Gym Journal: How to Stay Motivated

Thursday, January 22, 2015

If anyone ever tells you that they never think about skipping a gym session, then that person is a liar. Or a mutant. I love the way I feel after I work out, but getting my flutes there is an entirely different story. So I'm rounding up the best ways to stay motivated to work out! Try one, or try them all - just make something work for you! 

Motivation Tip #1: Find your inspiration(s)
Why do you want to go to the gym in the first place? Do you want to be able to run a marathon? Do 100 pushups? Do you want to stave off sickness or lose weight? Whatever reason you have, keep it in your head. Currently, I'm motivated to look great in a wedding dress. Decide what you want to get out of the gym. Striving for that goal will help you stay motivated. 

Photo From

Motivation Tip #2: Visualize your inspiration
Tack up a picture of what you want to achieve somewhere you'll see it. If you're motivated to really tone down, make a collage like the one above. If you're motivated by the idea of being able to run a 5k, put up a picture of a marathon runner or a flier for a race in your city. 

Photo from
Motivation Tip #3: Find a Mantra
For me, repeating quotes in my head is an effective way to keep me motivated. My three favorites are: "No matter how slow you go, you're lapping everyone on the couch," "You'll never get in bed at night and think Man, I wish I hadn't gone to the gym today," and "Sweating for the Wedding!" Look up "Fitness Quotes" on Pinterest to find one that speaks to you.

You'll never get in bed at night and think Man, I wish I hadn't gone to the gym today.

Motivation Tip #4: Find a Buddy
You don't have to find a friend who's a gym junkie or fitness guru. Any friend that will work out with you, make it a little more fun, and hold you accountable will do! It's a lot harder to skip the gym when it means standing someone up. Plus, a good friend can keep you smiling when you're getting to your third mile or your tenth rep. 

Motivation Tip #5: Get Social (Media)
Posting your gym routine might annoy some of your Facebook "friends" but the people that really care about you will support you and push you to train harder. A little "Like" can go a long way! So don't be shy about updating your Facebook status or posting a sweaty picture on Instagram. Brag a little! Plus, this is another great way to hold yourself accountable. People will notice if your "at the gym!" tweets suddenly stop happening. 

Motivation Tip #6: There's An App for That
The number of fitness apps available now is actually a little disarming. Whatever your goals, there's an app for you! You can find apps to track your calories, your miles, or your reps. You can find apps to train you for a 5k, 10k, or even a marathon! You can also find apps that suggest new workouts for you to try. Search on the App Store and find what works for you. 

Picture from

Motivation Tip #7: Mix It Up
Doing the same work out over and over again is boring, and it can stop you from getting your best body. Skip the treadmill every once in a while and dance it out, or put down the weights in favor of a yoga or Pilates class. Keep it fresh to keep yourself engaged. Finding alternatives to your favorite exercises can also help if you get injured or can't do a workout for some other reason. When my shin splints keep me from running, I hop on the elliptical so I still get in my cardio. When the rain prevents me from walking to the gym, I do some YouTube videos at home.

Motivation Tip #8: Schedule It In
Trust me, I know what it's like to get home after an eight (or ten) hour work day. All you want to do is put on some PJ's and cuddle up with Netflix. Or, you could be the type that works all day - and then brings it home with you. Whatever your excuse (yes, work can be an excuse), push it aside by penciling in your gym time. Find times that work for you and be realistic about it. If you can barely motivate yourself to get out of bed to shower for work, you're probably not going to be going for a run in the morning. So put a 6:30 appointment on your phone - and don't forget to set a reminder!

Motivation Tip #9: Be Prepared
If I had a dollar for every time I swore I was going to go to the gym straight from work, then realized I forgot: my tennis shoes, socks, a sports bra, earbuds, water, to eat a snack…. well, I could probably buy myself a gym. If you're planning on going right after work, make sure you have everything. If you're going to change at home and then go for a run, eat a quick snack at work so a growling belly doesn't distract you. If you love to listen to music while you work out, make sure your phone is charged! Also, make sure you get to sleep! Nothing de-motivates me more than feeling like all I want in the world is a nap!

Photo from Victoria's Secret

Motivation Tip #10: Just Do ItSometimes, nothing in the world will make you want to go to the gym. These are the days you just have to make it non-negotiable, like brushing your teeth or taking out your contacts. Just. Do. It. Just get your butt to the gym, even if it's just for 15 minutes. Remember Tip #3? "No matter how slow you go, you're lapping everyone on the couch." A little is better than not at all. And maybe, once you're there, you'll want to keep going! (If not, that's okay too. This time.)
No matter how slow you go, you're lapping everyone on the couch.
There you have it! My top ten tips for staying motivated! What keeps you going? Share in the comments below! 

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