When the alarm goes off at 5am for the gym, it's easy to turn over and go back to bed. "I'll go after work," is what you tell yourself, but those hours come and go. Finding motivation to hit the gym – or even workout at home – can be a challenge.
If you're having trouble sticking to your gym routine, use these six tricks to stay on track.
1. Get a Workout Buddy
One of the best ways to stay motivated and actually get out of bed for the gym is to get a workout buddy. Being held accountable to someone is often motivation enough to get up and get moving. No one wants to let their friends down.
For the buddy system to really work, you have to choose someone who wants to be just as fit and healthy as you do. Find someone who's motivating. Find someone who will give you a hard time if you don't show up.
2. Make it a Competition
A little friendly competition can light a fire in your heart that pushes you to meet your workout goals. Compete with anyone and everyone. Prove the naysayers wrong.
Even if you're not competitive by nature, try surrounding yourself with people who are just a little bit faster or better than you. Just being in that atmosphere will push you to be better and keep up with the rest of the group.
3. Fuel Yourself
Some of us skip the gym because we're tired, overworked and in no state of mind to even look at a treadmill. Treating your body right and providing it with the right fuel will ensure that you have the energy to get there, get done and get home.
If you're not sure how to fuel your gym session, there are many resources online that will steer you in the right direction.
4. Set Micro Goals
Some of us lose hope when we don't see the progress we want or reach our goals after two weeks of working out. Setting micro, realistic goals will help you stay on track and give you those little boosts of confidence and satisfaction you need to keep going.
Also, reevaluate the goals you've set. Are they overly-ambitious? If you set the bar too high too early in the game, you'll set yourself up for disappointment.
5. Keep a Journal
A workout journal can serve as a reminder as to why you need to get up and get going. Write down how you feel after each workout. Keep track of your progress.
Reviewing your results and reminding yourself that you'll feel great after you finish will give you the boost you need to get to the gym.
6. Pick Something You Love
It's hard to stay motivated if you hate your workouts. If you despise running, don't do it. If you don't like the gym, try Pilates, rock climbing or a sport that you enjoy playing.
Find something that you love. If you love what you're doing, you'll find that it's easy to find the motivation to exercise. In fact, it may not even feel like exercise if you're having fun.