How To Motivate Yourself To Workout (even when you don’t want to)

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We all know that working out is good for us, and yet, we often make excuses for why we can’t get our workouts in. If you’re struggling with workout motivation, I want to share my top tips that motivate me to workout (even when I don’t want to).

In general, I’ve never been a super athletic person, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate a good sweaty workout session. Not only does working out ALWAYS make me feel better mentally, it also helps me fit into my clothes a little better.

Both two things that I have no complaints about.

Having said that, even though most of us know that we’ll never regret a workout, I also know that plenty of people (including myself) struggle with workout motivation.

We make excuses, we put it off, and we snuggle deeper into the couch.

Sound familiar?

If you’re struggling with workout motivation, I have some quick and simple tips that have helped me with working out on a more regular basis (I aim for 4-5 times/week for 30-50 minutes, and I’ve been consistently sticking to this for 4 months now).

1. Accountability is key

This is the thing that I’ve found most important for sticking with my workouts.

If I’m just relying on myself, there’s a good chance I’m going to skip my workout on my low-energy days. On the other hand, though, if I have someone who is relying on me to stick with my workout, I’m much more inclined not to skip.

Having said that, if the idea of coordinating your schedule with a workout partner already has you stressing, why not simply consider keeping yourself accountable with a friend?

What I mean by this is you don’t have to actually go to the gym together. Simply pick workouts for the week, do them separately, but check in with a little picture after you’re done, showing that you completed the day’s workout.

I did this with my friends for multiple months, and it worked wonders for my accountability.

If you’re not sure what workouts to do at home, these are some of my favorite no-equipment at-home workouts.

2. Do workouts you’re excited about

If you absolutely¬†hate your workouts, there’s a good chance you’re not going to do them. Or, at the very least, there’s a good chance you’re not going to stick with it.

Now, that’s not to say that your workout shouldn’t be challenging. There’s a fine line between enjoying your workout and actually challenging yourself (I sometimes struggle with this).

My best tip here would be to pick your battles. You’re not going to enjoy every single workout (and I think it’s a little crazy to suggest that every workout has to be a jolly good time), but if you, at least, pick and choose some workouts that are enjoyable to you, it’ll keep momentum up throughout your week.

3. Just go for a walk

You definitely shouldn’t always resort to this, but on weeks where your body is just not cooperating, I think it’s totally okay to simply go for a walk to get some extra movement in.

Sure, it might not be the intense workout you originally planned for, but something is always better than nothing, and when I’m just not feeling it, this is always what I resort to.

4. Keep your workout short and sweet

Short on time? If you pick the right workouts, 30 minutes is really all you need to break a sweat, especially if you pick a HIIT routine.

Trust me, if you’re trying to fit in an hour+ everyday, and working out is not something you’re used to, you’re probably going to find it hard to stick with (I know I would!).

5. Workout first thing // switch up your workout schedule

I’ve had times where I would work out first thing in the morning, and I’ve also had times where I preferred a late night workout.

In general, though, I know that doing my workout first thing in the morning tends to work better for consistency just because I get it out of the way.

Having said that, if you read my article about my morning routine, you’ll likely know that I’m not a morning person, and when I had my workout scheduled in for first thing in the morning, I was finding it very hard to actually get out of bed at a decent hour.

So really, morale of the story: pick and choose the time that works best for you. Don’t be afraid to switch it up. Last week I was doing a late morning workout, and this week there’s been more evening workouts in my life. Do what’s best for you.

6. Workout at home

I wrote a whole article about how to workout at home effectively, and even though I’ve recently started going to the gym, I’m still a big advocate for working out at home, especially if you want to stick with it on a consistent basis.

Not only does working out at home take less time in your day, it’s also easier to fit in an at home workout at whatever time works best for you. You don’t have to worry about what you’re wearing, you’re not thinking about who you’re going to see, and you can quickly get it done in 30 minutes and move on.

To me, working at home is the easiest way to stay committed with a workout routine.

And hey, working out at home is free! (check out these free fitness apps if you’re looking for some motivation to workout at home)

7. Rest, recover, and fuel yourself

Again, this is another one of those situations where there’s a fine line. Rest and recovery is great, but you also have to know when to push yourself so you can get results.

In general, though, you should be able to tell when your body really needs rest. Get honest with yourself. Know when you’re making excuses, and know when your body has had enough.

And hey, on days where rest feels necessary, you can always resort to that walk mentioned above to get your blood flowing. Bottom line, though: if you want to stay consistent with a workout routine, you have to know when to rest and recover.

8. Take before and after pictures

Probably the most motivational thing you can do to keep yourself working out consistently, before and after pictures are never a bad idea.

Not only are they better than weighing yourself (which can sometimes be misleading if you’re gaining muscle or are simply bloated), it also gives you a nice visual that you can keep in mind next time you’re trying to push yourself harder.

9. Journal how you’re feeling

If you read about how I use my bullet journal for personal growth, you’ll know that I’m big on keeping track of my feelings.

It sounds kinda cheesy, but understanding my feelings towards things really helps me with making the right choices in my life.

And yes, this includes making the right choices about working out.

Just looking at this week alone, I wrote about how tired I have been feeling since I started my new workout routine, but it also helped me realize that I’m probably pushing myself beyond what I thought I was capable of, which should help me push past the plateau that I feel like I’ve been stuck at for years.

Sure, I might have been able to figure this out in my own head, but I’m a big advocate for getting things out of your head, and working through them on paper to really get to the root of the problem. Trust me, it makes a difference.

10. Do different workout routines

Just as it’s important to switch up when you’re working out, it’s also equally important to switch up your workout routine.

Even if you’ve found something you really enjoy doing as a workout, eventually your body is going to get use to that routine, and it’s probably going to stop responding. I mean, I’m not fitness expert (by any means), but I always feel that when I’m challenging myself with different workouts, not only is it more stimulating, my body also tends to respond better to it.


And there you have it: That’s how I stay consistent with my workouts throughout the week.

Do you have a consistent workout routine? Do you do anything specific to help keep you motivated to stick with it on a consistent basis? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear more about other people’s workout routines!

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