5 Proven Ways to Motivate Yourself to Workout

What’s Keeping You?

If you’d rather hotfoot it out of the gym early than wait for your turn at the treadmill, you’ve got company. Gym owners don’t expect more than 18 percent of their members to turn up regularly. More than half gym members are commitment phobic. Many very likely lack the motivation to continue. 

And even if you didn’t get that gym membership to drain your finances, you’ve probably got several things keeping you from getting a regular workout. Like your toddlers, for instance. Or work. Or the fear of that perm you spent hours on, going limp. Or that highly motivated Instagrammer on your feed who makes you feel so inadequate that you’d rather curl up with Netflix than go running. 

When you’ve gone through some of the workout motivation tips we’ve got, all of these reasons may start to feel like excuses. 

Start with the right mind 

Being body positive is great. It reinforces self-esteem. But staying in shape and health is even better for your self-esteem. If you can’t get yourself to work out or stick to a regime, then you may have some self-convincing to do. Your goals are less insurmountable than you think. Prove your inner critic wrong by subscribing to one of these tried and tested motivational spurs that will very likely get you off the couch. 

Sign up for pay-per-workout classes

Here’s a surprise. People who sign up for cheaper gym memberships are less likely to go. Those who sign up for more expensive boutique classes, actually end up working out more often. It’s alright to be spurred on by the money you’d otherwise lose. 

Join like-minded buddies 

If you’ve got a friend you can take along to your boutique classes, a friend who won’t let you off the hook, that’s even better. You’ll be less likely to skip a session and let them down. You could consider taking turns driving each other to the gym. That way, you’ll be less likely to hit the snooze button and leave your friend in the lurch.  

If you’re in a group, you can talk about your goals, celebrate your successes, and generally keep each other revved up and excited about working out. You don’t have to join a gym to find buddies. You could start a running group in your neighborhood. 

Another hook than how you look 

Make exercise about something other than how you look, and you’re less likely to become demoralized. Don’t put out that one-size smaller swimsuit and make your goal about fitting into it by summer (or you could, if it works for you). It may take longer than you think. 

Instead, set little micro-goals that you can actually celebrate to stay pumped up. Like running a mile without a break or nailing a push-up perfectly. Or link it with a huge emotional cause in your head. Dedicate your workouts to a cause you strongly believe in, like working out for a family member who is battling illness. 

Put your money on it 

There are apps that can help you penalize yourself if you fail your micro-goals. Fitness apps like Diet Bet and PACT will let you set a goal. Make sure (it’s doable) and if you don’t meet the goal you part with some of your money from your linked bank account. 

Switch from should to want 

You could rewire your brain to take up a challenge willingly. If your instructor has you running that extra mile against your will, next time, make your brain think of it as a challenge that you want to take up. A little competition, even against yourself, may spur you on. Even if you’re the least competitive person you know, you may not like a quitter.