Staying motivated when it comes to going to the gym and making it a part of your daily routine can be challenging for everyone. Until it truly becomes habit, it can be easy to find reasons to skip your workout for the day. Life is busy, and going to the gym to work out takes extra time and effort, plain and simple. So today I’m sharing ten ways to help stay motivated when you feel like doing absolutely anything else but hitting the gym!
1. Write down/screen shot your workout before you get there.
This is key for me when it comes to staying motivated before I get to the gym, and even while I’m at the gym. The task of working out is daunting enough when you’re tired and unmotivated, but not knowing exactly what you’re going to do when you get there makes it even worse. Having something in front of me telling me exactly what to do, how many reps to do, and where to go next, makes my time in the gym so much more focused and quick, as opposed to me wandering around the gym, randomly throwing together a workout as I go. Take a screen shot of the workout you’re doing or have it written down and ready to go, so that you can be quick and effective once you get there!
2. Set reasonable goals
I can’t stress this enough. If you’re someone who is just starting out, telling yourself you’re going to go to the gym for an hour, six days of the week next week is probably not the most realistic goal. It’s important to set goals that are specific and attainable, making your success more achievable! Instead of saying you’ll go to the gym six days a week for an hour, try something more specific such as, “next week I’m doing to do 20 minutes of cardio for 3 days, and 20 minutes of strength training for 2 days”, or “this week, I’m going to complete 4 strength training workouts”. Set yourself up for success, not failure – success is motivating, am I right?!
3. Do something you love
I’m not by any means saying you should love every minute of every workout you ever do, however you should enjoy your workouts most of the time. If you dread your workouts, you need to try something different! If you hate the gym, try barre, spin, TRX, Orange Theory, etc. If you hate cardio, try strength training. If you hate doing weights, try some bodyweight HIIT workouts. Even if you love what you’re doing, it’s always fun to try something new! There is something out there for everyone, you just have to find your niche and what it is you love doing! Staying motivated is so much easier when you can look forward to your workouts.
4. Take time to lay your gym clothes out
Whether you work out in the morning, or in the afternoon, lay your gym clothes out/pack your gym bag before you go. When I work out in the morning, half the battle is finding something to wear when I’m delirious at 4am. Having everything laid out and ready for me to put on when I wake up makes it 10x easier to get out the door in the mornings. The same goes for the afternoon. When I get home from school, the last thing I want to do is go digging through my drawers for a matching outfit. If my gym bag is packed and ready to go, or my outfit is laid out for me on my bed, I have no choice but to change and go!
5. Reward yourself
It’s not realistic to think you should reward yourself every single time you work out, but every once in a while, it’s definitely a good source of motivation! Working out on the weekends is always a battle for me, so I usually reward myself with T.Loft or Starbucks so that I’m just a little more excited to get through my workout and on with my weekend. Something else you could try, is to set a bigger goal so that you can reward yourself in a more substantial way. For example, “if I can workout 4x a week for this month, I’ll buy myself a new Lulu top”. Remember, goals are meant to be achievable, don’t set yourself up to fail.
6. Getting there is the hardest part
Sometimes I have such a mental battle with getting to the gym regardless of if it’s before or after work. Early mornings are hard, but afternoons after work are just as hard for me sometimes. Every time I feel like I don’t want to go, I remind myself of how easy it is to get going once I walk through the gym doors. Once I’m in the gym, there’s no turning back, I just start doing what I need to do. The weights are there, the machines are there, and it would be harder for me to turn around and walk out than it would be to just get the workout done. It’s having to convince myself to get dressed, and to get in my car to drive to the gym that’s hard for me. That being said, when you’re feeling like you just don’t want to do it, just tell yourself all you have to do is get there!
7. Find a good playlist
I don’t know about you guys, but music is extremely motivating to me when I’m working out. The stairmaster is sometimes my least favorite thing to do, but if I have a great playlist to listen to, the time flies and I actually enjoy it! When I have days that I don’t feel like going to the gym, I search Spotify for a new playlist to try and that always helps motivate me to get to the gym, even if it’s just to listen to some new music! You’d be amazed how many workout specific playlists there are out there, all you have to do is search!
8. Anything is better than nothing
I won’t lie, whether it’s because I’ve had a crazy busy week or I’m just not feeling 100%, there are definitely some days that I get to the gym and realize I just can’t put in the effort it takes to crank out one of my normal workouts. However, I always tell myself that anything is better than nothing. I live in an area where there are some amazing walking trails, so if I’m not feeling up to a normal workout, I might take 20 minutes to walk outside to get my heart rate up for just a little bit. If I still want to stay at the gym, I may go ride the bike for 20 minutes. Just because you can’t fit in a normal workout, or just because you’re not feeling up to it, do a little bit of something! I promise, you’ll thank yourself when you’re done!
9. Take some time off
I know, this sounds weird, right? I’m supposed to be telling you how to stay motivated and here I am telling you to take time off. But this is extremely important. If you’ve been working out for 5-6 days a week for months on end, feeling unmotivated is natural after awhile. If your body is telling you it’s had enough, respect it. Last winter I got in a rut and felt like I literally did not like working out any more. I got kind of nervous because this wasn’t normal for me. I realized how long I’d been working out without more than a day off, and I decided it was time for a break. After the week off, I felt refreshed and ready to start working out again. My mind and body both needed the break and I could truly tell I was functioning better after the week was over. You are not effective if you’re overly tired and run down, if this is the case for you, here’s my push for you to listen to your body and take some time off!
10. Remember why you started
If you only take one piece of advice away from this post, please take this. No one is motivated 100% of the time. It just doesn’t happen. Everyone has off days, but it’s so important to keep in mind your why. Why did you decide to start working out in the first place? Everyone has their own reason as to why they start their fitness journey, and your reason is just as important as the next person’s. Whatever your reason is, remember that, and remind yourself of that the next time you’re feeling unmotivated. Write it down if you need to so that you can go back to it when you’re losing sight of your end goal.
Thank you guys for reading! I hope you took something away from this post, and can remember something you’ve read for the next time you’re not feeling so hot about your workout for the day! As always, feel free to ask questions or leave comments if you have any!
What I’m wearing –
- Top | Lululemon Ebb To Street Tank (I have never ever been able to wear a padded tank without a sports bra until I found this – SERIOUSLY AMAZING)
- Bottoms | RBX Space Dye Capri Leggings (Comfiest workout pants ever)