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6 Easy Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out When You’d Rather Not

Stay motivated
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It’s natural to lack motivation for working out, but a lack of motivation doesn’t help you achieve your exercise goals. Every journey begins with the first step, and your first step is getting motivated. Here are 6 ways to do just that:

Reward Yourself
Why do people do anything they hate? Sometimes because they must. Other times it’s because there’s something in it for them.

Rewards keep you feeling like you’ve achieved and earned something. So, they keep you motivated.

Rewards also trigger the release of dopamine, which your brain loves, so if your brain knows working out equals dopamine, then it’ll start to crave working out in anticipation.

Make Yourself Accountable
It’s easy to skip a workout here and there. But if you skip too many times, working out can fall low on your list of priorities. And soon, you may not be working out at all. To keep this from happening, give yourself an audience and make sure they know what you’re doing. Try posting on social media. Who knows? If you post your fitness journey on social media, you might inspire others.

Make Working Out a Habit
Every day you practice certain habits, such as taking a shower, brushing and flossing your teeth and caring for your skin. Maybe at one time, years ago, you dreaded doing these daily tasks, but they are old habit by now. Make your workouts the same way. Set a time to work out, add it to your calendar and commit to working out the same every day or every week. Eventually, working out will become a habit, and you’ll no longer hate it or feel unmotivated.

Dress for Success
Believe it or not, you can dress for success when working out, just like you would for a job. And it can motivate you. Rather than putting on the old clothes that you wear when you clean the house or work in the yard, invest in some exercise clothing that makes you feel good about yourself.

Set Goals
If you can’t do more than a few pushups or squats right now, don’t despair. Instead, make a reasonable goal and work toward it. For example, each week, try to do two or three more reps than last week. Then once you hit your target, use it to keep you motivated. Who cares if it takes you a month to do 10 pushups and squats? The important thing is that you make steady progress. Now, how long until you can do 20 of each?

Set Smaller Goals
Use positive self-talk to get yourself to take action. Start with “I will” statements like these:

• “I will get up off the couch.”
• “I will change into my gym clothes.”
• “I will fill up my water bottle, so I can hydrate while working out.”

Your goals don’t have to be big ones. They just have to be focused on taking steps toward fitness, weight loss or new skills. Sometimes the hardest step is the first one, so break the entire journey to the gym down into easy, achievable steps. And if you don’t want to go to gym, how about setting up your own home gym? That way, you can exercise in the comfort of your own home without having to drive somewhere and wait your turn.

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