How to Get Motivated to Work Out When You Don’t Want To

We’ve all been there: a workout looms large in front of you. But your motivation is seriously lacking. You can’t seem to find the energy to put on your sneakers, pick up the weights, or press start. I’ve been there. And I’m sure you have, too.

Want to figure out how to get motivated to work out when you just don’t have the drive? Give one of these tips a try.

  • Remember Your Why
    Sometimes all it takes to get your body moving is a reminder of why you’re there in the first place. What’s your “why?” Do you want to lose weight? Be healthier for your kids? Increase muscle mass? Finish a marathon?

    Whatever your reason for pursuing fitness, take a moment to focus on that goal. Imagine yourself reaching that important milestone. It’s not going to happen without hard work. So remember your why, and get moving.

  • Break It Up Into 60-Second Increments
    When life is already overwhelming, a long workout feels large and insurmountable. But if you take it just one step at a time, that tough workout suddenly doesn’t seem so intimidating.

    Break up your workout into 60-second increments, and repeat this mantra: “I can do anything for a minute.” For instance, instead of saying “I have to do 100 push-ups,” set your watch and do push-ups for 60 seconds. Rest in between as needed.

    Suddenly, that brutal 60-minute routine doesn’t seem quite so scary.

  • Change Up Your Routine
    Monotony is a mood killer. Perhaps your lack of motivation stems from a workout rut. Want to know how to get motivated to work out when you feel stuck? The answer could be trying something new.
  • To make exercise more fun and exciting, try something new. Attend a group fitness class, run a new route, or try a dance class on YouTube. Not only can this change of pace increase your motivation, but who knows? You just might discover your next fitness passion.

  • Reward Yourself
    Agree on a reward you will give yourself only after your workout is done. And no, do not make it food that will undo all your effort in the gym. Perhaps it’s a bubble bath, an extra episode of your favorite show, or buying a new set of workout clothing. Before you know it, your workout will be done, you’ll be enjoying your reward, and you’ll be feeling great. It’s a win-win!

  • Call on a Buddy
    When you aren’t motivated to get that workout done, call a friend or workout partner. Exercising with someone else will make your workout more enjoyable, and the time seems to move by more quickly when you have a friend to chat with. Partner workouts also increase your fitness performance and help you to reach your fitness goals even faster. So go ahead: give that friend a call. You’ll be glad you did.
  • The next time you seriously feel like throwing in the towel on your workout, give one of these strategies a try. 

    Until next time, take care of yourself and each other.