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Sometimes getting motivated to start a workout can be just as hard as the exercise itself. There are days it seems almost impossible to gather up the energy to do anything other than veg out on the couch. Yet there are people who squeeze in at least a little exercise every day. How do they do that, and can everyone else get some of that magical motivation?

Stay Focused

People will not commit to exercise if they see its benefits as distant or theoretical. The key is to use exercise to enhance happiness, rather than a way to achieve a physical goal in the future.  In other words, thinking about going for a run today in hopes of being 15 pounds lighter in two months, is less likely to help you wake up for a jog before dawn than if you think about going for a run as a way to see a friend or exploring a new part of town. It’s these kinds of immediate rewards that researchers say are more likely to keep you coming back for more exercise. Rather work out indoors? Put the focus on increasing your energy, improving your mood, or lowering your stress level, and you might be more likely to push play.

Know The Benefits Of Exercise

Sometimes all it takes to motivate yourself to exercise is learning the benefits that it offers. From healthy weight management to reduced risk of illness and disease, there are countless benefits associated with exercise. Some of the many benefits of exercise include:

  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Reduced risk of cancer
  • Improved memory and cognitive function
  • Improved mood
  • Lower stress and anxiety
  • Feel better about yourself
  • And much, much more…

Reward Yourself

Rewards can be a great way to encourage positive behavior. Rewards that are personal to us do in fact help us stay motivated and establish long-term habits. It’s worth the time to come up with a system and a list of rewards for your own milestones! There are countless ways to reward yourself:

  • Go for a mani/pedi
  • Treat yourself to a massage
  • Plan a night out with your friends
  • Unwind with your favorite movie
  • Share your progress on Social Media so your friends can celebrate with you
  • Buy a new pair of shoes
  • Clean out your closet and donate your too big clothes
  • Get a new hairstyle
  • Invest in a fitness tracker to motivate you even more
  • Take a mini vacation

Almost anything can work as a reward as long as it fits into your budget and doesn’t sabotage your efforts. Don’t reward yourself with food. Food will sabotage your efforts, so always chose ways that don’t involve eating.


Make Exercise Fun

If you enjoy exercising, you’ll feel more motivated to do it again in the future. You can turn exercise into a positive experience by listening to music, maintaining an optimistic perspective, and not pushing yourself beyond your limits. Use these tips to add some excitement to your workout routine:

  • Do it your way. The absolute BEST exercise for you is one that you will actually do! If running sounds dreadful, do not rush to sign up for a 10K race. Maybe look into walking, hiking, swimming or cycling. Rather than following a new trend or follow your friends, figure out what you like to do. If you really enjoy your chosen form of exercise, you will look forward to doing it rather than make excuses as to why you can’t.
  • Create the perfect workout music playlist. If you’ve ever struggled through a silent workout because you left your headphones at home or felt a surge of energy when your favorite song comes on, you know that, when it comes to exercise, music matters.
  • Be your own cheerleader. Try leaving yourself notes of encouragement and surrounding yourself with positive people to help inspire and intensify your workouts.

  • Embrace the outdoors. Exercise doesn’t have to involve endless hours indoors in the gym. Make use of different locations such as exercising outdoors when the weather is good (or bad if you are brave). Go for a run, enjoy a good long hike or bike ride, exercise in your own back garden, or if you can’t pull yourself away from the TV you could even exercise while watching your favorite TV shows. A change of scene acts like a distraction so you won’t even notice how hard you are working.

  • Try something new. Doing the same exercise sessions each time will very quickly get boring, and boredom doesn’t do much for your motivation. The answer: try and mix it up by adding some variety. Mixing in challenging new exercises can provide and extra boost of mental stimulation, keeps the workout exciting, and challenges the body in new ways.
  • Grab a buddy. Life is full of great solo activities, but exercise isn’t always one of them. Working out with a buddy isn’t just a fun way to squeeze in some face time; it provides extra accountability along an added push to go that extra mile.

Commitment Contract

Have you ever started something, but still haven’t finished it? Putting your goals in writing and confirming them with another person is a powerful way to ensure you stick to your goal.

You may find success by reporting to someone else for weekly weigh-ins while others do well being accountable to themselves. Regardless of your  strategy, a personal  contract with yourself could be the tool you need to achieve your goals.

I use a weight loss journal to keep track of my goals. I record my daily water intake, food consumption, current and progressive body measurement, current and progressive weight and my weight loss goal contract which looks something like this:

Weight Loss Contract with Myself

I, _____________________________, agree to execute everything as to achieve the following weight loss goal:


Current Weight:                                              __________ Date: __________

Weight Loss Goal for this Agreement:   __________

Target Weight:                                                __________ Date: __________

I, _____________________________, commit to starting today to achieve the weight loss that I know I want and need to feel good about myself. I take full responsibility for my weight and am willing to make permanent changes in my eating and exercise habits in order to live a healthier lifestyle.

Starting today and moving forward, I will no longer be denied the success I deserve. This is an important day in my life, the day I make the final commitment to do what needs to be done, to consistently focus on my goal and eat healthy, every day and every week moving forward. I will no longer make excuses or justify my current unhealthy eating and lifestyle.

I understand that my weight loss goal is going to be reached by developing new healthy habits overtime. I understand that I will not have to settle with my current weight. I have the power to change my relationship with food to one that supports my desire for a new healthy lifestyle.

Signature of Commitment/Date

As I sign this contract, I understand that my future is my responsibility and I recognize I am capable of achieving my goal.

Be true to yourself, and the benefits will come!




37 thoughts on “5 Smart Ways To Motivate Yourself To Workout”

  1. I am fully on board with this!!! Love the extra resources and information too. Commitment is truly the foundation to change in any area of our lives! Thanks for sharing! xo~D @ beyouandthrive

  2. Wonderful tips Jenny! I pack my work out clothes every morning and change into them before leaving work. I find I’m less likely to talk myself out of going to the gym if I’m already dressed for it!

  3. YES TO ALL OF THESE!! Honestly, I love to switch it up and try new things. It keeps me motivated. Also, I’m oddly motivated by wearing a fitness tracker. It’s so weird. LOL

  4. Yay! Fitness trackers are A-MAZING! Setting daily goals with a fitness tracker helps stay active throughout the day 😀 ~Xoxo

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