How to Find Your Fitness Motivation

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You know that exercising on a regular basis is good for you and have even chosen some great workouts to do, but maintaining your fitness motivation to keep going is another thing altogether.

Fitness, like diets and new hobbies, are often easy in the beginning. You’re excited to try something new, you add them to your schedule, and feel ready to finally make it work. You’re determined that this is going to work, even if in the past you gave up after a few days or a few weeks.

The problem is motivation. You need to keep pushing yourself and finding the motivation to continue, even on days when you don’t feel like you have the energy, or you lose your original purpose for working out.

Here are a few ways to maintain your motivation and keep motivating yourself during your fitness journey.

1. Create Your Own Workout Rules

The very first step to finding the right fitness motivation, and most importantly, sticking to it, is skipping all the current “rules” you have for working out. Don’t worry so much about what you feel you are supposed to do, whether based on so-called fitness experts or your own hard and fast rules.

Think about the workout rules you have had in the past, whether they were to do certain moves, always forcing yourself to fit in cardio a certain number of days, or making sure you hit the gym 6 days in a row. Throw them out the window.

Those rules obviously didn’t work before to maintain your fitness motivation over the long-term. It’s time to take a different approach for lasting results.

2. When Do You Like Working Out?

As another part of shaking things up in your workout routine, you should experiment a little with the timing of your workouts.

Maybe you’ve been trying to force yourself to exercise in the morning, but it’s completely unenjoyable. Or trying to get in a run in the evening is almost impossible, so you skip most of them. This is when you know it’s time to change things.

Your fitness journey might not be something you love every day, but it shouldn’t feel forced. There should be some enjoyment in it in order to stay motivated. This means making tweaks in your routine when necessary.

Finding the Right Time

Consider your current schedule and the types of workouts you are planning to do and think about switching the time of day if possible. If summer’s approaching, and you’ve been struggling with afternoon hikes because of the heat, maybe you should switch to a gym workout in the afternoon, or try to fit that hike in in the morning.

Don’t be afraid to make changes throughout the year, as other people join you, or just when you feel your motivation slipping.

3. Wear Your Activewear Everywhere

This is a little trick that can make a drastic difference in how often you workout. Not only does it help with motivation, but there are no more excuses!

When you wear your activewear while running errands or to work (if that’s an option), you don’t have the excuse of having to go home first to change or to bring your clothes with you, which can also be inconvenient.

It also really helps with your motivation. You know you’re already dressed and ready to hit the gym at any time, so it gets you into the right frame of mind for working out. This has a much larger impact on motivation for fitness than you might think.

Bonus Tips

If you find it strange to wear workout gear everywhere, just take a look at what other people are wearing on a daily basis. It has become completely normal–and stylish– to wear sports bras with tank tops or shirts, yoga pants, and athletic shoes just about anywhere.

Why? Because they’re comfortable! Go out and get yourself some activewear that would be good for your preferred style of workouts, but that are also in your same casual dress style. This might mean some cute tops, black leggings or yoga pants, or some solid-colored shoes that are good for the gym, but don’t look like it.

4. Be Gradual

It’s important that you not try to rush or force your fitness journey. If it’s something you want to do long-term, you need to turn it into a lifestyle. As cliché as this might sound, it’s true, and it’s the only way you’ll really benefit from it.

That is why going slow in the beginning and working up gradually is the best way to go. This means you are slowly adding in more workouts, gradually increasing the intensity, and only switching things up when it is needed. This need might come from hitting a plateau, your body adjusting to the previous workouts, or maybe just because you’re getting bored.

Keep in mind that a journey is never linear. There are a lot of ups and downs, and plenty of curves. Take each thing as it comes, and don’t be afraid to go slow and steady throughout the entire process.

5. Buy New Fitness Gear or Equipment

You know how you feel when you get a new outfit, and can’t wait to wear it somewhere? Maybe you even look for opportunities to wear it more often because of how exciting it is? That is exactly why you should consider buying some new fitness gear or equipment on a routine basis.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money and buy new stuff every week, but just when you feel yourself getting bored with what you have, or kind of losing your steam. This might happen every few months or just once a year.

What to Buy

There are many different things you can purchase that will give you that fitness spark back, including workout clothing and shoes, accessories, and home gym equipment. Here are some ideas:

  • Activewear
  • Signing up for a monthly fitness subscription box
  • Athletic shoes
  • New fitness tracker
  • New apps when they come out
  • Accessories, like ropes, yoga mats, or TRX
  • Big equipment like a treadmill or elliptical

Keep your budget in mind. This can also be a great way to reward yourself, by buying something new every time you hit another goal in your fitness or weight loss journey.

6. Buddy Up

This is probably not the first time you have gotten this advice, and the reason is because it works. Working out with someone else is almost always better than alone. Not only does it make it more enjoyable, but you have someone to keep you motivated and accountable.

Tips for Choosing a Workout Buddy

The trick here is to choose the right person who you want to go on your fitness journey with. If you choose someone that doesn’t’ show up or just doesn’t have the same goals or a similar fitness motivation as you, then you might be in for failure and will end up working out alone anyway.

Here are some tips for choosing a good workout buddy:

Find Someone You Know You Can Count On – First of all, it is absolutely essential that you can count on your fitness buddy. They are there to help motivate you and become someone who pushes you to workout even when you don’t want to. You’ll do the same for them. Try not to pick someone who isn’t reliable just because they are friends. Take your fitness journey seriously and find someone who takes theirs seriously as well.

Choose a Workout Buddy with Similar Goals – You also want to think about their goals and your goals, getting down to specifics. Come up with a plan where you will go to the gym or meet at the same outdoor hiking spot at the same time. Make sure your goals, from the frequency of workouts to the longevity of your buddying up, are all the same on both ends so that you both mutually benefit.

Select a Workout Buddy Who Likes the Same Types of Workouts – And lastly, it is also really important to consider what types of workouts you’ll be doing, not just now, but in the near future. If right now you both love running, but you know you eventually want to marathon train, and your friend wants to hit the gym for weights, you might not sync up in the future.

There may be times when one or both of you find that your fitness routine is changing and not necessarily together, but for now, consider these issues when choosing a good workout partner.

7. Use the 5-Minute Rule

This is a super easy trick you can do that will help on the days when you have absolutely no motivation. This is often due to being tired, or when you have been exercising a ton, and you just feel really tired and worn out. While you should still give your body a break when you need it, some days you just know you’re making excuses.

That is when the 5-minute rules comes in. Here is how it works:

Pick a workout you want to do, usually something that doesn’t require a lot of effort. Something like a treadmill or going for a short walk.

Promise yourself that you will do just 5 minutes of that exercise. Set a timer on your phone if you want, or just keep an eye on the time.

After 5 minutes, if you’re still exhausted and just don’t feel like continuing, feel free to stop. At least you put in an effort.

Most of the time, you can go another 5 minutes. Keep doing this until you feel like you have done all you can do.

More often than not, it’s getting started that is the problem, not actually working out. If you’re at a place in your fitness journey where you keep making excuses, just try for 5 minutes and see how you feel.

8. Think Outside the Gym

This tip for battling lack of fitness motivation has to do with the type of workouts you do. Everyone comes to a point where the routine they have been working on has just gotten boring or isn’t as effective as it used to be.

Of course, there are ways to switch up the same workout, such as changing the reps and intensity, but even still, you might be ready for something new.

If you have been going to the gym every day, and just can’t seem to get there anymore, don’t go! Give yourself a break where you do something else for physical fitness instead. This might mean going for walks by the beach, going on a hike, going swimming, or picking up a new activity you have never done before.

While the gym works well for a lot of people, it’s not for everyone. Don’t force yourself if that only depletes your workout motivation.

All of these tips can help you stay motivated to stay on your fitness journey. I am utilizing several of them — buying new workout clothes, having a workout buddy, and slowly working to improve my stamina. It’s a process but so far so good. My fitness motivation is pretty high right now and I will try other tips when it gets tough to continue!

Are you on a fitness journey? What works for you?

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This article provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.


  • Kristine Nicole Alessandra

    These are great tips to get motivated to do some exercise. I am only allowed low impact exercises so that limits me to walking or swimming. I can’t wait for the summer to get in the pool again. I think the best way to keep me motivated would be to have a buddy or accountability partner.

  • Lyosha

    I know your post is super important! I know many people honestly not able to find motivation for themselves. I personally feel most motivated because I love it. I feel great before, during and after so I don’t really need any extra tricks. I only wish I had a buddy to take my photos from time to time

  • Erin

    Great post! I definitely agree that self discipline is a huge key to success. I really love what you had to say about finding your triggers. Super important.

  • Sarah Bailey

    These are some great tips, sometimes I think it is hard to keep the motivation flowing. Having others who are working towards the same goals can be a great help.

  • LiveLoveAndAdventure

    This is such a great post, thank you so much! I can’t seem to find the motivation lately and really need to get back on track.Right before I read this, I just told my boyfriend we need to go sign up for a gym in my neighborhood tomorrow after work!

  • Cristina Petrini

    I think it’s useful to do a blog post that talks about the motivation for do fitness. Finding them is complex, succeeding is important, but in the end keeping you faith is healthy!

  • Ane

    Oh my goodness! This is just the article I needed to read today. I’ve always wanted to start working out, I just had a baby and I want to get rid of all the baby weight but I find it difficult to find the right motivation for me to actually go through with it. I definitely need a work out buddy and I’m going to try out the 5 minute rule!

  • Stephanie Parrell

    I have struggled with this like most people over the years. Right now I m super motivated because I have an upcoming trip that I want to be super fit for. But regularly if I don’t have a big goal or reasons I find it hard to keep the motivation going.

  • Waren Jean Go

    These are great tips! I wish this year I will finally be able to do this because I’ve been postponing this for a long time.

  • Cindy Ingalls

    I’ve been really enjoying my workouts lately, which caused me to push myself even harder. Unfortunately, I think I pushed my ab work out too hard and pulled some muscles in my upper abs. I’ve decided to give my body a week to heal so I can get back to it.

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