Tips for Staying Motivated to Exercise

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Somebody once said, “Going to the gym and getting your hands into the game is like saying to the body ‘You’ll hate me for now but thank me later’ because it hurts but actually pays off in the long run”.

Of course, once we are overweight, we usually want to trim down for a whole lot of reasons, some related to physical condition and fitness, while others would want to enhance their physique and appearance. And it is never too late to be fit.

In the past 50 to 75 years, physical activity has become the exception rather than the rule, both at home and on the job. People tend to drive where others once walked. People tend to flick a switch and machines do the hauling, lifting, pushing, and pulling for them.

People plan to lead a healthy lifestyle. They plan to hit the gym either daily or weekly. These sound fabulous in black and white, but for many people they remain just that – resolutions.

They never actually follow through on them. Some start out zealous and actually hit the gym, yet with time, that zeal fades away. Usually they end up quitting.

So, how can we stay motivated and get those resolutions going? Well, there are a few tips that can help in disciplining ourselves and keep our feet heading to the gym when it hurts and compromise is calling out on us. Let’s explore a few of those below:

1. Have an explicit goal

A simple statement like, “I want to lose some weight,” is an ambiguous and an indefinite statement. It will not the least motivate you to start doing exercises right away.

What is important is to be precise on your goals. They must be written down as it were, so that they can be daily reviewed. To make it work, they can even be place on the mirror in the bathroom or behind the door so that you come into contact with them daily.

Envisage yourself what you will look like after reaching your desired weight. Doing this will inspire you to lose weight. In fact, maybe even more than what you have planned in mind. The idea is to use that figure to assist you to remain resilient and dedicated.

2. Develop a strategy

Goals can be cumbersome if no plan of execution is established. To lose weight and stay with it, your strategy must comprise of both exercise and diet, and not either of the two.

Try to start motivating yourself by throwing away your clothes that have bigger sizes. This will put you in a situation where you only have your sexy clothes and that you have to make a choice by staying motivated to exercise or not wear any clothes at all. Which do you prefer?

3. Make out little, calculable measures

It can be very overwhelming to just hit the gym with some measures of progress. Have a mini monitoring and evaluation framework. This means you have to implement moves that you and you alone will benefit from and not somebody else.

Set up some indicators that you’ll work towards. The idea here is to opt for a more positive and attainable goal and not just to shun away from being plump and chubby.

4. Produce monitoring that has an important effect

It would be better to have somebody willing to take note of your progress or development. To make it work, have an accountability partner. This will inspire you to keep on doing what you have started. Having somebody to listen to your achievements is definitely a better prize than just achieving your goal alone.

Besides, having an extra hand to support you and cheer for you when things start to fall short. It is that simple way of hearing somebody believing on what you do is one of the greatest motivations to keep you exercising for more.

5. Construct a vigorous, sensible timeline

Have a timeline that indicates what you’ll be doing and how much of it. For example, in the gym people talk about reps such as 20 reps of push-ups within the first 15 minutes, followed by 30 reps of squads after 2 minutes of water break.

Over the long-term, what do you plan to achieve in a year? Try to suit your objectives to your calendar, and do not look forward to seeing the results in just a snap.


In order to stay motivated to exercise, it entails a lot of hard work, which is contrary to what most people tend to think. It actually helps to see exercise as a significant part of work-life balance. Stop viewing it as something that competes for your time. Cultivate discipline.


Teboho is a Social Worker, Writer and Inspirational Speaker. He is in pursuit of MSc. in Managerial Psychology. Graduates are able to apply psychological principles and methods to tackle challenges in the work environment and provide effective practical solutions. Acting as industrial-organizational psychologists.