How To Stick to a Workout Routine When You’d Rather Do Anything Else

woman in a gym

I’m always motivated to start my fitness journey, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I lack the motivation to continue about five days in. Plain and simple, sticking to a routine is TOUGH. 

After months of bad eating and schlepping around the house, I decided to sit down and make some fitness goals for the rest of the year. But actually following through with those goals, now that’s been much harder.

It’s so easy to get distracted by work, friends, family (or Netflix), and set aside exercise for another time, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some tips and tricks to help you stick to your workout routine when there are a million other things you’d probably rather be doing.

Just Show Up

The hardest thing to do when you lack motivation is to get yourself to the gym or your workout class, so showing up is half the battle. Instead of stressing about how long you want to work out or how many calories you need to burn, just go.

Maybe you only end up walking for 15 minutes or you lift weights for 10 minutes, but that’s OK! At least you did something to move your body.

Don’t Burn Yourself Out

When we set fitness goals there’s often this pressure to go from zero to one hundred. Instead, take it slow. You don’t have to go from running one mile to running 10 miles in the span of a month. Start slow and build up over time, as this will prevent you from burning out.

Find What You Enjoy

If you don’t like to run, don’t run. If you don’t enjoy spin classes, don’t go to spin classes! Too many of us do workouts we despise just because we feel like they’re what we’re supposed to be doing.

Yes, exercise is meant to be a challenge, but you’re not supposed to hate your life while doing it. Find something you actually enjoy doing and stick with it!

Reward Yourself

Give yourself a reward when you accomplish a fitness goal or exercise a certain number of times a week. These mini-rewards will keep you motivated as you continue along your fitness journey.

Switch It Up

If you feel yourself getting bored with your fitness routine, don’t be afraid to switch it up. While some people prefer to do the same workout every day, others need a new environment to stay motivated.

Instead of running five times a week, maybe run twice a week and then fill the other three days with something fresh and fun, like yoga, pilates, or kickboxing.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Listen, you’re going to have bad days. You’re going to have stretches of time — maybe a few days, maybe a few weeks — where you don’t work out. That’s OK, it happens to the best of us. Instead of throwing all your fitness goals out the window, just get back on the horse and keep going.

Fitness journeys are complicated, and they have plenty of peaks and valleys. Take one day at a time and do what you can on that given day. The rest will take care of itself.

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