We’ve all been there: you roll out of bed, take one look at your sneakers, and climb right back under the covers. Fitness motivation is at zero – or at least nowhere near high enough to get to the gym.
Whether you’re struggling to get started with a new workout program or just having an off day, we’ve got ten tips to help you rediscover your fitness mojo.
1. Discover (and Remember) Your Why
Unless you’re someone that just really loves exercise, there’s probably a why to your workouts. You might want to get or stay healthy, or lose weight, or run a marathon. Hell, you might even just want to stick up a well-toned middle finger at someone who told you that you couldn’t.
Working out is good for you, but it still requires a trade-off of all the other things you could be doing. If you aren’t intentional about creating space for exercise, it’s all too easy to let everything else take its place.
Make an appointment with yourself to work out, and treat it as seriously as you would an appointment with your doctor. Spend the rest of the day supporting your workout, too: get some rest, eat well, and hydrate so that you’re refreshed and ready to move.
When you find yourself dreading every workout, do something new. Join a sports team or trade your runners for hiking boots or jump in the boxing ring. If your blood is flowing and your endorphins are high, you’re doing it right. And if you enjoy it, you’re more likely to keep coming back.
4. Remember that Awesome Tomorrows are Built Today
Think of each workout as a building block; every block you stack gets you that much closer to your fitness vision.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your abs won’t be either. No matter where you’re starting from, it takes a whole lot of todays to get to the tomorrow of your dreams. Commit to the process and stay consistent.
5. Make a Killer Playlist
A carefully selected playlist can take a workout session to the next level. Find those songs that you can’t resist, the ones that get your blood flowing and your toes tapping and your energy pulsing. Then crank them – and your fitness motivation – up to eleven.
6. Celebrate Every Milestone
Having goals is good, but you can’t go from couch potato to Olympian overnight (sorry). Sometimes, when it’s a long journey to the finish line, only focusing on your big goals can wear you down.
Set small goals and challenges along the way to bolster your energy and give you the accolades you deserve. Just showing up and putting in the work is an accomplishment. Celebrate every PR and every set completed and every minute that you kept running even when you really didn’t want to.
7. Think About How Great You Feel After Working Out
You might need to start keeping a journal for this one.
Every time you work out, make note of how you feel. Did you crush it, and are you riding high? Good. Remember that feeling, and think about it when your fitness motivation is low. Then get out there and chase that feeling.
8. Make Exercise Work for You
There is no one-size-fits-all way to work out. Even beyond what you do, how you do it is up to you.
Instead of fighting against your natural tendencies and preferences, find ways to fit exercise into them. If you hate mornings and your evenings are always busy, a 30-minute high-intensity interval training session on your lunch break might be your key to fitness. If getting to the gym isn’t working, try at-home fitness.
9. Find Your People
Having a great crew around you can make even the most unpleasant tasks enjoyable. Find people who show up for you, cheer you on, and make the bad days better. And do the same for them, too. Sometimes giving encouragement is just as rewarding as receiving it.
10. Remember that Motivation Isn’t Everything
On those days when you can barely convince yourself to tie your shoelaces, get up and do it anyway.
Motivation is a feeling, and, like all feelings, it’s unpredictable. It comes and goes. On the other hand, discipline has no feelings, but it’s the thing that ultimately moves us forward.