23 Healthful Ways to Stay Motivated to Workout

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Struggling with motivation and having a hard time staying focused when it comes to your fitness goals. These 25 tips should help!

If you’ve set a goal to get in shape, you know it takes a lot of hard work and self-control to achieve it.

Although consistency is important, there are days where we all just need a little extra motivation to get going.

If you’re struggling to find motivation or are new to training, here are 23 tips that can help.

23 Healthful Ways to Stay Motivated to Workout

Try to find ways to work the following things into your daily routine now, or keep this list in a place where you can easily access it if you’re having a bad day and need the mental boost to train.

1. Write Your Goals Out

So why would you do that with your life or anything else? It’s never helpful to be vague. You wouldn’t get in a car and go somewhere without knowing where you’re going, would you? So why would you do that with your life, or anything else?

What improvements do you want to make? Be specific about what your goals are, such as how much weight you want to lose or how much strength you want to gain. Write down your goals and keep them in a place where you will see them every day to remind yourself of why you are making these changes.

2. Track Your Workouts

Making a note of everything you do can help you to remember what you have done, as well as plan what you will do next.

This could present a new challenge for you to face each time you train. Are you up for the challenge?

3. Commit to Positive Self-Talk

When you need motivation to work out, sometimes the only one who can help you is yourself! Look in the mirror and say, “I’m a boss [woman], and nothing is going to stop me.” Don’t just do this because we’re telling you to. Say it like you mean it!

4. Give Yourself a Deadline

The challenge cannot be open-ended, it must have a deadline in order to be beneficial.

This is like when bodybuilders want to look their best on contest day or powerlifters wanting to be at their best at the next meet. Choose a day that is reasonably based on the goal and make that day a holiday in your mind.

 5. Try a Pre-Workout Supplement

This tip may not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a surefire way to stay motivated at the gym, try taking pre-workout supplements. Some people may be hesitant to take these supplements because of the unknowns, but doing your research can help ease those fears. I used to be one of those people who thought pre-workout was unnecessary. I was turned off by creatine because I didn’t know anything about it. But once I educated myself on the topic and realized that the fears around kidney health were exaggerated, that taking it with plenty of water can help avoid gastrointestinal issues, and that it can actually improve reasoning skills, I was all for it.

6. Visualize Your Success

How do you want to feel after your training session? Do you want to feel accomplished? Do you want to feel like you’ve worked hard? Close your eyes and try to imagine the feeling you want to have after your session.

Visualize what you want to happen, then when you go to do it, it will be like you’ve done it before.

7. Follow Inspiration on Social Media

There are a lot of different types of people on social media. Some people post things that are meant to be motivating, and some people post things that are more designed to get attention. If you’re trying to stay motivated to work out, you should follow the people who are posting things that are meant to inspire, rather than looking at the people who are just trying to get attention. The people who are posting inspiring things are usually more entertaining and add more value to your mindset. It’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t compare yourself to these people. If you’re looking for some inspiration, you can check out our top ambassadors.

8. Mix in Light Workouts

I love long runs because the intensity is low. I don’t have to focus on the pain and suffering most people experience when they commit to a treadmill sprint session. This allows my brain to space out and get lost in thought. I may experience a mental trance so deep in thought that I forget I’m working out. I can also guarantee that I will generate great ideas and positive thoughts while on these steady-state cardio exercises.

9. Lose the Excuses

Schedule your runs for 10 AM on a Saturday instead. Our brains try to come up with excuses whenever possible, but we shouldn’t listen to them. It’s normal for your brain to do this. I often use this analogy: Imagine you have a puppy. If you don’t let it chew on your shoes, your shoes will stay clean and hole-free. In the same way, don’t give your mind the opportunity to come up with excuses. For example, don’t schedule your workout routine to include a run at 4 PM on a Friday, because you’ll be more likely to miss it if you have plans with friends later. Schedule your runs for 10 AM on a Saturday instead.

10. Keep a Before Photo

Find a photo that reminds you of your original motivation for starting your fitness journey to help keep you on track.

What will you choose to do today? Will you move closer to your goal or further away?

11. Take Progress Photos

Sometime it can be difficult to see how far you have come on your journey because you see yourself every day. Try taking a photos of yourself each month to better monitor your progress.

You can either be excited about the changes you see, or not see many changes and make adjustments before you get too upset.

12. Get 8-10 Hours of Sleep

Sleep is important for success in all areas of life. Working out while tired or mentally exhausted is ineffective. It’s also important to get high-quality sleep, not just a lot of sleep. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it doesn’t lead to refreshing, deep sleep.

13. Don’t Overdue it

Your workload has a lot to do with how motivated you are to work out. Too often, people get a burst of motivation and want to run a marathon two weeks later. Your body is not ready or adapted to take on a huge workload yet. If you try to bench 225 pounds right away, your body’s recovery time will be at least seven days. Sitting around for that long will make it hard to stick to your usual routine.

14. Record Yourself Training

You can improve your performance by watching yourself on film and seeing what you did right and what you did wrong. You can make changes and move forward to the next game.

Film yourself weightlifting with your biggest sets to see if your form is on point, and tweak things if necessary. You could also see yourself doing something incredible, which would motivate you even more.

15. Set Yourself Up for Winning

Do the math on that and you’ll see how crucial every workout victory is. Do your best to make sure you’re successful in every workout so that you can maintain a positive attitude and stay motivated.

Set yourself up to achieve small goals that can increase your confidence, and repeating this process can help you reach a higher level.

16. Create a Workout Specific Playlist

High school sports bring back memories of pre-game jitters for everyone. Maybe you have some songs that make you so pumped up, you’re ready to run through a brick wall. That’s the kind of energy you need to stay motivated to work out! Music definitely gives you an advantage. If you don’t believe it, ask the director of the Marine Corps Marathon. They banned runners from having music while running because it gives them an “unfair advantage.”

You should have a playlist with 3-4 hours of music so that you won’t play the same songs every workout. If you’re having trouble finding enough hype-up music, try shuffle on Spotify or Soundcloud. You can also find new songs based on the ones you already like. I don’t use playlists. I go on SoundCloud and find live performances of artists from festivals. If you’re interested in our Top 50 live sets for the gym, follow this link.

17. Positive Thoughts Lead to Positive Actions

Negative thinking will not help you improve your situation. Your thoughts influence your actions.

Before you run or lift, think positively and tell yourself how well you will do. This will be a great workout, and you will feel better afterward because of it.

18. Schedule Your Day Around the Training

One way to ensure you get regular exercise is to schedule it into your day, preferably at a time when you have lots of energy and can be productive.

Some people prefer to work out first thing in the morning, while others prefer to do it at the end of the day.

19. Reward Yourself After a Workout

If you are able to get to the gym but find it difficult to finish a workout, this will help you. Some people find it motivating to eat their favourite home cooked meal after a heavy lift. Alternatively, you could grab a second cup of coffee with your workout partner, or enjoy a long hot shower. Just find a reward that you can use as motivation during your workout.

20. Make Environment Matters

The people and environment around you can have an impact on how you feel. If everyone around you is negative, or they are doing something that you’re not, it can make you feel bad.

Choose a gym you feel comfortable with and that is close to your home, or set up your own home gym if you have the space and equipment. That way, you can create the perfect environment for your workout.

21. Get Away From it Occasionally

You shouldn’t hit burnout by forcing it. If you’ve been consistent for several months, give yourself a few days off to recover physically and mentally.

If you’re away from someone you love, you’ll miss them more and appreciate them more when you return.

22. Find a Workout Partner

If we were being honest, this would be our number one tip. Having a workout buddy will help you stay motivated and make it harder to skip the gym. You are now part of a team! Give yourselves a name, create a group chat, and make it fun. Praise each other when you reach goals. We are constantly talking and pushing ourselves together. Creating this bond in the gym will make you miss your time together when you take a rest week. If you need more convincing, check out this 2016 study on how an exercise partner is a key for staying motivated to workout. Another thing I have realized with having a workout buddy is that I spend way less time on my phone in the gym. Now I don’t get lost scrolling Instagram and I rest between sets.

23. Visualize your Goal

Extrinsic motivation comes from external factors, such as rewards. Although intrinsic motivation (coming from internal factors) is more important, it can be helpful to treat yourself to something nice after reaching a goal.


It can be difficult to maintain motivation, which is why people often make New Year’s resolutions to go to the gym, but then give up shortly afterwards. Try not to be too hard on yourself and be aware that it takes time to change your mindset. You have to be persistent and determined. I’m confident that if you keep trying new things, you’ll eventually find something that works for you.