10 Exercise Motivation Tips

Learn how to get motivated to exercise when you don’t feel like working out, and 10 tips to get you in a fitness mood.

Ben Greenfield
3-minute read
Episode #41


  • Make a Plan. Even if you can’t afford a personal trainer, one of the best ways to motivate yourself is to know what kind of workout you’re going to do, so that when you roll out of bed each morning, you’ve planned for exercise in your daily schedule. You can get plans from books, magazines and websites. Some are free, but the better plans typically cost a small amount--though still far less than the investment in a coach or trainer. Here’s a link to some weight loss, training and nutrition plans that I’ve created!

  • Keep a Log. By creating your planned workouts, then filling in a quick description of how you did, or even simply “checking off” the workout as completed, you harness the power of the pen to keep you motivated to exercise. Motivation experts around the world have known for a long time that a key component of achieving any goal is to write it down!

  • Take Pictures. You’ve already learned to collect pictures of the body that you want to achieve, but you also need to take pictures of yourself, especially if your goal is aesthetic, such as shedding fat or adding muscle. Try to take front and side pictures each week, with the same background and lighting. You’ll be able to easily see results and use them to motivate yourself!

  • The Scale. Yes, the dreaded scale can be a good exercise motivation tool, as can body fat measurements, time-over-distance trials for riding a bike or running, or finding out how much you can bench press or squat. These are all examples of quantitative measurements, and though a photo can show you the quality of your progress, it takes some type of scale or number-based record keeping to show the quantity of your progress. And progress is motivating.

  • Self-Talk. Never underestimate the importance of talking yourself up. From a simple self-motivating sentence such as “I can do this!” to an all-out furious and angry speech to yourself to keep you from skipping your trip to the gym on the drive home from work, the simple act of voicing your workout goals, your workout reasons, and the weakness of your workout excuses can get you to actually workout!

  • Do you have other ways that you motivate yourself to exercise? Share them with others at the Get-Fit Guy Facebook page.

    Workout image courtesy of Shutterstock


    All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

    About the Author

    Ben Greenfield

    Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.