Staying motivated to exercise isn’t easy. We’ve all set new year’s resolutions to workout, only to
give up on them by mid-January. Over the years, I’ve tried lots of things to keep my motivation
levels consistent. If this is something you struggle with, try following these tips for staying
Set Targets For Yourself
When you first start exercising, it’s likely you’ll have a clear idea in your head of what you want
to achieve. After a few weeks of working out, however, it can be easy to lose sight of why you’re
doing it in the first place. Set yourself some achievable short term goals and revisit them every
few weeks. This could be running for a certain amount of time, be able to do particular
bodyweight exercises or cycling over a desired distance. Goal-setting has been linked with
higher motivation and self-esteem, so try to do it regularly and don’t forget to track your
progress as you go.
Start Slowly, Avoid Burnout
I’m sure you’ve had the experience of having sky-high motivation levels to exercise, only for
them to plummet after a couple of weeks. This is often down to doing too much, too soon,
causing both your body and mind to burnout. Starting with a simple and manageable exercise
routine will avoid this and have the added benefit of reducing your risk to injury. Take a look at
our full body beginner workout if you’re unsure where to start.
Prepare To Make It A Habit
When motivation levels start to wobble, our brains will find any excuse to get us out of it. By
making decisions ahead of time, you give yourself less room for this to happen. Decide which
days you’re exercising, what time and what place. For the workout itself, have a set routine that
you’re going to follow. If you’re leaving the house to exercise, pack a bag the night before.
These are the small things that make it that bit easier to follow through on your workout plans.
Being fit and healthy is a long-term process, which can often lead to frustration. It takes time to
see results, so don’t be disheartened if you’re not running a marathon within the first month (or
twelve!). It’s also useful to remember that some of the most important benefits of exercise aren’t
visible, so try not to obsess over the scales. There may also be things that go wrong, such as
injury or other life commitments. Don’t be disheartened if this causes you to miss workouts. Give
yourself a break and restart as soon as you’re ready.
Tell Your Friends & Family
It’s known that making a public commitment to do something makes you more likely to follow
through. Tell your friends and family of your exercise intentions and keep them updated on how
it’s going. This will help to keep you focused, and give you people you can talk to if you’re in
need of a motivational push!
For me, this is vitally important. Some people enjoy exercising more than others, but I believe
it’s possible to make it fun for everybody. Try listening to your favourite music, finding a workout
buddy or following an online class. Team sports are also a great way to have more fun whilst
exercising, as are things like dancing and group classes. Everyone has different tastes, so don’t
be afraid to try a new things and figure out what works best for you. Do what you can to make
exercising something you enjoy and look forward to doing each week.
Meet The Author
Max Santos is the founder of Join Your Gym, a health and fitness website focused around
getting fit from home. Visit the site to learn more about working out as a beginner, and feel free
to ask him any questions in the comments!