Do you like to exercise? Do you know how to find motivation to exercise? When I think about exercising, one quote always pops into my mind:

If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.

You know it’s true! You know it because you always find the time to watch a new episode from Orange Is The New Black, but you rarely find the time to prepare a healthy dinner. You know it because procrastination has surely been the easy option before an exam. Last but not least, you know it because you are forced to excuse yourself daily in order to do the things you love. Well, if you are the kind of person who doesn’t love any sport in order to get some exercise, you will always find an excuse.

Still, there is one good thing to all this – you can stop saying I WISH and start saying I WILL whenever you decide.

There are a few things that you should keep in mind when we talk about motivation. Things that we all know and usually try to forget. Things that help us move when we have no will left. Think about all these things – don’t ignore them. Admitting to yourself how things really are, you will find some of these things below – things that helped me “move it” and motivated me before/throughout and after each and every workout.


How To Find Motivation To Exercise

 Start shopping! (for workout clothes)

Motivation does not always mean you have to torture yourself to do something. Sometimes it can be fun – you can just go shopping. Not having gym clothes can stop you from exercising and help you find excuses. Make sure you get those running shoes you are thinking about, a top or a bra, leggings. Look for comfortable and pretty, this way you will want to wear them ASAP!

how to find motivation to exercise

Photography by Luke Ma

  • How to find motivation to exercise

When you don’t feel like working out, put on those gym clothes anyway and take the sports shoes for a spin as well. It will get you in the mood for exercise and it will also motivate you to get started.

Make room for sport in your life (literally)

You want to start yoga since you can remember, but never had where to practice it? Make a nice place for your yoga mat in your room and leave it there until you use it. It might help if you decorate a little bit and think about it as your getaway. You are on the mat to relax, to stretch, to get that heart pumping so this can be your happy place. The mat can be the place where you start feeling good. You want that in your room right? Yoga is just one of the exercises you can prepare your room for – there are many sports that you can pick from.


  • How to find motivation to exercise

If you want this to really work try leaving your gym stuff everywhere. Keep the gears on the kitchen counter, the running shoes just next to the bed, the yoga mat always on the floor. Yes, it’s going to drive you crazy, but you’ll see these tricks as a constant reminder of what your goals are. And all these goals are about how to find motivation to exercise.

how to find motivation to exercise

Photo by jDevaun.Photography

Reward yourself afterwards (or punish yourself)

People that exercise regularly can tell you things like: ‘Health is my motivation’, ‘I do it because I respect and love my body’, ‘Sport is what keeps me going every day’ . Congratulations to them!

No worries, you will get there yourself  once you start doing it and realizing the benefits. Until then, get some actual rewards that will help you move it.  Journalist Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, advises that rewards should be real, tangible.

Find those things that make you happy and use them as rewards. It can be a smoothie, a new episode of your favourite show or even that new dress you are thinking about non-stop. Don’t push it too far with a bar of chocolate, that will just make you feel guilty afterwards.

  • How to find motivation to exercise

If you are not the “reward type” try to punish yourself instead. It might sound cruel, but psychologists think this is actually a better approach. If getting the things you love doesn’t motivate you, try giving them up. No exercise, no internet. Does that hurt already? It hurt me a lot. Find your trigger and use it daily if you need to.

Track your results (even the ones you consider to be small)

Keep a journal where you write down every time you exercise. No need to write novels, just the date, the time, and what you did for yourself that day. If you want to go further write down how the exercises make you feel about yourself. Powerful? Ambitious? Maybe weak – you did not go far enough? It doesn’t matter, write it down.  Weigh yourself weekly and write that down as well. If weight is a factor in your need to exercise, the results will keep you on the right track.

  • How to find motivation to exercise

The purpose of this writing exercise is to make you realize all the good things you are doing for your body daily. Write the small things as well, or write more personal things. Have you had a walk in the park? Good for you, I am sure it made you feel better than being indoor watching TV. Didn’t you add sugar to your morning coffee or tea? You are amazing! Make sure you keep a daily reminder of how great you really are.


Plan today (do tomorrow)

This is a must-do when it comes to everything, not just how to find motivation to exercise. If you plan it, you have more chances of doing it. Take some time every night before going to sleep and think about the next day. What do you want to achieve tomorrow? How do you want to do that?

Think about a fixed schedule – make it real. The gym might take you one hour from 8 AM to 9 AM. Then, maybe 40 minutes you will enjoy a nice breakfast. Go into details: what are you going to have for breakfast? Once you got your day covered it’s easier to wake up and just do it!

  • How to find motivation to exercise

You don’t have to wait for the night to start planning. If you want to make sure you are going to exercise tomorrow, have everything in place starting today. Book a place in the fitness group or for an aerobic class. Give your full name and reassure them you are going. Prepare your gym bag with everything in it. Get that bottle of water filled. If you want to hit the office first, take your gym bag with you. Once everything is planned and waiting for you, exercise might seem the easiest part.

Turn exercise into a game (or a contest)

You have a girlfriend (or boyfriend?!) who wants the same things? If she wants to lose weight or to start working-out this is your chance to help each other. Set-up daily goals together and try to achieve them. Maybe running 15 minutes today. Maybe eating less fats. Maybe 3 series of abs.

Congratulate yourselves when you make it and maybe even buy for each other small healthy snacks as a reward: a protein bar, a tasty greek yoghurt or some yummy fruits. This way a solitary process of change can become a great way to interact and a social activity. Friendship is not all about doing fun stuff together, sometimes it can be about doing the challenging stuff together and being there for each other.

  • How to find motivation to exercise

If a normal game is too soft for you, go for the contest. If you are all about the thrill of the win, turn the exercise thing into a competition. Your friend does 100 abs/day. DO 200! And yes, you can brag about it. Create a rule where the person that has the most results in a week gets 20$, from the other person’s pocket of course. Intense right? It already got me ready for a run.

Make it about the money (win some or lose some)

It doesn’t sound too good, but it works! Money is a great motivator. Betting with your friends about who runs the furthest distance or who gets the best time can be a great start. Try subscribing to the most expensive gym in town. When you’ll realize how much money you are losing, you’ll want to take advantage of that subscription. Give your best friend 10$ each time you don’t keep your word about your daily routines and you will feel the pressure soon. Plus – it’s pretty embarrassing to admit to others that you don’t live up to your own expectations isn’t it?

  • How to find motivation to exercise

If you don’t want to pay with cash your attendance to the gym, try getting paid for it! Researchers looked into monetary incentives and exercise found that people who were paid $100 to go to the gym doubled their attendance rate. “You just need to get people to keep doing an activity, and paying them money was effective,” explains study author Gary Charness, PhD, behavioral economist at the University of California at Santa Barbara. You could think, who would pay me to exercise? Download the app Pact and see it for yourself! Earn cash from living healthy, paid by the members who don’t.

Visualize it! (not necessarily a positive thinking strategy) 

This is an easy one, you heard about it before. The questions is: Are you using this great tool as you should be? Do you want to lose weight? Imagine yourself going to the beach with that amazing body you can have and getting compliments from everybody you know (or from complete strangers!). Feel like you would feel then. Feel confident, feel pretty, feel like you already did it! If you need more strength, imagine going to the gym and lifting hard weights easily. Imagine talking to people about the benefits of exercising daily and giving them advice – what would you say?


  • How to find motivation to exercise

If this doesn’t work for you try the opposite. Imagine what happens if you continue to procrastinate. Imagine how you will look like in 20 years from now, if you don’t start doing something NOW. I will not give you all the horrible details that help me start exercising, but I am sure you can build clear images of your own. Don’t let these scenarios scare you off, just prove them wrong!

Endorphin rush (be careful, it’s addictive!) 

Exercise stimulates endorphin production and well, one thing is known for certain about endorphins: their ability to make you feel oh-so-good. A bad day can shift into a good day in no time, with just a run. Ever hear about the Runner’s high? Try it for yourself and don’t blame anybody if you can’t stop smiling for hours. Only the idea makes me happy.

  • How to find motivation to exercise

Pay attention to the sport shoes you are using (running shoes is a must!) and make sure you warm your muscles before going for a run. There are basic warm-up exercises that you can find online and that you can apply anywhere. Take 5-10 minutes for the workout before every run.


These are the things I tried when I had hard times getting out of bed and they worked! What are the things that you tried? How are these working for you? I would love to hear back from you.

One last advice on how to find motivation to exercise before you actually get started:

Do it now. Sometimes ‘later’ becomes ‘never’!

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Then it’s time to share it with your friends! How do you find motivation to exercise? Answer in a comment bellow, cause I read all the comments.
By | 2017-06-13T20:32:36+02:00 August 3rd, 2015|Lifestyle|

About the Author:

Creative writer, with a passion for fashion. I love to learn new things, meet new people, travel to new places, while enjoying every minute like it's the last. Also, I believe that people can do everything that they set their mind and heart to, so I am trying to prove it every day!