9 Effective Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out

In fitness, consistency is the key to results. But, there are some days when the last thing you want to do is work up a sweat.

So the question remains:

How do you motivate yourself to workout when you don’t feel like it?

Well, you have to get out of your comfort zone.

Here are some motivational techniques that have worked for others. See if any of them work for you!

1. Create a Vision Board

There’s something to be said about visual reminders.

When you don’t feel like working out, looking at pictures can help. If you see pictures that show you why working out would be good for you, it can push you to do it.

So, make a vision board to look at when you’re feeling lazy. Include any pictures that make you feel motivated.

Find a visual representation of your reason for losing weight and getting healthy. For some, this could be looking good in a swimsuit. For others, it could be being able to play with their kids.

If you’re brave, you can include “before and after” photos each month to help you see your progress. And you can even keep a calendar to mark off the days that you successfully worked out (and the days you skipped). 

You can include motivational quotes, too. Here’s a list of fifty fitness quotes for inspiration.

2. Reward Yourself 

Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins and the big wins. A small win could be completing every scheduled workout on a given week. A big win would be dropping ten pounds.

Make sure your rewards don’t mess up your progress. You wouldn’t want to include a day of binge-eating as a reward.

Instead, focus on rewards that will only compound your motivation to continue progressing, like new workout clothes or fitness equipment.

3. Stay Accountable

If you give yourself the opportunity to skip a workout day, you’re probably going to do it. To stay motivated, you have to find a way to keep yourself accountable.

One idea is to find an accountability partner. Tell a trusted friend your goal and ask for help sticking to it. When others know that you’ve made a commitment, you feel more obliged to fulfill your dedication.

Then, ask them to call or text you once a week to check in about your goal. If you know that call is coming, you’ll find a way to exercise.

It’s not hard to let yourself down, but it’s very hard to let others down.

4. Set SMART Goals

Instead of just saying, “I want to start working out regularly,” get more specific.

In fact, make your goals S.M.A.R.T:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

An example of a good SMART goal for fitness would be to lose ten pounds in six months or walk 30 minutes every day. These goals are very specific, realistic, and relevant to your life.

Plus, you can measure them, and you’ve set a timeline for yourself, which will motivate you to work toward them.

5. Beat the Boredom

You might dread your workouts because you’re bored with doing the same thing every day. So, consider switching it up.

Including a variety of workouts can help you stay engaged. It’s easier to start working out when you’re excited to try something new.

You might also consider working out in a new environment. If you normally go to a gym, try an outdoor workout. If you’ve always worked out at home, try seeing what you can accomplish in a gym. 

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6. Join a Class or Group

Another very effective way to hold yourself accountable is to join a class. Not only do you have a group of people expecting you to show up that you don’t want to let down, but paying for a membership makes you more likely to follow through.

As a bonus, the fun social environment can help you look forward to your workouts.

7. Write It Down

workout motivation app For some of us, nothing would get done if it wasn’t written on a to-do list. If this is you, write down your workouts on your calendar next to all your other must-do’s.

Not a calendar person? You can write your workout down on Post-Its to stick on your mirror or in your car as a reminder. Or, you can use an app like Google Calendar, which will send you notifications to remind you.

8. Use an App

There are so many fitness apps that make sticking to a workout routine super simple.

Most of them allow you to set a workout schedule with reminders for your workouts so you never miss one. These apps cut out the need to come up with a workout, since they have pre-programmed workouts for you to follow. 

You can track your progress and even get help with your diet and lifestyle choices to reach your fitness goals quicker.

A few of the most popular fitness apps are Nike Training Club, Sworkit, and C25K. These are all for different types of people who enjoy different exercises, but you’re sure to find one that works for you.

9. Have Some Backup “Quickies”

Life happens, and there will be days when a full workout is impossible. Don’t just throw up your hands in despair, though; have some backup workouts that are quick and flexible for emergencies!

Even something small is still helpful in keeping your body healthy. It’s good practice to have some ten-minute bodyweight workouts ready to go for when that’s all you can fit in.

By making them bodyweight workouts, you can do them practically anywhere, even on your lunch break at work. You don’t need any special equipment, and you can do them with very little space.


These tips and tricks can help you push through those unmotivated times so you don’t fall off the workout wagon. They’ll make your next temptation to sit out of a workout just a split-second thought.

On to getting healthy and fit!

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