How to Stay Motivated to Exercise

How to Stay Motivated to Exercise

Having the motivation to fit exercise into your schedule is a very real problem for most people.

Excuses come up fast and often, including a busy schedule, tiredness and not wanting to go through too much trouble. However, it is not impossible to stay on to your exercise goals. Just start small. Here’s how.

List Your Goals

Make a list of your exercise and diet goals and post copies of it anywhere you may see it most often. Keep in mind that goals must be sustainable and realistic. While Hollywood moms boast of losing baby weight in two months, keep in mind that people should lose their weight at a healthier pace. You can start with 30 minute exercises three times a week, and add another day when you’ve become more accustomed to it.

You can list your goals weekly, and then tally them up with what you were able to accomplish. You will then be able to review what goals you’ve been able to meet and any realignment you may need to do.

You should also keep track of your goals, which should include:

  • Current weight/desired weight
  • Calorie intake
  • Calories burned
  • Body measurements
  • Reward Yourself

Give yourself small rewards and favors after a week of successfully completing your goals. It can be a spa, a mani/pedi, that book or CD that you’ve been eying. Or it can be an indulgence in your favorite dessert!

Whatever it is, having an instant gratification (weight loss doesn’t come quickly) can help you go through the week to come.

Partner Up

Having a partner will make the process of dieting and exercising easier to bear. You can have someone to complain to (don’t make a habit of it, though), talk to, compare notes with, and you can even have a bit of competitive edge thrown in.

To up the ante a little bit, you can also have a competitive game among your peers. Officemates, housemates or classmates can all be part of a contest akin to the show The Biggest Loser. The team or individual who loses the most weight, wins.

Do Different Exercises

Doing the same kind of exercise repeatedly in the course of the week can get pretty boring. Instead, do different exercises within the week. You can do yoga on the first day, cardio the second, weights next. Not only is this actually the better way to exercise, but it will liven up your routine and keep things interesting.

Join a Group

Join a fitness club, a gym or a fitness class. Meeting other people with similar goals can help encourage you with your own. It’s also a great thing to make your exercise feel less like a chore and more like a fun activity. Joining a sports group also brings that competitive edge that always keeps one going!

Hire a Trainer

Having a personal trainer is like having a fitness guardian angel, making sure that you meet your goals and abide by the set rules.


Sign up for a race. Preparing for a race can be a great motivation for you to reach your exercise goals. Here’s how to train for a triathlon.

Do Extra

Commit yourself to extra activities other than your exercise routine on your rest days. This is one way to view exercise less as a chore and more as an organic part of your daily activities.

For example, commit yourself to walk your dog for an hour or two twice a week. Or commit to using the stairs instead of the elevator twice a week. There’s less pressure for you to do it, but in the interest of attaining your goal, these small commitments go a long way. Good luck.

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