5 Ways To Motivate Yourself To Exercise When You’re Just Not Feeling It

As much as I enjoy exercising, there are times when it’s challenging for me to get motivated enough to get it done.

Especially after a long day, during vacation, or even Friday afternoons.

I know exercise is good for me and I love the way I feel afterwards, yet I still struggle with getting motivated to exercise sometimes.


I use to get annoyed and aggravated by this but realized that wasn’t doing me any good or making things any better.

What I needed, was a way to get motivated when I wasn’t so motivated.


Getting Motivated

Everyone has their own way of getting motivated.

Whether it’s getting motivated to exercise, work, deliver a speech, take a cold shower, or jump out of a plane – we all motivate ourselves differently.

There isn’t a right or wrong way to get motivated to exercise.

Whatever gets you exercising is the right way.

If whatever you’re doing is working, keep doing it.

If you don’t know what to do to motivate yourself enough to exercise when you’re just not feeling it (as was the case for me), here are 5 suggestions that helped me and will help you too.


1) Focus On The Big Picture

Why do you exercising or feel like you have to anyways?

After all, you don’t have to exercise if you don’t want to.

Focus on why you exercise and why you’ve made it part of your routine.

Is it for more energy, more confidence, to reduce stress and anxiety, to be a healthy role model for others such as your children?

For me, it’s that I want to feel and be at my best so that I have the energy to create more, do more, and experience more.

Happiness comes with being healthy. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

Whatever your reason for exercising is, focus your attention on that during times of motivational struggle.

Unless your “why’s” for exercising no longer apply, you’ll have all the motivation you need from this one step alone.


2) The Power Of Movement

The fastest way to change your psychology is to change your physiology.

This one step alone has helped me tremendously to become motivated when I’m not feeling it, especially in the morning hours when it’s early and I don’t want to get out of bed to exercise.

Sitting up in bed and then getting up and walking to the kitchen to have a glass of water instead of hitting snooze and continue laying in bed has been a game changer for me.

Movement, just getting up and moving around, even if I’m still not feeling it and have no desire to exercise, 9 times out of 10, I end up exercising.

Entrepreneur and New York Times best selling author Michael Hyatt, recently wrote “If you want to change your emotional state, often all that is necessary is for you to change your physiology.”


3) Get Inspired

Book, songs, videos, and stories of success, of greatness, and achievement all inspire me.

Who and what inspires you?

Is there a song that gets you fired up every time you hear it? How about a video?

This motivational video inspires me and gets me all fired up every time I listen to it.

If it’s late in the evening and I have no motivation to go for a run or head to the gym for a workout, 5 minutes of listening to this video is all it takes to get me in my gym clothes and out the door.

Find what inspires you and during times of motivational struggle, listen, watch, or read whatever it is that gets your fired up.


4) Scale Back

There are some mornings when I want to exercise but my body is on a completely different page.

Instead of deciding that I’m just too sore or too tired to exercise, either because of a tough workout the day before or going to bed super late, I decide to do half of what I had planned to do versus not doing anything at all.

More often than not, once I get going I end up completing all of the exercises.

If you’re scheduled to run 10 miles and you just aren’t feeling it, scale it back to 5 miles instead of not going at all.

If you’re not feeling the full hour of strength training you usually do, scale it back to just 30 minutes instead of not going at all.

If you don’t feel like heading to the gym, you can get your exercises done at home.

Here’s an quick and effective exercise routine you can do anywhere.

When you’re not feeling motivated to exercise, scale it back and commit to doing some exercise.

Some exercise is always better than no exercise.


5) Reward Yourself

This is definitely my favorite of the 5 – I mean seriously, who doesn’t like rewards?

My favorite recurring reward I give myself for exercising is sharing a glass of wine along with some delicious cheese with my girlfriend Kristen.

If however I don’t exercise for whatever reason, my reward (the wine and cheese is out.

Always reward yourself for your successes, especially the days you just aren’t feeling the exercising but still manage to get it done.


Decide To Be Motivated

If you really think about, motivation is a matter of choice.

These 5 suggestions I’ve provided you with here only work if you do.

If you decide to not use any of these suggestions or give any more thought or effort to how you can motivate yourself to exercise when you’re not motivated, then you’re decision is made.

You’ve chosen not to be motivated.

If you decide to use one or all of these suggestions to help motivate yourself to exercise when you’re just not feeling it, then you’ve made a different decision.

You’ve chosen to be motivated.


Motivation Is A Choice

Choose and commit to being motivated and you will be.

Get annoyed, aggravated and do nothing about it (as I first did), and you won’t be.

Nothing changes unless we do.

The next time you don’t feel like exercising, make the decision to be motivated.

Because when you do that, you immediately begin to explore and think of different ways to motivate yourself to get it done – whether you realize it or not.

We could easily chalk up not being motivated to exercise on any given to to just needing a day off.

We all need a day off here and there, I know I do.

The biggest risk we face with allowing for days off “here and there” is that “here and there” begins to happen more often.


“Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement, repeated every day.”

Jim Rohn


I hope what I’ve provided you with here helps to motivate you to exercise when you just aren’t motivated to get it done.

We’ve all been there and chances are, we’ll be there again – and that’s OK.

Because when are, we’ll be ready!




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