How To Motivate Yourself To Workout (And Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Motivation)


Let’s be honest, staying motivated in your fitness journey can feel a challenge in itself at times, even when you’re the really dedicated sort. It’s even harder if you’re the donuts over kale kinda person…so, pretty much all of us.

Maintaining momentum and motivation can be tough.

But, this is exactly why you should never rely on motivation alone and instead should focus on practical and sustainable strategies that help you meet your goals.

The Pitfall of Relying Solely on Motivation

Motivation is a fickle fiend.

It’s often there when we start a new challenge, a new year, or comes in a sudden wave where you feel inspired to deep clean the entire house. Yet, it can go as fast as it comes and suddenly you find yourself eyeing up 2 day old dishes in the sink and wondering when you last put on your running shoes.

The transient nature of motivation is its biggest issue, it’s influenced by so many external factors such as your mood, stress levels, and even things like the weather. Afterall, I know very few people who are motivated to go out for a run in sub-zero temperatures or enthusiastic about their HIIT class when the temperatures are soaring and lying on a sun lounger is the alternative. 

Motivation is an unreliable source of long-term commitment, so how can we achieve our health and fitness goals without relying on it?

Setting Realistic Targets

Make things Achievable

Maintaining a steady path forwards is the key to not feeling defeated. This means setting smaller and achievable goals. Ticking off these small wins help keep you focused, whilst also adding to the bigger goal. 

Aiming for drastic changes often leads to failure and the feelings that come with it. 

Be realistic about what you can achieve, whilst you may want to work out 6 days a week, if your schedule only allows 2 you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Measure Progress in Many Ways

Don’t just measure progress in one way. It’s tempting to get sucked into what the scale tells you, but this is only a very small part of a bigger picture. Look for other methods and indicators such as how your clothes fit or what you see in the mirror. Progress photos are a great way to see subtle changes too.

Consider how you sleep, your energy levels and your mood too as another indicator of the progress you are making.

Finding Longer Term Reasons Beyond Motivation

Find Your “Why”

An understanding of your personal “why” is key to remaining focused. It might be to improve your health, to feel better in your own skin, to have the energy to play with your children or to fit into your favorite jeans again. It doesn’t matter what your “why” is, it’s just important you know it.

This deeper understanding of your initial motivation can sustain you when the initial excitement fades. It serves as a powerful reminder on a daily basis.

Make it Enjoyable

If you enjoy the process, you’re more likely to stick with it. Whether it’s your diet or exercise, forcing yourself to do things you don’t enjoy will soon have you throwing the towel in. Experiment with finding types of physical exercise you enjoy; it might be dancing, swimming, or an entirely different sport but enjoying your fitness routine is the key to making it a sustainable part of your life.

How to Stay Motivated to Workout

Routines and Repetition

As humans, we’re creatures of habit. Once something becomes part of our routine we rarely have to think about it. Brushing your teeth is a great example of this, and whilst working out certainly take a little longer than a whizz round with the Colgate, incorporating it into your routines will mean it becomes part of your lifestyle and require less conscious effort. Try to aim for set workout and rest days.

Life’s Better Together

Having someone to share your fitness journey with can significantly boost your motivation, even if it’s just lift sharing to the gym. Whether it’s a workout buddy, a group class, or an online community, being surrounded by like minded people provides you with support and accountability. Plus who doesn’t want to be able to share their wins with someone?

Be Kind to Yourself

It okay to not be perfect. Understand there will be days where life gets in the way. Being flexible and not beating yourself up for missing a workout is important. It’s about consistency over perfection.

Relying solely on motivation is a recipe for inconsistency. Instead, by focussing on realistic targets, remembering your “why” and making your workouts part of your daily routine you’ll develop a much more sustainable approach to your fitness journey.

Work With A Coach

Incorporating a professional coach into your fitness regime can be a game-changer. Coaches bring a depth of expertise in both exercise and nutrition, offering personalized plans that align with your specific goals and abilities. This tailored approach not only enhances the effectiveness of your workouts but also ensures you’re exercising safely.

Beyond the physical aspect, a coach provides invaluable support and accountability, helping you to find the reasons to stay committed. For those interested in finding out more about coaching, check out our coaching services or speak to one of our team, here.

Find the balance that works for you.

Try Our Nutrition Coaching, For Free!


Be the next success story. Over 25,000 have trusted Macros Inc to transform their health.

Start your 14-day risk-free journey and let's achieve your goals together!

Check out our verified client reviews