How to stay motivated to work out?

Although I do not count on motivation to get in a mood for a workout, I do like to have a few reminders around me as to why I am working out. Reminders that will give me that little boost when I am not in my best frame of mind.

Below are 10 pointers that have helped me to stay motivated to work out. Hopefully, they will help you too.

1. Put on your active wear from the morning.

This works for when you are at home and not working. Get dressed for a workout. This way you can crack on with it anytime, whenever you find a free minute. I was getting on with it when my DS was playing nicely or was napping.

If I did not do the workout, I felt weird and guilty when I had to take off the active wear.

2. Find yourself a challenge.

Something you want to get better at. Start with a mini-challenge so it is easy to achieve. The feeling of completing it will make you feel so good that you will go back to it the following day again.

My latest challenge was to perform 50 Burpees a day. The aim is to cut off the time for completing them. It has been 5 days and I have shredded 20 seconds already. If 50 Burpees is too much, start with 5 and increase by 1 every day. It does not have to be burpees, it can be anything that will increase your heart rate and get your blood flowing.

3. Join the gym or if working out from home – an online class.

This way you can have a healthy competition with the other members. When you do a class pick someone you know is faster or stronger than you and try to keep up with them.

There will be a time when you will finish faster than the person next to you. This will give you satisfaction and will be one of your first steps towards an addiction. The addiction of seeing the result of being faster or stronger and that addiction will make you go back and do the next workout with a smile.

4. Define your goals for working out.

Make a list of what you want to achieve. Read the list often to remind yourself of the goal. I have before and after pictures. Seeing them makes me realise how much I have achieved.

5. Motivational notes

Have motivational notes around you. There are so many, pick some that motivate you, and place them somewhere you can see them regularly. Be it your home screen or sticky notes on your mirror, fridge – anywhere you fancy.

motivational notes to work out

6. Group gym classes

Joining a group exercise class is beneficial as you will get social support. You can work out with a close friend or your partner. The advantage is that you will spend time with them, support each other, and get the workout done. All this in the gym.

7. The endorphin rush.

When you work out, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins activate a positive feeling in the body. For example, the feeling that follows a workout is pure happiness and excitement. Your stress levels are reduced and your outlook on life is more optimistic.

Get addicted to how great you feel after completing a workout and you won’t look back.

8. Listen to an audio book or watch a movie

my earphones for work out
My earphones

Listen to an audiobook or if you are using a cardio machine, watch a movie or something that interests you. It will make you feel much better and the time spent working out will go faster.

When I bought my rowing machine, a colleague from work said that I won’t be using it. We bet that I will not be able to do 200 000 kilometers in 12 months, which is around 600 meters a day. An easy bet that I completed in 5 months (I was pregnant at the time and had to finish it before giving birth). So I was listening to an audiobook only when I was rowing, therefore if I wanted to know what happened next, I had to go back on the rower and listen to the audiobook.

9. Find something you love and enjoy doing

It is important that you do something you love and enjoy. Working out should be fun, so find something that has variety and can spice up your workouts.

I found Crossfit. It is versatile and there is always something you can get better at. Another good thing is the community. As it is smaller than the normal gym, most people know each other. They encourage and support each other throughout the workouts. Let us not forget the friendly competition. Always, someone, you can compete with.

10. Track you progress

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your progress. Body shape, strength, skills. Take photos, record your movements. My mistake was that I didn’t record much when I first started. That feeling when you put on your favourite pair of jeans and you look dashing. When you lift something heavy and it feels like a feather. When you can stand on your hands while a month ago you thought that was impossible. Well, that feeling is priceless and is worth the effort.


As I wrote in my post Do you need motivation to work out?, I do not rely on motivation but I do need that boost so I can keep the drive going. The drive will become a habit one day.

My favourite motivational quote:

“Motivation is what gets you started. 
Habit is what keeps you going”

Jim Ryun

I recently read the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. It does make you realise that there is a better way to look at your day and live your life.

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