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10 Ways to Get Motivated When You Don’t Feel Like Exercising

When your alarm goes off at 4:15 a.m., it feels awfully early for sunrise yoga! Modern-day women need superhero capes to finish their daily to-dos, get their exercise in, ensure adequate “me time,” and do all the things they love. This is especially difficult when it feels better to binge-watch Netflix or throw a pillow over your head and hit snooze!

Here are 10 tips for staying motivated and maintaining a regular fitness regimen even with a jam-packed schedule:


1. A little bit every day

Here’s the thing. At the end of a year, you will be 365 days older than you are today. You can either be 365 days older and stronger, having done something for your physical well-being on a regular basis – or you can just be 365 days older. It’s your choice.

2. Remind yourself why you do it

At the end of the day, you have a reason you’re doing this. You’re spinning to lose weight. You’re lifting weights to gain muscle. You are doing yoga because you want mind-body wellness.

Your goals, your passions and what makes you excited about getting into fitness are a priority, so remind yourself that you matter and what you want out of life matters. Make yourself and what’s in your heart a top priority.

3. Seek out the challenge

It’s called a work out for a reason. You’re challenging yourself to get stronger, build endurance and cultivate a skill. So that means you’re gonna have to get scrappy with yourself sometimes. You still gotta do the work in order to get the results (the end result being a strong, healthy body).

4. Don’t allow yourself excuses

Even if you’re dealing with a shoulder injury, guess what? Your legs still work! Back off on what doesn’t feel good and focus on activities that do. Just because you have one part of your body not functioning well is not an excuse to give up on training altogether and eat a tub of ice cream.

Issues like this can be an opportunity to change up your workout. Plus, workouts like yoga are meant to be tailored to however you’re feeling on any given day.

5. What do you enjoy + look forward to?

If you’re not having any fun at all, or don’t feel like you’ve accomplished something at the end of your workout, you’re probably bored. It’s really hard to sustain something if you aren’t having fun. Try a circus arts class or get outside for some yoga on the beach. When you find something you’re passionate about, then you’ll actually want to go to class. And, it won’t feel like a workout!


6. Don’t hit snooze

Don’t do it! When the alarm goes off, drag yourself out of bed and turn the lights on. Drink a tall glass of room temp lemon water (this flushes your system and wakes you up naturally), take a few deep inhale/exhales, smile at yourself in the mirror, and get on with your day!! You’ll be glad you did.

7. Build a routine

Establishing a steady routine does make it easier! It may still be hard when the alarm goes off or you’re tired after work, but the more you build a habit, the more likely you will stick with it.

It takes a month or two to build a routine, so start with accomplishable goals and build from there. Promising yourself you’ll start going 5 days/week when you haven’t ever been to the gym might be asking too much at first, so aim for 1-2 classes and add more as you gain confidence.

8. Get accountable

Find a workout buddy. Make a plan to meet them at the gym or class on certain days. When one of you flakes, ask the other why and hold them accountable. Try group athletics as well. You’ll be surprised how many people wonder where you are when you attend a class regularly and then you aren’t there the next day. And you will make new likeminded friends, too!


9. Establish a reward system

Sometimes you need a payoff for hard work when you’re doing things like trying to lose weight after having a baby, or rehabbing an injury, or hell, just for actually using that gym membership you have!

Maybe you can reward yourself with a low-calorie and delicious vegan shake after morning boot camp. Maybe you have your eye on a pair of fun leggings. Rewards for when you’re doing well will reinforce your motivation and excitement to train and focus on your fitness goals.

10. What’s your body telling you?

Sometimes you need a cup of coffee. Sometimes you need a morning off. Sometimes you just need to get to class. You know yourself and when you’re making excuses vs. truly honoring what you need.

If you are exhausted from sleeping poorly one night and need a day off, don’t beat yourself up. If you know that once you get to class, your face will light up and you’ll enjoy yourself, get your bum to class! Every day is different. You’re not a robot. Be honest with yourself about your needs.
Your goals, your passions and what makes you excited about getting into fitness are a priority, so remind yourself that you matter and what you want out of life matters. Make yourself and what’s in your heart a top priority.
You have the power to turn fitness into something you look forward to every day, even if it starts your day while the rest of the world is sleeping. What choice would you like to make for yourself and your own happiness today?

Take this FREE Booty Toning Barre Class with Kelly Richardson

This class is from Kelly’s 6-class Full Body Barre program


Featured image: Lisa Garrett

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Christie Cole

A published poet, Christie works in TV production by day and moonlights as editor of She practices ashtanga, Nichiren Buddhism and is completely smitten with the flying trapeze. She also enjoys tooling around on her motorcycle. Her hope is simply to bring joy to every life she meets.

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