9 Ways to Get Motivated and Go to the Gym

If you’re anything like me, you always intend to work out a little more, but because of no motivation, or no time (or let’s be honest, a very demanding kid), it never seems to actually happen. I want to exercise more than I do – sometimes walking to and from my car to go to work is all I manage – but I always find it hard to actually make that happen. Recently, my husband and I have made a plan to start eating healthier and to get ourselves back into shape. Even if the new shape is still mostly the same as the old one, a little bit of exercise is better than none! The benefits of exercise are huge, no matter what your current fitness level is. Not everyone has a lot of time to devote to working out or going to the gym, and everyone has their own limitations for what they can or cannot do, but finding an exercise program that’s right for you is worth it.

If you’re like me, though, that’s not quite as easy as it sounds. So here a few tips I have to help you – and myself! – try to fit in a trip to the gym (or just a workout in your living room).

9 Ways to Get Motivated

Prioritize

This seems so simple when you think about it, but this is what I struggle with most! If I don’t make exercise a priority, I fall behind before I’ve even started. Be intentional with your exercise plan, and make it a priority. If you don’t treat it as something important to do, it’s much easier to skip it or put it off.

Tip: There’s a difference between making something a priority and letting it become so stressful it’s unsustainable! Commit to it, but stay flexible.

Be Consistent

One thing that helps me is choosing a specific time to exercise. If I have a specific time set aside to work out, it becomes a little easier to build that habit. Habits are very powerful tools, and if you can get yourself into the mindset of “This is when I exercise,” then it becomes a little easier to find that time and show up for yourself every week. It might start out pretty tough, but after awhile, if you stay consistent, you’ll find that it has just become another part of your routine. However, it’s also important to remember that:

Setbacks Don’t Mean Failure

If you try your best and for whatever reason – maybe because you’re just not feeling up to it, or maybe for reasons totally beyond your control – you just can’t make it to the gym (or in my case in front of my TV to play Just Dance), don’t beat yourself up about it! This is a tendency I’ve noticed in myself. If one little thing goes wrong, then it feels like all my hard work was for nothing and sometimes I just give up. Don’t! Remember that you’re doing this for yourself, and there’s no hard rules. If you can’t work out one week, do it next week. You can always pick right back up when you’re feeling better or when you have more time. It’s perfectly normal to have a few setbacks now and then, but that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. In fact, it’s a great opportunity to recommit! Give yourself a break, enjoy the rest if you need it, and then get right back at it.

Reward Yourself

When you do push past those setbacks, though, rewarding yourself for your hard work can be a great motivator. If you’ve been consistently getting all your work outs in, and you’ve really pushed yourself, be proud! Let yourself bask in your accomplishments. Give yourself a little happy for doing well. This can be a cheat day where you eat that bag of M&M’s you’ve been saving (speaking from personal experience here), or maybe a trip to the mall, or maybe something as simple as a really pretty sticker on your work-out planner or bujo spread (again, speaking from personal experience here). If you have something to look forward to, that you know you’ll get if you keeping working out, it might be a little easier to keep going!

Cute Clothes

I don’t know about you, but if I have a cute new outfit I’m always looking for an excuse to wear it. The same thing applies to working out. If you have work out clothes, then just putting them on – again, being consistent is so important! – can get you in the mood to work out. And looking cute is, at least in my opinion, something of its own reward.

Tip: You don’t need to splurge for cute clothes! I know that Lululemon and Fabletics are nice, but you don’t need an aspirational brand unless it’s what works for you and your budget. There are lots of great options that are very cute and very budget friendly.

Work Out Buddy

Some people can succeed only accountable to themselves, but I am not one of them. When I’m the only person overseeing my work, I’m going to let myself slide every time. What helps me is having a friend to work out with. We can hold each other accountable, support each other, and make going to the gym a little more fun. When I was in college two friends and I went swimming every Monday night. It was a good workout and it was a lot of fun! (I do love swimming, though, so that helped.) I started looking forward to Monday, because not only was I getting some exercise I was getting to hang out with two great friends. If you can, whether it’s a significant other or sibling or friend or whoever, having a work out buddy is a great way to keep yourself – keep both of you! – on track.

Find Something You Enjoy

Exercising can often feel like a chore. This is doubly so when you’re doing something you don’t enjoy. I don’t like running or jogging, so trying to force myself to get out to do that feels almost impossible. Even when a friend and I were doing the Couch-to-5K system, it was so difficult to keep going! I hated it! It’s much, much easier to keep exercising when you’re doing something you like. This can be yoga, swimming, cycling, hiking, dancing, spin class… There are lots of options out there, you just need to find what works for you! If you live in an area without a lot of gyms or health clubs, then I would suggest looking for different exercise routines on YouTube. If you can find somebody fun to watch, and work outs that you enjoy, it can help exercising feel like less of a chore.

Set Goals

Some people exercise to train for a marathon, or to get into better shape – and for things like that, it’s easy to set measurable goals. Even if you’re just doing it for general, non-specific health reasons, having goals can really help keep you motivated. (And remember when I said reward yourself? Meeting those goals can be a great benchmark for those rewards!) Maybe your goal is to exercise twice every week, or go for a brisk walk 30 minutes every day. One of my goals is to walk 10,000 steps every day at work. Do I meet it everyday? No. But having that goal always pushes me to try a little harder than I would have otherwise! You can make flexible goals that work for you, and don’t be afraid to reassess to make sure you’re still on the right track.

Just Get There

Sometimes, no matter what your goals are, no matter what rewards are waiting, no matter what you’ve done… You may just not have the energy to work out at all. And if you need to take a day off, remember that that’s okay! But one thing you can do, is just get there. Put on your workout clothes, or put on that workout video, or just get to the gym. Just get there, whatever that means for you. You might find that you feel like doing more than you thought you did! And if not, then you can be proud of yourself for getting there at all. Sometimes just showing up is enough, and if you keep showing up, you might find you’ll feel like working out after all.


So those are my 9 tips to help you get motivated! I’m trying to follow them myself, because I really want to get back into the habit of exercising! I’ve tried to make these tips as universal as possible, so no matter your situation I hope you can find something that works for you! I know that a lot of people want to exercise to lose weight, which is great if that’s what you want, but I also believe that exercise is a good habit to get into even if you have no interest whatsoever in losing weight.

If any of these tips work for you let me know! Or, what does work for you? Share your own tips in the comments!

5 Tips to Make You Feel Like a Person Again

Image by Alexandr Ivanov from Pixabay

This has been a hard week for me. Not only has there been a lot of heart-wrenching news lately (which deserves more time and attention that I’m able to give here), but I’ve had several personal setbacks, as well. I’ve been feeling run down, tired, and just a bit like a useless lump. It feels – for me, at least – that sometimes as a mom you have to be “on” for your children all the time. Even my little one, who is only a year old and can’t really understand what I’m saying, still makes me want to be as bright and happy as possible. But it’s hard! Parenthood is so hard in general, and when you’re feeling tired it just makes it that much harder. It’s a tough cycle to get stuck in, and unfortunately that’s where I’ve been! I’m looking forward to a chance to recharge.

Here are a few tips that might help if you, like me, are stuck that same rut and want to climb out and start feeling like a person again.

1. Get Enough Sleep

I know, I can already hear you laughing at me. Lack of sleep is probably part of the problem! Stress makes sleeping well more difficult! Trust me, I know – I’m there, too. But taking care of yourself means getting enough sleep, even though often it’s one of the first things that many of us sacrifice to make room for everything else in our busy lives. (And sometimes, of course, that sacrifice isn’t voluntary!) However, being well-rested can make a huge difference in how you feel. If you can, go to bed a little earlier. Start a bedtime ritual. We do it for our fussy little babies, why not try it for ourselves? Make bedtime fun, if you can. Be very intentional about it. Wear your comfiest pajamas (or whatever you like to sleep in), give your pillows an extra fluff, get cozy blankets, play relaxing music – pamper yourself a little! If your sleep is very disordered, of course, you may need to see your doctor, but here are a few tips that might help you sleep.

2. Take Time to Really Enjoy Something

Have a book you haven’t gotten to read yet? What about a new artist that you’ve really wanted to listen to? Maybe there’s a favorite movie that always makes you feel better when you watch it. Take some time to engage with something that you really, truly enjoy. This can be something as simple as calling a friend, going shopping, reading a book, or going for a walk. Anything that you enjoy, as long as you do it with the intention of really letting yourself lean into that enjoyment. Luxuriate in that little moment of pleasure. The best part is you don’t need a large chunk of time to do this. Give yourself the length of a song if that’s all the time you have. If you’re a working parent with a commute like me (or anyone who spends time in a car), download an exciting new podcast to listen to! I really like The Slowdown, which is always only five minutes long. Sometimes those stolen moments of pleasure, even if only a few moments, can really rejuvenate you.

3. Treat Yourself

Everyone likes a little present now and again. If you have the time and budget, maybe splurge on a night out with friends or your significant other (maybe kid free, if you’re a parent). Get yourself a new outfit, or something you’ve wanted for awhile. If money is an issue, this can be something as simple as a candy bar. Maybe just a food or drink you like that you haven’t had in awhile. The point is to be generous to yourself, and give yourself something out of the ordinary. If you’re like me and in a place where the thought of spending money on anything other than necessities makes you itch, you can still treat yourself! I have “special” shirts that I don’t wear everyday. I have a really nice make-up palette that I rarely use. It’s time to break out those for-a-rainy-day things you’ve got tucked away! Break out a bottle of wine you’ve been saving. Watch a show that you want instead of giving in to your spouse (maybe speaking from personal experience there…). The point is to tell yourself that you’re worth it, that you deserve something special.

4. Get a Little Exercise

I’ll bet after the sleep tip, you all saw this one coming! It’s true, though, that exercise has some amazing benefits. Everyone has different preferences and capabilities so I won’t suggest how you get your exercise, but it really can be a big mood booster. If you’re able, maybe go to a gym. Sometimes getting out and going somewhere different can be a refreshing change of pace, and it might help motivate you. If you have to – or honestly just prefer to – stay at home, try looking up a fun exercise routine on YouTube. There are tons and tons of different options, and many of them are only a few minutes long, so you can adjust your work-out to the amount of time you have. There are a lot of exercises you can do seated, as well, or while at work. Even if you don’t have a lot of time or space, there are options out there for everyone! If you have any trouble finding something, drop me a comment and I’ll try to help you find what you’re looking for.

5. Write or Journal

This might seem like something only relevant to someone (like me, for instance) who already really enjoys writing, but that’s not the case at all! Writing can be very therapeutic. Don’t think about this as having to create something like a poem or a story. While that is a good de-stress tool for some people (like me! I love creating), it’s by no means the only way you can use writing. Sometimes getting your thoughts out on paper can help clarify your mind and get you re-focused. Make a list of things you’re grateful for. Make a list of things bothering you, give yourself permission to think about it and worry as much as you need while writing the list, and then throw the list away! Maybe you’re the planning type, and you want to make a plan of attack to conquer all those things stressing you out. Do it! Even just taking some time – judgement free time – to do a little journalling can help unburden you. Talk about your feelings, or write a letter to an old friend, or plan out what you might say if you ever met your favorite celebrity! I blog, and write fiction, but I also keep a personal journal that’s just for me that I don’t show to anyone else, and writing always helps me keep things in perspective and clear my head.


If you take a relaxing weekend (or afternoon or even just a few minutes) to try any of these tips let me know! Do you have any other tips to share? Let’s help each other try to relax – I know that I, for one, really need it!