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How to Muster Up Motivation to Exercise Daily

Updated on March 19, 2013

Whether doing yoga or crossfit; walking or training for a marathon, exercising daily has phenomenal benefits to your health, both mentally and physically.

Professional athletes may be motivated by money, coaches, and fans, but what about those of us whom do not have a trainer or coach keeping us on schedule or that do not have an obligation to others to maintain our athleticism? How do we find the motivation to exercise daily, especially with such busy lifestyles?

Below are ten ways to stay motivated to reach your goal!

  1. Picture yourself healthy! Post a picture of yourself at a happy moment in your life - when you were healthy; a favorite picture in which you just look that good. Post it on the bathroom mirror. Find another picture of someone from a fitness magazine or website (like Jilian Michaels or Bob Harper). Make sure that it is not a supermodel; it must be someone healthy and physically fit, not just thin. Post that picture in your closet, on your dresser, or on your nightstand - somewhere that you may not look multiple times a day, but maybe once or twice. This picture is just a reminder, like a ribbon on your finger. Picturing yourself healthy - thinking healthy - will help to change your mindset, and -as a result- help keep you motivated. Keep that end goal in mind, and within reach!
  2. Encourage yourself! If you have a treadmill or exercise room in the house, buy a corkboard and put it directly in front of where you exercise. On that corkboard, write yourself notes, like "You can do it!" or "It comes down to a simple question: 'What do you want in life, and what are you willing to do to get it?" Make the words on the notes big enough so that you can read them, and do just that: read them. Put some notes on your desk at work, in your wallet, and on the visor in your car. Post some "I love you's" to yourself anywhere and everywhere that you can. Have your children, friends, coworkers, family members, and/or spouse write you encouraging notes. Do the same thing with those; display them proudly and somewhere for you to read many times throughout the day.
  3. Be true to yourself. Know what you can do. If you had knee surgery last year, Romanian dead lifts will probably not be included in your workout. Do not push yourself beyond your physical means. With that said, push yourself, yes. Just make sure to work out safely. If you hurt yourself - even slightly - you will be less likely to continue your workout routine. With that said, make sure to stretch!
  4. Keep it simple; be realistic. If you have not run in years, expecting to cross the finish line of a marathon in just a few weeks is not realistic. Create simple, small goals, like "exercising every day". Try not to put too much pressure on yourself by being detailed, like "running 4 miles every day after doing 30 minutes of yoga". Yes, that is a great goal, but you are more likely to stick to something if it does not sound overwhelming, and if you are actually able to accomplish it! Keep it simple and within your immediate reach!
  5. Make it fun! If you hate running because you find it boring, change your scenery. Go to the beach or a park. Change your playlist, or add one if you normally run without music. If you tire easily, change your pace. Try running for a few minutes, and then walking for a couple of minutes. I find it fun to change my pace according to the music that I am listening to. If the song/beat picks up, so do I! Watch television or read a book or magazine while you are on the elliptical or lifting weights. Getting your mind off of the clock will usually help you to exercise longer, and to not dread the work out. If you ran yesterday, do yoga or pilates today. Change it up; keep it interesting!
  6. Challenge yourself. If you did wall sits for one minute yesterday, do it for ninety seconds today. Up the ante to keep yourself motivated and your head in the game. If you lose that desire or creativity to challenge yourself, ask your children, spouse, or friends to create small challenges for you. Have them write down challenges on a piece of paper. Cut each challenge out, fold it, and place it in a shoebox. Every morning, pick one out, and do it! Challenge yourself to various exercise workouts - you have no one to answer to but yourself!
  7. End the excuses. We all have done it... "I'm too tired to go for a run," or "I will work out extra tomorrow instead." One excuse is all that it takes to break your routine and motivation. End the excuses once and for all! Hold yourself accountable, and repeat steps one and two. Love yourself, keep the goal in mind, and change your mindset! Challenge yourself in that if you use an excuse, do twenty push-ups or lunges. Mark any missed work outs on your calendar. That way, you do not forget that you put yourself a day behind in reaching your goal. It will be something that you see daily, as a reminder that you are the only person that can reach your goal!
  8. Partner up! Grab a buddy. Having someone to work out with will help keep you entertained, will push the both of you, and will keep you accountable. Make a pact to be supportive and encouraging, and to keep each other honest. Make concrete exercise plans. Work out together, whether at the gym, walking around the office, or at home. Take the kids for walks together, play a sport in a league, or try zumba classes. Doing things together that require partners will add extra incentive to keep going day after day. How can you play racquetball or tennis without a partner?
  9. Get your doctor involved. During your routine examination, ask the doctor to give you the full rundown on your health. How are your cholesterol and blood pressure? How about your weight? Ask your doctor to give you a few health goals, such as lowering your cholesterol or consuming more potassium (no, this may not directly motivate you to exercise, but eating healthy translates into being healthy). Keep your test scores (from blood tests and such) handy, and refer to it every few days. Having the cold, hard truth is sometimes motivation in itself.
  10. Set your alarm! Put a daily reminder in your phone and on your calendar. Remind yourself to exercise every way that you possibly can. Make it somewhat annoying and obvious. It will take effort to ignore the alarm/reminder, which will you make you think about exercising. If you are exercising early in the morning, set an alarm to go off a few minutes before you really want to; give yourself a chance to recover from hitting "snooze".

Finding motivation is not difficult, but staying motivated is. Try not to get caught up in a monotonous relationship with exercising. Remain challenged, excited, and refreshed! Do not hesitate to try new activities and sports. Most all of, be kind to yourself, and patient. Do not give up and do not punish yourself if you miss a workout. You can start your day over at any time! Be the best version of you!

Good luck!


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    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I appreciate your feedback and am pleased that you found the hub useful and easy to relate to.

      Thank you once again for your comment! :)

    • Ebonny profile image

      Ebonny 4 years ago from UK

      I like the idea of having varied challenges to keep things interesting. Many great ideas here. Thanks for sharing.

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Okay! :) Thank you for your comment. I look forward to you publishing your first hub! Welcome to HP.

    • profile image

      zombiefilm 5 years ago

      I know the excuses. What helps me is making sure that i do something regularly. If i learned to do something everymornig, it becomes habbit i don´t ask myself:"Do i want to do it?" but instead i just do it.

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA


      Thank you so much for your comment! I really appreciate it, and hope that you are doing well!

    • Born2care2001 profile image

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 5 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Veronica!

      Fabulous tips! I particularly like 1,2 5, & 8. Even and sometimes especially ex-athletes who have had the trainers etc, need what you suggest here.

      In order for life to "be" good, one has to "be" healthy. My clients will hear these suggestions all the time. You nailed this one!

      Have a great day!


    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Thank you, Vellur! =]

      Vegas, that's a very good and healthy approach to exercising. Not overwhelming yourself and your schedule is so important. Thank you for your comment & for stopping by.

    • Vegas Elias profile image

      Vegas Elias 5 years ago from Mumbai

      As far as exercise is concerned I like to be realistic in setting my goals. I try to exercise just for 15 minutes to half an hour daily. This has helped me a lot.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      We all need the motivation to exercise, your hub is one sure motivation indeed.Voted up.

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Thanks for stopping by, Onlooker!!! =D Good luck!!

    • profile image

      onlooker 5 years ago

      Arrrghh, I so need the motivation. I should try these tips. Thanks!

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      FordeAhern - I'm sorry to hear of your injury, but hope that you're back to yourself soon! Best of luck to you! That's great that your hubby is getting involved! =] Thank you very much for your comment and votes!

      Steph - It is difficult, yes, especially us busy moms! =] Thank you for stopping by and for your comment!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Its hard to get and keep motivation to exercise daily (or even 3-4 times a week). Lots of excellent tips here!

    • FordeAhern profile image

      FordeAhern 5 years ago from Broadford, Co. Limerick. ireland

      I got loads of ideas from reading your hub and I am going to get my hubby to set me the goals from Monday on. Thanks again


    • FordeAhern profile image

      FordeAhern 5 years ago from Broadford, Co. Limerick. ireland

      Congratulations you are after motivating me and I really need it.I have stopped exercising as I was injured so loads of weight has gone on and I have to get started. Voted up useful and going to bookmark it so to read it again and again.Loved your writing skills

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Natashalh - Thank you for your comment and votes! I agree that we do need rest. Allowing muscles to rest is vital for increasing endurance. Very good point! =]

      Vinaya - Great idea! Encouraging yourself is important for all aspects of life. I hope that you're doing well! Thanks for stopping by!

      urmilashukla23 - Hi there, friend! Thank you so much for your comment and votes! You, too! =]

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Great ideas! Thanks for posting it. Bookmarked and voted up! God bless you!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      Wonderful motivational ideas. By the way when I'm feeling low, I look at the mirror and think myself very important person. This really helps me.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Sometimes it makes me feel like a slacker, but I thinking that giving yourself a break when you really need it is important. Don't use it as an excuse every day, but if your knee hurts giving it a rest is better than going running that day. I think that fits well into your tip #3. I also agree that stretching is very, very important. I seems like a bother that doesn't do much, but it matters a lot and you will be able to tell if you don't warm up and cool down. Awesome and up!

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Its true! I've been guilty of it myself. Trying to compete w/ how I was 10 years ago doesn't quite work out! lol Thank you for your comment & compliment! =]

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 5 years ago from Neverland

      I love the idea to keep it simple and be realistic. Too many people start out motivated to get fit, push themselves too hard at first, then never exercise again because it was a miserable experience! Great Hub Veronica :)