How to motivate yourself to workout

Engaged workers in an office

Let's face it, motivating yourself to workout consistently can be tough.

Maybe you had a great routine going for one week and then…nothing: You gave up or even just forgot to make it a part of your routine.

If you've run into this situation before, don't worry! You're not alone. Pretty much everyone struggles with staying motivated to stay fit, even the biggest gym rats out there!

Fortunately for you there are some simple steps you can take to keep motivated and stay on your fitness routine, whatever it may be.

1. Stay consistent by not overcommitting

One pretty common mistake people make when starting out a new fitness routine is to go hard. They want to start running so they shoot for five miles a day. Or maybe they want to start lifting weights and aim to work every weight machine in the gym into their rotation on day one.

This isn't an effective way to build a habit. Instead, start small to help you stay consistent. If you want to run, start with a jog for 10 minutes every day. If you want to lift weights, start with one or two exercises.

By making smaller commitments it's not only easier to stay motivated to continue, but you'll also be slowly building up a habit. Before you know it, exercising will become part of your routine and that's when you can gradually start increasing the length or intensity of sessions.

2. Reward yourself

Another great way to turn workouts into a habit is to reward yourself with something tangible after you complete your workout. Just completed a run? Reward yourself with a smoothie or a piece of chocolate. According to James Clear in his book Atomic Habits, doing this can help make your new fitness habit "stick", in a process called "The Habit Loop". Forming habits around workouts is one of the most powerful ways to stay consistent and hit your goals.

3. Visualize success

The last and perhaps most overlooked way to keep yourself motivated is to remember why you're doing what you do. This applies to just about anything — Staying fit is no exception.

When you're struggling. When that voice inside your head is telling you to just give up, it pays to remember why you are doing this. Instead of focusing on the fatigue or discomfort, visualize the person this workout will help you become. All you need to get there is to keep going. If you trust the process, eventually you will see results, so remember to think about what the final outcome is going to look like!

You're not alone

One thing is certain, you're not the first person to struggle with workout motivation. What's important to remember is that although it can seem like an uphill battle, many people are able to successfully find the motivation to work out and it changes their life. You can be one of these people if you just remember to take these simple steps.