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Ways to Motivate Yourself to Go to the Gym

No More Excuses! 10 Tricks That'll Motivate You to Work Out

It's true what they say: 80 percent of success is just showing up. Once you're there — you're there. This advice can be hard to take when, after a late night of fun, your alarm goes off before the sun is up. Propelling yourself to the gym, pool, mat, or trail can feel like a hurdle in its own right, but it's always one worth jumping. If you've resolved to work out more this year and get fit for 2013, motivate yourself to keep on sweating with these tricks.

  1. Channel that glorious post-workout feeling. Whenever you feel the instinct to skip a sweat session, imagine how accomplished and energized you feel after just 30 minutes or an hour of exercise. Just get there already.
  2. Make a date with a friend or fitness trainer. If you set a time to meet someone, you'll feel obligated to go, even when your mind and body are telling you otherwise. If you're looking to get your sweat on outside of the gym, here are some of our favorite ideas for fitness dates, from rock climbing to ice skating.
  3. Create a healthy post-workout routine and make time for it, too. Reward yourself after a workout by scheduling extra moments to relax in the steam room, blow out your hair to perfection, or get a hot coffee or a protein-rich smoothie.
  4. This is the simplest, and possibly hardest, piece of advice to follow: schedule your workout early in the morning before the day's distractions detour you from lofty intentions.
  5. Carry a motivational token or photo with you. Beyoncé keeps a painting of an Oscar at the gym, so she's literally running toward her next goal. Instead of commissioning a masterpiece, snap a shot of the dress you want to wear on your next date, a beautiful beach you hope to visit this year, or even yourself at your best, and make it the wallpaper on your phone. When you feel like caving, look at it.
  6. Instead of going home to watch your favorite show on the couch, suit up and watch it on the treadmill. If your gym doesn't have TVs on each machine, load up your iPod or iPhone.
  7. Try something new. Sign up for an exercise class you've never taken before, take a hike to a vista point, ride your bike to a new trail, or work out at a different time of day.
  8. Throw on your favorite workout wear and some lip gloss. Kelly Osbourne admits to dolling up so she feels positive and pretty when she sees her reflection working out.
  9. Avoid taking a physical dip by fueling your body with a healthy pre-workout snack. You'll have something to burn and a boost of protein to keep your eye on the prize.
  10. Give yourself a gold star. Plot out a reward system and treat yourself when you hit your goal of workouts per week, weight loss, or the finish line. Wouldn't a massage or a pedicure feel great after all your hard work?
Image Source: Thinkstock
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northcarolinag2 northcarolinag2 5 years
I just changed my wallpaper on my phone to a thinner picture of myself at the beach. Great idea!
Yokern2005 Yokern2005 5 years
My FT60 keeps me going with online challenges, I also think back to all the food I ate the day before and how it needs to get burned pronto! LOL
Soniabonya Soniabonya 5 years
been trying it get up early to workout....... it's just warmer in bed with the hubby and the cats. lol! I do miss cycling in the am. the motivation i have is following the C210K. i like monitoring my progress.
Paromita Paromita 5 years
I agree with dolling up.. I don't know how it works..But it makes workouts fun for me :)
Nancy-Einhart Nancy-Einhart 5 years
These are really great tips, thanks. Plus, with 10 to choose from I should have no excuse.
Frenched Frenched 5 years
These are really amazing tips. I do the "workout first thing in the morning" thing, too. It's the only way I can drag myself to actually do it. I feel a LOT BETTER after it, anyway! :)
Freespirit75 Freespirit75 5 years
I had a stroke when I was a kid. So the fact that I can get out of bed and walk- is the only motivation I need, I realize how fortunate I am
TiVo TiVo 5 years
I always go in the morning. I have to get ready for work anyway, so it makes more sense to get really sweaty before getting in the shower. If I put off a workout until after work, forget it!
Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine 5 years
Awesome tips. I like to visualize how my body will feel both immediately after the workout, as well as in the long run if I continue to go. It helps me get to the gym for both the endorphins, and the toned muscles that will come with time!
laellavita laellavita 5 years
my gym provides shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion -- and it's a lot nicer than what i could buy myself. so there are times when i literally won't buy shampoo for weeks or months after running out, but it motivates me to get to the gym since they have it there. a friend of mine doesn't belong to my gym but she does a similar thing: she buys the trial sizes of really nice brands of shampoo and uses them as travel washes in her gym bag -- but she can only use them after working out.
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