and in person, in Bamberg, Germany.

We offer nutritional advice, training planning, and psychological coaching. As experts in holistic health, we help our clients incorporate more strength and energy into their lives and maximize their physical and mental performance so that they can achieve their goals and fully enjoy life.

Kate Otte
Image with permission from Kate Otte

What motivated you to work in this field?

I first joined a gym when I was 16 years old. Since strength training gave me so much from day one and quickly became my absolute passion, I was eager to learn more about optimal workout planning and nutrition. I dedicated myself to it every day, sought contact with many experts, took numerous courses, and acquired several licenses at the BSA Academy in Germany (one of the largest providers of prevention, fitness, and health training). 2015, I finally started working in a gym parallel to my studies.

Thanks to my knowledge in the areas of nutrition and exercise, in combination with my degree in psychology, I learned to recognize and understand the multifaceted connections between mind and body: stress management, exercise tolerance, self-confidence, self-love, feeling good about your body, etc., all important topics (to name a few!).

Over time, I realized that I wanted to work in this field, where I can combine my knowledge and help many people recognize and utilize their full mental and physical potential.

The connections between the mind, fitness, and health are complex and multifaceted: the three areas are practically inseparable!

Getting our bodies in shape and incorporating a healthy amount of physical activity into our daily lives will have a positive effect not only on our physical performance but also on our mental health.

Physical activity brings energy to our lives, can improve our mood, help regulate stress, promote emotional well-being, and even positively affect our cognitive functions and memory. In addition, the successes we achieve through exercise reinforce our sense of self-efficacy, effectiveness, and self-worth.

If we look at everything from the mind’s perspective, we naturally need the right mindset to achieve athletic (peak) performance. For this, it is indispensable to:

  1. Clearly define your goals.
  2. Understand why you want to achieve those goals.
  3. Find the best strategy.
  4. Motivate yourself daily to overcome your doubts.
  5. Persevere until you achieve your goals.

Then, set new goals and get going!

Important: Success always starts in your mind.

It goes without saying that regular physical activity has a positive effect on our physical health and that we are more motivated to stay active when we are physically well. This relationship also applies to our mental health. Exercise and physical fitness are closely related to mental health. For example, exercise can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and is an essential component of many therapies.

Kate Otte at the gym
Image with permission from Kate Otte

What psychological obstacles often hinder productivity, and how can they be overcome?

Lack of Goal Setting

If the goals are not clearly defined, productivity can decrease due to a lack of direction and focus. If the goals set are not personally appealing, we will have little motivation to do what is necessary to achieve them.

It is important to set SMART goals: specific, measurable, attractive, realistic, and time-bound. These clearly defined goals help maintain focus and motivation.

Lack of Motivation

Human behavior is ultimately about experiencing joy and avoiding pain. If the pleasure associated with performing an action, achieving a goal, or completing a task, or the pain associated with neglecting something is not significant enough, completing the necessary tasks will not become a priority. Available resources will be used for other activities that lead to a quicker and safer satisfaction of needs (→ distraction).

It is essential to always be aware of why you want to do or achieve something. Only if you set goals that are attractive to yourself will you stick to them and follow the path till the end!

Lack of Strategy

If you don’t know how to approach a task in a consistent and specific way, this can lead to unproductive actions or procrastination. Before starting a task, it is essential to have a clear plan and a concrete strategy for solving it. This provides security and the opportunity to monitor and ensure progress.

Stress and Burnout

Psychological stress and burnout can impair cognitive performance and reduce productivity. Self-care and stress management strategies, such as relaxation techniques, meditation, or exercise, can help reduce stress and increase productivity.


Procrastination is a common problem that can reduce productivity. It often stems from fear of failure, perfectionism, or lack of motivation. To overcome procrastination, it is helpful to set realistic goals, define clear priorities, and take small steps to accomplish tasks. Rewarding progress can also increase motivation.

Distractions and Time Management

Constant distractions, whether from social media, notifications, or other external factors, can affect concentration and reduce productivity. Effective time management, which includes fixed work schedules with breaks, can help minimize distractions and increase efficiency.


The desire to do everything perfectly can lead to crippling self-criticism and constant overwork. It is important to recognize that perfection is not always attainable and that completing a task is better than refining it endlessly. Letting go of unrealistic perfectionism can increase productivity.

Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk and self-doubt can decrease self-confidence and affect productivity. Positive affirmations and focusing on personal strengths and successes can help increase self-confidence and productivity.

In my coaching work, I help my clients identify relevant “productivity brakes” and develop individual strategies to overcome them, increase their productivity, and realize their full potential.

Kate Otte sitting and working at the computer
Image with permission from Kate Otte

How can one overcome a lack of motivation?

  • Set clear, realistic goals and start with small steps.
  • Think about why a task is important to you and what personal benefits you can get from it.
  • Visualize successes and create a pleasant work environment.
  • Reward yourself for completed tasks → create incentives to continue.
  • Talk positively to yourself.
  • Take regular breaks to rest.

How can one stay motivated in the long run?

  • Keep your goals in mind every day.
  • Always think about what you have already achieved and be grateful for all you have.
  • Recognize the resources you have at your disposal and learn how to use them to your advantage.
  • Follow a strategy that you are 100% committed to.
  • Learn to see failures as opportunities for growth.
  • Have a strong conviction that you will achieve your goals.
  • Look for role models and seek support.

Success always starts in your mind.

How can one overcome procrastination?

  • Define your goals (SMART).
  • Clarify motivation: intrinsic or extrinsic (if necessary, self-motivation through personal reward).
  • Establish a strategy (schedules, daily plans, learning plans).
  • Monitor and adjust the process.

How do you personally avoid distractions?

By setting my work schedule accurately and scheduling regular (active) breaks (every 90 minutes if possible).

When I had to study for my exams, I put my cell phone on airplane mode or put it in another room during “study phases” to avoid temptation; this helped me a lot!

Do you find routines helpful?

Absolutely!! Routines are invaluable!!

Any behavior you want to integrate into your life long-term must become routine. Routines are very low in energy – that means it doesn’t cost the brain much energy to follow this “well-laid path” – once a behavior becomes routine, you’ll effortlessly do it daily.

For me, practically everything is routine – getting up early, regular walks, regular workouts, meal prepping… It’s like brushing my teeth for me – something I do without thinking much about it. I would feel really weird not doing it.

Do you have any other advice?

Make yourself your No. 1 priority. Once you take responsibility for your life, you have the ability to shape it.

Once you take responsibility for your life, you have the ability to shape it.

Where can I get more information?

Visit Body meets Brain to take your performance, body, and quality of life to the next level! As part of our personalized, holistic coaching, we’ll help you optimize your nutrition, activity level, and mindset.

For regular tips, follow @k8.otte on Instagram.

Kate and Marco
Image with permission from Kate Otte

Tips to Remember

Our interview with Kate Otte taught us:

  • A holistic approach can bring more energy to our lives and help us stay motivated to achieve our goals.
  • Mind, fitness, health, and productivity are intimately linked.
  • Success starts in your mind!
  • Regular physical exercise can increase your mental performance.
  • Overcome psychological barriers to productivity.
  • Overcome a lack of motivation.
  • Develop a daily routine.
  • Stick to your goals until you achieve them.


We thank psychologist and performance coach Kate Otte for her inspiring and educational insights on motivation and success.

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