6 Motivation techniques to get you back in a workout habit

Friends exercising together

When the temperatures drop and snowflakes begin to fall, it’s difficult enough to drag yourself to the office, let alone the gym. If you’ve let your workout routine wane a bit this winter, you’re not alone. That doesn’t mean you have to wait until spring to get back in the swing of things, though. Try any of these six techniques to get yourself back into a consistent gym routine.

  1. Take your plan public. It’s easy to bail on your fitness regimen when you’re the only person who knows about it. When you feel accountable to family, friends, or your social media followers, however, you might be a bit more motivated to get your butt to the gym. One of the first steps in getting back into exercise is letting others know your intention—their encouragement might be all the motivation you need.
  2. Enlist a workout sidekick. Maybe telling everyone you know about your new workout goals is too overwhelming. Instead, call on a friend to join you in your new fitness habits. It can be someone who’s already a devoted gym-goer, who won’t let you off the hook even on the coldest days, or a friend who struggles with gym commitment, too. Whether you need someone to push you or someone who will commiserate with you at spin class, a workout buddy may be the perfect solution.
  3. Set a schedule. To get into a good routine, you first need to set a routine. That requires laying down some concrete guidelines. Try choosing three fitness classes each week and committing to them—sign up in advance and don’t let yourself cancel. If more flexibility is required, dedicate two afternoons a week to the gym, regardless of which afternoons they are. The most important thing is to create a schedule that works for you and hold yourself accountable.
  4. Start small. When you’ve been out of the exercise game for a while, it’s natural to want to dive back into fitness with a vengeance. Fight this urge. If you overdo it right out of the gate, you risk hurting yourself or burning out. Then you might end up back on the couch indefinitely. Instead, begin with short, easy fitness routines and work your way back up to the more intense exercise gradually.
  5. Keep it interesting. Another way to self-sabotage is to do the same old routine day in and day out, boring your mind and your muscles. Instead, make your workout new every day. Incorporate elements of flexibility, cardio, and strength-training to keep things interesting and keep both your brain and body engaged at the gym.
  6. Reach for realistic goals. If you’re not sure exactly what you’re working toward, in terms of health and fitness, you’ll never feel like you’re getting anywhere in the gym. So set concrete and attainable goals. You may want to avoid a weight loss goal, since weight isn’t always the best measure of health. Challenge yourself to bench-press a certain weight, make it to yoga more than two times per week for a month, or get up to two miles on the treadmill.

With these motivation tips in mind, you should have no trouble easing back into a workout routine, evenafter a few months out of the game.

Here’s Exactly How To Ease Back Into Working Out [Self]

9 Simple Ways to Start Exercising Again After a Break [Women’s Running]

How to Get Out of a Workout Rut [PopSugar Fitness]