How to motivate yourself to exercise

Tom Blackett   |  12/08/2014

After a long day at work why bother?  You’re tired, hungry, need to do your washing, see the family – the list goes on.

It’s easy to see why so many people don’t exercise – because working a full time job can be fully exhausting.  However, you can always find time to exercise and here’s a few ways to motivate yourself!


  1. Plan your free time.  This sounds kind of weird – I don’t mean you have to mark down exactly what you’re going to do and when (although it may work for some).  Just have an idea in your head about how you’re going to spend your time once you get home from work.  Finding some time for exercise will be easier than you think.
  2. Quite literally put on your gym kit.  Putting on your gym kit is an important mental step towards exercising!  Get changed as soon as your home.
  3. Be realistic.  If getting fit is a new goal of yours, don’t assume you’ll be ok getting up at 5am 5 days a week to exercise prior to work.  Take a moment and consider a few things – where is your gym? when is it open? do you operate better in the morning, at midday or in the evening?  Plan your goals accordingly.
  4. Get a workout partner!  This has to be the best method of getting yourself fit.  It makes exercising much more fun because you’re able to socialise and motivate each other throughout your workout.  If you can’t find a mate who’s up for it, think if there’s anyone at work who will be, or if your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend or any family members will be – somebody WILL say yes.
  5. Get a programme.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts – do not underestimate the importance of a programme.  A programme takes all the guesswork out of exercise meaning your workouts will maximise your chances of accomplishing your fitness goals.  You’ll know exactly what is required of you the moment you step through the gym doors.
  6. Track your progress.  Ensure to track your numbers when exercising.  Programmes often just dictate how many sets and repetitions you should do – they forget to remind you to track your numbers.  If you know specifically what you accomplished on your last visit to the gym, the idea of returning and beating your previous stats is an exciting and motivating thought.
  7. Get a playlist.  I’ve always found music to be a huge motivation when it comes to exercising.  So find some music that inspires you to get fit!  When you’ve exhausted that playlist, take some time to make a new one.
  8. Address your nutrition.  Remember, exercising is only one part of the equation – Nutrition is equally important!  I’m repeating myself but remember to take some time to figure out what your meals and nutritional content should be.  It’s very rewarding knowing that what you’re eating is helping you accomplish something – rather than just keeping you in existence.
  9. Address your sleep.  If you’re not well rested you quite simply won’t have the energy to workout, furthermore (as I’ve previously mentioned) your metabolism is negatively effected meaning you’ll put on weight easier (hardly a desirable side effect!).  SO, Shoot for 7 – 8 hours sleep a night.
  10. Stop blaming everything and everyone.  It’s easy to blame your bad habits on other people or other things but in all likelihood the main barrier is yourself.  You are the only one capable of changing this – so do it!

Good luck everyone!