workout motivation

How to motivate yourself to work out?

Hey there!

My good friend recommended me to write about motivation to exercise (Thanks Alis ♡) . I guess it might be something that a lot of us struggle from time to time. Even the people, who are quite consistent in their workout plans have this issue sometimes. But, I guess the hardest may be, if you’re just starting out and you really don’t know how to start. You may feel lost and struggle in motivating yourself to put those workout clothes on and go out, to join a sports club or start doing home workouts.

So, what are the ways to find motivation to do the workout? I’ll give you some tips, that I find useful and what might help you too!

The purpose
It’s a thing you need to think about, because it definitely will help you push yourself. Ask yourself, why do you need to do a workout? Is it because of your health & well-being? Do you want to lose weight or to look more toned? Do you want to feel better? Do you want to see what the fuzz is about a certain group training? Do you want to belong somewhere?

Whatever the reason is, it has to be meaningful to you. If you don’t know the answer to the question of WHY, then you definitely need to think about it. Because, if you don’t know, then you’ll be more likely to skip the workout. My recommendation is, find the purpose and remind it to yourself every time, you don’t feel like doing the workout. It will definitely help you to find the motivation again.

Plan ahead
Best way to stay on track and not skipping the workout is planning. If you find it difficult to find time for a workout, you should learn how to plan it ahead. A good way is to make your weekly schedule ahead on Sunday. Write down your weekly workout plan in your calendar. It’s easier to skip it, if you haven’t thought your plan through. If you see your workout in your calendar, you’ll remember it, you’ll look forward to it, you won’t remember to bring your workout clothes with you and you won’t plan something else during the same time.

Workout buddy
Whether it’s your friend, partner, sibling, co-worker or even your parent – finding a workout buddy is so amazing! I remember my first group training experience. I was quite afraid to go to a sports club and try Les Mills BodyPump training. I thought I’d look like a fool there, not knowing which equipment to take etc. I went with my good friend, who showed me, what to do. After the workout I felt amazing. So, we started going together to group trainings and it made me more secure about them. Later, I wasn’t afraid to go by myself either.

Also, if you’re just starting out in the gym, going with someone can be really helpful. Other person can look how your technique is and you can share experiences. Also, you’ll have so much more fun together and you can motivate each other not to skip a workout. If you’ve made a promise to go working out together, you’ll be less likely to cancel.

Melissa and Siim working out at MyFitness
Melissa and Siim working out at MyFitness

Awesome workout clothes
If you already don’t have any workout clothes, you go and buy some! If the clothes are already in your home, you’ll feel obligated to wear them and trust me – you’ll want to wear them! Especially, when you really like the clothes and they fit you well! A good motivator also is, if you put the clothes already on, even if you don’t plan on working out anytime soon. If you’re already wearing the clothes, you’re more likely to do the workout anyway.

Melissa Mänd Healthy Lifestyle

Workout music, videos & books
If you can listen to your own music during your workout, then make a killer playlist and enjoy every minute of it. For me, it’s so important that I have a good playlist, when I go for a run for example. Sometimes I make my own playlists or just choose playlists from Spotify. There are so many workout playlists there, that are meant especially for running, weightlifting, yoga or whatever workout you enjoy!

Also, I’ve discovered that watching educative videos or listening to podcasts is also a great thing to insert into your workout. I mentioned it also in my last healthy habits post here. You can easily listen to an audio book or podcast while running or walking. I also like to watch some Youtube videos, while running on a treadmill or using a stairmaster. Why not find yourself a great book and listen to it every time you run? If the book is really interesting, then you’ll feel like you have to go running in order to know, what happens next.

The feeling
It’s said that exercise gives you energy and it’s so true! You might think that you’ll feel exhausted, if you’ve done an hour long workout. Yeah, you might, but also you’ll get this new energy boost and you’ll feel that you’ve accomplished something great for your health. It’s so true that you’ll feel so much better, energized and pumped up. You’ll never regret a workout, because it’ll only make your life better.

Melissa Mänd Healthy Lifestyle

Do the workout you enjoy!
Don’t think that you HAVE to go running, if you hate it. Or you HAVE to go to lift weights, if the thought disgusts you. You need to find this kind of exercise, that you can’t wait of doing! Whatever you like, because the opportunities are endless. If you enjoy dancing, but there are no dance classes in your town, you can do it at home! Just find a YouTube video and dance! It’s just as simple as that. You don’t have to do the exercises that others do, you need to think what you want and do exactly THAT!

Most days I can’t look forward to my workout, because I know I’m gonna enjoy it. I choose exactly that kind of workout, that I want to do that day. It really doesn’t matter, what others do.

Melissa Mänd Healthy Lifestyle

For me a good motivator is also food. Who doesn’t like food? For me, it’s the knowing that, if I exercise, I can eat a little bit more. So, if you’re a food lover like me, then exercising is a great way to treat yourself with good nutritious food. I’m not saying that go for a run and then eat a bunch of junk or sweets. It’s essential to see that the food you’re having is good for your body and it will make you feel better. A treat now and then, is necessary, but make sure you’re having some great food which helps you with your energy levels, keeps you full and tastes amazing!

Melissa Mänd Healthy Lifestyle Food

Make it FUN and memorable
If working out feels like an obligation (even if you enjoy it sometimes), you can think of ways to make it more enjoyable and fun. For example, you can think that you’ll go run in a place you’ve never run before, to have some awesome views or pictures. If you don’t feel like going to a sports club, you can look for some inspirational and fun trainers on Youtube and have a FUN workout at home. Or go for just a walk, while listening to some funny book. Or take a friend with you to catch up on some latest news in your lives.

Also a fun way is to participate in some exercise & fitness events. For example, every year I try to take part in some running events and some fitness events, where different trainers show a variety of workouts. There are always some events happening and some of them may be free as well!

Melissa Mänd Healthy Lifestyle

Mix it up!
This is also a good tip, which I’m guilty of not doing much either. I think it’s motivating to change your workouts from time to time and try something new. Every week could contain a variety of different workouts. For example, you could do 1 dance class, 1 gym workout, 1 HIIT and a yoga class. Then you can change it up the next week. Even better is if you add some new workout every month. You could start going swimming, try a boxing class, go ice skating, try rollerblading, go to a zumba class or whatever attracts you!

I also like to mix it up in the gym. I always change my gym exercises and try some new exercise out. Recently, I’ve added HIIT, which I hadn’t done for a few years. I like to search for some exercise ideas on Instagram.
It can be exciting as well as motivating, if you know ahead, that you’re gonna try out some new workout, you haven’t done before!

Example of my HIIT

Taking pictures
Take pictures of yourself to remind you how far you’ve come. Or if you’re just getting started and you have a role model, you can hang his/her picture up somewhere and look at it every time you’re thinking about skipping a workout. You can even take pictures of yourself every week to see how you change if you’re being consistent. Before and after pictures are always so great to see and compare.

Melissa Mänd Healthy Lifestyle

Little goals & progress
A good way is to set little goals for yourself. For example – losing 2 cm off your waist, losing 3 kg, being able to run 5 km, doing an hour long dance class etc. If you start big, you may feel overwhelmed, if you don’t achieve it fast. So, don’t set an unrealistic goal at first. Start with little ones and see how it goes. You can make up with a system, that every time you achieve one little goal, there’s a reward for you. For example, if you stick to your schedule of doing 4 workouts per week, you can buy yourself something new. If you lose 3 kg you can have a rest day on Sunday and visit the spa or do something else, that you’ve really wanted.

Get a fitness tracker
For me, having an Apple Watch has really paid off. If you’re wearing the watch and it reminds you, that you haven’t done enough steps today, it is a huge motivator. It also reminds you to stand up, if you’ve been sitting for too long. Also, it has other benefits to support your workout. For example, it tells you your workout length, intensity, heart rate, calorie burn and distance. You can even do a workout challenge with a friend, who also has Apple Watch.

It doesn’t really matter what kind of fitness tracker do you use. It’s a good motivator anyway, if it shows you your activity levels and reminds you to be more active daily. Honestly, for me, it has really helped. If it’s my rest day, then I still try to reach my steps by walking or doing some other chore. Before, I didn’t really think about that too much.

Melissa Mänd Healthy Lifestyle

In conclusion you could follow these motivational tips 🖤
Find a purpose & set achievable goals
Plan your schedule ahead
Find a workout buddy
Get new workout clothes
Find motivational music or audio books
Do only the workouts you ENJOY
Think about the great feeling!
Take pictures of yourself
Find variety & make it FUN

I hope this post made you think about all the great things you can achieve in your workouts, if you find the motivation. Do you have any motivational tips for me? I’d LOVE to hear about them in the comments below.

Melissa 🖤

Some references:
Good Housekeeping

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