(can also be viewed with graphics at https://isolatorfitness.com/blog/)

The hardest part about starting a new fitness regimen is finding motivation to continue, especially in the beginning. Once you start seeing, or at the very least feeling, results your motivation tends to naturally increase. But in the beginning it is hard. You’re most likely doing something you’ve never done before and it’s very possible that often times before and during a workout you question yourself about why you decided to ‘get fit’ anyway. In those times it is crucial that you have fitness motivation to keep you going, and help you to reach your goals and aspirations of greatness.

Motivational Cliches

When you feel like quitting, think about why you started
Run the day, don’t let the day run you
Fall down seven times, get up eight
A bad workout is better than no workout
The question isn’t can you?, it’s will you?
If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you
Suck it up now, so you don’t have to suck it in later
Don’t wish for it, work for it

While some people only need a few motivational quotes thrown into their face when things get tough, many need substantial guidance and physical support to encourage them to push harder, and train longer. For those people a cliche fitness motivation poster just isn’t going to cut it. They’ll be better off trying out some of these tangible solutions for staying motivated before and during their workouts, until they begin to see steady results.

Real Fitness Motivation

Get A New Perspective
Stop thinking of yourself as a busy person, or a stressed out parent, or an overworked professional, instead wake up an athlete ready to train. When your perception of yourself is altered it alters the way you behave.

Set Goals
Goals will give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning on those days when all you want to do is bury deeper into the covers. They will fight against your excuses for you and make you want to workout harder, faster, better, and longer.

Schedule Your Workouts
Plan to succeed, or expect to fail. If you don’t schedule your workouts it is as if you are telling your body and mind that they aren’t important enough to commit your time to, and can be pushed aside for ‘more important’ things.

Switch Up Your Routine
If you’ve found that you’re lacking fitness motivation because you’re bored with your routine, don’t quit working out, just switch up your routine. Try to keep you schedule and work out during the same time of day, but change the actually exercises that you’re focused on. This will also help your body to avoid the ever frustrating ‘plateau’ effect.

Mark The Calendar
If you skip a workout mark a large red X on your calendar over that day as a visual deterrent from doing it again. You can also put a giant green check mark over the days that you did exercise as a visual reward.

Make A Bet & Sign A Contract
Putting money on the line is one of the best overall motivators. Make a monetary bet with friends that you’ll pay up if you don’t work out. This works best if they also put money in if they don’t work out, at the end of a specified time determine a winner based on who has the most clocked workout hours, or who is closest to their goal. Determine how the winner will be chosen in the contract, so that there is no confusion at the end.

Reward Yourself
Decide how you want to reward yourself, whether it’s with new workout gear, new electronics to assist in your workouts, or a trip to the spa to rejuvenate your muscles. When you hit your goal go ahead and reward yourself. Don’t make yourself wait to cross the finish line before you get a treat.

If you’d like to get back into the shape you once were find old pictures of yourself in that physical condition and scatter them around your home and office to remind yourself of what you once were and could once again become. If you have never been in the kind of shape you’d like to eventually accomplish, follow instagram accounts of people who have the body type that you’re working for. Examples: @kathrynbudig @camille4wildcat @blogilates @FleshmanFlyer

Be Social
Make your workouts a social event. Not only will you be more motivated to work harder when you see your friends working hard, but you can also look forward to some quality time together every day of the week. Let gym time with your friends overtake happy hour with your friends, and you’ll all be a lot healthier and happier.

Make It Fun
If you’re good at a specific sport, or have an active hobby that you enjoy, go ahead and sign up for a season of games or a couple sessions worth of the activity. Having something fun to train for will make working out feel more important, and having a fun hobby or sport to play will make it feel like sneaking away for a fun treat.

Have A Contingency Plan
Some days are going to be a chore to get to the gym, and some days you won’t succeed at all, but on those days it is especially important that you have a contingency plan. Have weights or a workout DVD at home that you can use instead so that you still get up and get moving. Never miss a day again.

Refresh Your Playlist
Gaining more fitness motivation is sometimes as easy as changing up your ipod playlist. Just like your body can get into a rut when you’re working out the same muscles in the same way, your mind can also fall into a run when it’s listening to the same thing over and over again. If your mind becomes bored with what you’re doing, it might just be strong enough to stop your body from continuing.

Get A Membership or Personal Trainer
The more money that you have invested into your fitness the more motivated you will be to start and continue each workout so that you don’t feel like you’re wasting your hard earned money. Know how much each training session is costing you so that you know just how much money you are losing every single time you decide not to go.

Challenge Yourself
While you’re running challenge yourself to go for 5 more minutes or one more mile. If you’re lifting, challenge yourself with one more set, or 5 more reps. With each challenge that you complete know that you are becoming stronger both physically and mentally. Push beyond the barriers that you set up yourself.

Listen To An Audiobook
Pick a book that you’re interested in reading and buy an audiobook version of it instead. Only allow yourself to listen to it when you are working out. The more interested you become in the plotline of the story, the more likely you will be to continue to push yourself daily to work out, so that you can find out what’s happening next. When the book is over simply pick another book to listen to.

Take Pictures
The chances of you noticing the physical changes happening to your body on a daily basis is very slim. This is because you see yourself everyday and the changes happening are occurring little by little. Take a picture of yourself in the same outfit (Men wear your shorts & Ladies wear your shorts and sports bra) once per week so that when you’re doubting your progress you’ll have photographic proof that you’re body is changing.

Author's Bio: 

Lexi Cahill is a Penn State University graduate with a degree in Mass Communications & Media Studies. She is a humanitarian who is enthusiastic about giving back to her local and global community through both monetary donations and community service. She has sponsored a child from Ethiopia through Compassion and volunteered locally at both the Lititz Community Recreational Center (where she was a summer camp counselor for children), and the Lititz Moravian Manor (where she provided companionship to the Alzheimer's patients). Her dedication to helping improve the lives of others is what drives her. She has turned her passions for writing and humanity into a career with Isolator Fitness where she shares her knowledge of nutrition, fitness, and general health through articles published on their website. All of Lexi’s articles can also be viewed at the blog (https://isolatorfitness.com/blog/)