Finding the motivation to work out is a major struggle. I’ve always preferred to work out in the morning because I can get it over with right away, but unfortunately, that means I often want to snooze my alarm more than do a pilates video.
Even though there are so many articles out there about how to motivate yourself to work out, tips like ‘find a workout buddy’ or ‘lay your gym clothes out at night’ aren’t always going to make it happen. Plus, searching for hours looking for pictures of hot bodies to get you inspired only takes time away from actually working out.
I strongly believe that nothing can motivate you except yourself, so here are some tips that’ll help you consciously motivate yourself to work out:
1. Set A Goal & Reward Yourself
Setting a workout goal gives you a solid reason for wanting to work out. Likewise, planning a reward for when you accomplish your goal will give you the motivation to keep going. Maybe there’s something you’ve been wanting for a while, but don’t necessarily need, like a new pair of sneakers or a raved-about lipstick. If you need inspiration, some fitness goals I’ve had in the past are:
- Exercise 20x per month
- Complete a 30-day yoga challenge
- Go to the gym 5x per week
- Follow a blogilates calendar
- Run 3x week
2. Make It Fun
Find something that makes you excited to work out and maybe doesn’t even feel like exercise. If you hate running, don’t do it just because everyone else does. Try a free video from PopSugar Fitness or Fitness Blender or find a class at your gym that seems interesting (kickboxing, pilates, yoga, Zumba, etc.). Some people are able to do the same exercise every day, but switching it up is more likely to keep you excited. Try pilates on Monday and kickboxing on Wednesday, or experiment with some new equipment at the gym.
3. Remember How It Makes You Feel
Unless you injure yourself, you will never feel bad after a workout. You’ll feel accomplished, energized, and maybe a little sore – although that can be a good thing. Whenever you don’t feel like working out, ask yourself if what you want to do instead (aka lay around in bed watching New Girl) will make you feel any of those things.
4. Write Yourself A Note
Sometimes I write myself a little note before I go to bed to remind myself of why I should work out the next day. You could say something like, ‘Work out tomorrow because it will make you feel energized, awake, happy, and healthy. You are a sexy human being.‘ If that’s the first thing you see in the morning, you won’t really want to ignore it.
5. Give Yourself 10 Minutes
Tell yourself you only need to work out for ten minutes. If you go into it thinking you don’t have to try for too long, you’ll find it easier to just start, and you’ll probably even keep going once you get over the ten-minute mark. And if not, five minutes is still better than nothing ;)
6. Track Your Progress
If you write down your workouts in a planner, you’re more likely to a) stick to them and b) be motivated by your own progress. Crossing off your completed workouts is such a satisfying feeling, and seeing how far you’ve come will only make you want to keep going. If you need some ideas for tracking your workouts, check out this post.
7. Find Your Instant Motivation
Anytime I watch a great dance routine, I instantly want to get up and dance around my room. Whether that motivates you or not, I bet there’s something out there that always makes you motivated to move – no matter what. Maybe it’s a certain song, a music video, or a quote. It should be able to give you that motivation in 5 minutes or less.
And if all else fails, realize that you need to make the decision to just do it. Sometimes I’ll lay in bed and say, ‘I’ve made the decision to workout’ and that’s when I get up and do it. It’s always a choice, and it’s always up to you.