Workout Motivation

A few people have asked me how I stay motivated to workout nearly everyday, especially during a time like MCO. To be quite frank, I have trouble with motivation as well. There are days when I don’t feel like working out. I drag my feet, I procrastinate, and I struggle, too. So how do I keep myself going? Well, this is what works for me.

Baby Steps

Just Dance

Doing something is better than nothing. Even if that something is just moving around more. Sit instead of lie, stand instead of sit, move instead of stand.

If I can’t bring myself to complete a hard workout, I play Just Dance on the Nintendo Switch. It might not sound like much, but it brings the heart rate up and gets me sweating. Out of curiosity, I’ve used my Garmin to track the calorie burn and it’s a pretty decent workout.

Find Your Motivational Hour


Being motivated to workout can be tough, but you will find that your motivation peaks and troughs throughout the day. Find your best hours and schedule your workouts during those times.

For me, mornings are the best time to work out. If I push the workout to later in the day, I increases the chances that I won’t be working out. After dinner time, the day is a write off. It is virtually guaranteed that the most I will get done is reverse planking on the couch and bicep curls with chocolate.

The Law of Inertia

Inertia is the tendency of an object to remain at rest or in motion.

Newton’s First Law

Inertia also applies to us. It’s like trying to move a stationary object. To get it moving initially takes more energy, but once it’s in motion, it takes less effort to keep it going.

For me, getting off my behind to work out is the hardest part. Once I start moving, it’s a lot easier to keep going. Being aware of this is helpful because I know that all I need to do is find the energy to get over that initial bump and my momentum will help me get through the rest.

Just One More Day


This applies more to you if you’re just getting back to fitness. It is important to realise that it will take time for the habit of working out regularly to feel automatic.

Researchers from University College London examined the new habits of 96 people over the space of 12 weeks, and found that the average time it takes for a new habit to stick is actually 66 days; furthermore, individual times varied from 18 to a whopping 254 days. 

Science Alert

When you feel like quitting, tell yourself that you will do this for one more day. You will know when it becomes a habit because it feels like something isn’t right when you miss your workout.

There is an added bonus with working out – endorphins. They make you feel good. So even if you don’t feel like working out initially, remember that you will feel a lot better after you do.

Make an Appointment

Fitness Achievers

You’re more likely to stick to your workout if you have it down on your schedule as an appointment. Especially if you have to “meet” someone. For me, I schedule a weekly PT session where I have to meet my trainer on Zoom at an appointed date and time. I know it’s going to be hard, and I dread the thought of the work out, but because I know someone is waiting for me, I “bring” myself to the workout.

The Path of Least Resistance


Working out is hard, but some workouts are more enjoyable than others. You will know your preferences because some workouts, even if they’re challenging, will feel easier to get through. You will be more focused on the workout itself than the time passing on the clock. These are the workouts that require a little less effort to participate in.

Try a variety of workouts and take note of the ones that you enjoy a little more. For instance, if you prefer to cycle rather than to run, then get on that bike! There are plenty of different ways to work out and you don’t have to take the same path every time. If the routine is getting monotonous, then change it up. We’re more likely to stick to a habit if it’s fun.

Follow the People Who Inspire You


We’re social beings by nature. Even the introverts need to connect with others. I should know because I am one. While my natural instinct is to hide in my cave rather than go out, I have noticed that time spent with people who matter to me makes me feel good.

What motivates us is meaningful connection. Find your team of workout buddies who will help keep you accountable. This was probably one of the hardest parts when working out during MCO because we were separated from each other. Joining a zoom class or a live workout that your buddies are also attending can help.

Last but not least, if there is a certain instructor who inspires you, then take that class!

I hope that helps.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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