Motivation to exercise?

I'm an incredibly lazy person, like, really really lazy and I usually dread working out and find an excuse not to do it. How do you find the motivation? What do you tell yourself when you don't feel like working out? Any tips?


  • CipherZero
    CipherZero Posts: 1,418 Member
    How do you find the motivation? What do you tell yourself when you don't feel like working out? Any tips?

    Nike advice: Just do it.
    My weekday miles are part of my schedule. There's no motivation required because when I leave work, it's time to walk.
    Same deal with my weight lifting. It's 7:00PM, my *kitten* has to be in the gym.
  • caitconquersweight
    caitconquersweight Posts: 316 Member
    You really wanna know? Other than feeling so guilty and ****ty if I don't do it...

    I want to have more leeway in the calories that I can eat >_> I almost never eat them back, but I like seeing them there.
  • CyberEd312
    CyberEd312 Posts: 3,536 Member
    How do you find the motivation? What do you tell yourself when you don't feel like working out? Any tips?

    Nike advice: Just do it.
    My weekday miles are part of my schedule. There's no motivation required because when I leave work, it's time to walk.
    Same deal with my weight lifting. It's 7:00PM, my *kitten* has to be in the gym.

    This.... If you want it bad enough you stop making excuses and just do it.....
  • jadetigereyes
    jadetigereyes Posts: 44 Member
    I try to get over the hurdle of talking myself out of going to the gym by being prepared:

    - Making sure my gym bag is right by the door / in my car.
    - Scheduling an hour or two in my calendar just for my workout.
    - Ensuring that I have a few good gym buddies to get me into gear when I'm feeling the desire to just go home and do nothing.

    It is hard to get motivated, but if you want to reach your goals enough, you'll figure out a way to get moving.

    Good luck!
  • Write out your goals (be specific), and the steps you are going to take to achieve them. Make a game plan whether it's day by day, week, etc. If you go don't have clear focus you're going to be more likely to give up.

    For instance I keep using my fear of workout machines to prevent me from working out at the gym. I have booked an orientation for Saturday to overcome that and in the mean time I have commited to 15-20 minute workouts at home everyday. It's scheduled in because otherwise I will not do it.
  • bwogilvie
    bwogilvie Posts: 2,130 Member
    I do workouts I enjoy. I love cycling outdoors, and I tolerate cycling indoors in the winter because it gives me the endurance to do long rides once temperatures get over 30 and there's no longer any ice on the roads. I like running, and now that I have lost some weight I'm getting back into it.

    On the other hand, I am doing strength training so I don't lose too much muscle while losing weight, and I don't enjoy it. I do a minimum. I think of it as being like flossing: I don't particularly enjoy it, but I know it's good for me, so I do a minimum.

    My suggestion is to find an exercise you like, and do that as your main workout, but do a minimum of weight training and cardio (at least 20 minutes, 3 times a week) for general health.
  • acogg
    acogg Posts: 1,871 Member
    I read the success stories on MFP, put on my workout clothes and then start! I know in my head that I can stop anytime, but there is something about just starting that keeps me going. Putting on special workout clothes helps to remind me that I mean business.
  • 970Mikaela1
    970Mikaela1 Posts: 2,013 Member
    I do it for the peanut butter and the ice cream. And the bacon on the cheeseburger. And the beer.
  • 33Freya
    33Freya Posts: 468 Member
    I used to be the same way. I found getting on a scheduled program helps me. You can find good ones at

    The other thing that sparked my exercise habits is writing down my goals and committing to them. I INSIST on eating a certain way. I INSIST on sticking to my scheduled workouts. To myself and to others. It was rough at first, but now my friends and family have gotten used to it.

    After a while, your Non Scale Victories will keep you going. You'll WANT to work out once it becomes a good habit. So go. Get a scheduled work out. Do it for 12 weeks. Then see how you feel.
  • SrJoben
    SrJoben Posts: 484 Member
    I'm an incredibly lazy person, like, really really lazy and I usually dread working out and find an excuse not to do it. How do you find the motivation? What do you tell yourself when you don't feel like working out? Any tips?

    It's all about the habit.

    Try starting off light. Don't do enough to hate it. Make a commitment to do something really frequent but trivial. Like 10 minutes every day, or every other day.

    It's also all about the progress.

    Try to make some. Seeing positive changes in your strength and capability is huge. It switches your perspective from excercise being something you SHOULD be doing for borderline abstract reasons like 'probably living longer' to something that is making you percieveably more awesome every time you do it. When you see the results it suddenly makes sense and you feel like a fool for not starting earlier.

    The third thing it's all about...

    Once you get set with the first two you may start to notice that you actually LIKE IT.
    Because generally speaking we like doing things that make us feel good.
    And exercise makes us feel good in several ways.

    So how do you get rolling on this? Just do it.

    Willpower won't keep you going forever doing something you hate. But if it's actually important to you then just be an adult and push yourself for a few weeks and see if you find longer term motivations.
  • imjolly
    imjolly Posts: 176 Member
    I do it because it makes me feel so good when I am done. There are days where I don't want to go and come up with a million excuses (too tired, it's too late, etc...) but at the end of the day I know what I have to do to lose weight, be fit and feel good about my body. I NEVER regret working out but I ALWAYS regret not. Plus, I do enjoy eating and I have to work out to eat more. : )

    The friends I have on MFP are all motivated and work out regularly and that encourages me to work out.

    Your not lazy, You can do it, so just keep telling yourself that exercise is just a part of your day just like eating.
  • cassylee
    cassylee Posts: 107 Member
    Start with turning off the Television, putting your shoes on, walk to the front door and then go outside for a 30 minutes stroll around your area.
    The next day - repeat.
    And then continue each day. Pretty soon, you will start to like walking and you will start feeling good and looking forward to walking. This enjoyment will lead to walking faster and finding more enjoyable activities that move your body.

    Proverb - " There is no ladder to climb; there is only the first step, and the first step is the everlasting step"
  • happysummerrunner
    happysummerrunner Posts: 66 Member
    After awhile cardio feels good. Endorphins - yay! I love cardio! I didn't like it at first but I don't know - it gets better as you become more fit. Good workout music helps too. When I do cardio and have good music I feel like I can just think and relax. Weights are harder for me- I motivate myself by progress, keeping track of how much I'm lifting and adding more weights.
  • VelveteenArabian
    VelveteenArabian Posts: 758 Member
    Find an activity you enjoy. You'll be more likely to stick with it.
  • kickivale
    kickivale Posts: 260 Member
    Most people when asked what they want, they say they want to be happy.
    The workouts will bring you happiness. The chemicals your brain will release will make sure of it :)

    In that moment you sit there thinking about going just say I Want To Be Happy.
    Then get up.

    Tell us about it in two weeks :bigsmile:
  • aquarabbit
    aquarabbit Posts: 1,622 Member
    The things that I've found that works for me:

    1. I find exercise programs I really enjoy
    2. I have a motivational quotes in my workout area
    3. Just give the workout 5 minutes. Usually if I can get started, I finish
    4. I found a really yummy protein powder that I use for after workouts shakes that I LOVE and is my "treat" after my sessions
    5. I hang my workout clothes on the bathroom doorknob so I will put them on first thing
    6. I pre-log my workouts so that I feel obligated to finish them

    Now it's just habit, but those things really helped to get me into those good habits. It's all about making it work for you. Remember that the first step is the hardest, but once you've got the ball rolling, it's much easier.
  • dangerousdumpling
    dangerousdumpling Posts: 1,109 Member
    Two things: a better butt and more food. I want both.
  • rudarbe
    rudarbe Posts: 164 Member
    Do you strength train? Easy. Drink pre workout, because you WILL feel the rush.


    Do you just do cardio?
    If yes, then the advice I can give you is to just put your workout clothes on. Do it first thing in the morning. I always tell myself, "It's not going to be a good day if I don't exercise." Just do it, stop making excuses. Ask yourself, "Do I really want this" If yes, then get up and go. If not then.... you know..
  • bd0027
    bd0027 Posts: 1,053 Member
    I picture myself in a two-piece on a beach this summer and I'm ready to workout.
    I also think about all of the food that I need to work off.
    I think about how awesome it'll be to get hit on more often.
    I mostly think about how badly I want this and how tired I am of giving up though.

    Those things work for me. (:
  • BoxerBrawler
    BoxerBrawler Posts: 2,032 Member
    I have to say that aside from my body just tanking for a rest day I never miss a work out. However, sometimes I do have to make myself get it done. It's a mind thing and I've come up with all of the reasons why I should just skip a work out. Just yesterday I almost skipped my Bootcamp / boxing session because I just didn't feel like it... I was tired and totally worked out too much the day before. But I knew if I skipped it I would feel guilty after, I'd have to severely restrict my calories for the rest of the night. I also knew that once I got there it wouldn't feel so bad and I knew that if I did actually motivte myself to do it when I didn't want too, I would feel extra good afterwards for sucking it up and persevering.

    Still, I really didn’t want to. Despite all the facts I’d come up with, my emotions were ruling and I was about to talk myself out of doing it.

    Then one quick idea popped into my head and I acted on it — just get dressed.

    What I mean is, if I took one minute to put on my workout gear then I'd have to go work out right? I mean I took the time to get dressed and get ready and it's not like I'm going to just lay around or bother to change again. Guess what. It worked. I did it. And you know what? It was an awesome workout, and I felt great about myself for persevering afterwards.

    It felt good to suck it up.

    This was one small victory of me feeling like a workout warrior, and it will serve as a reminder the next time I really don’t want to — positive reinforcement at its most basic.

    The lesson here is that, even if you do develop a passion for exercise, it doesn’t always work and sometimes you have to suck it up and do something you don’t feel like doing. The reason why is that not following through can become a habit. And then your bad habit of ditching exercise eventually ends up replacing that hard-developed good habit of being a regular exerciser.

    I’m not saying you should never skip a workout. I’ve skipped plenty in my day. But when you’re thinking about bailing on exercise, take a few minutes and really think about it. Don’t just automatically crap out, but instead give yourself every chance to follow through. You can even try to trick yourself into doing it like I did with getting changed.

    Another good rule to remember is... The moment you don't feel like working out is the most important time to go and do it. That is usually when breakthroughs happen.

    In light of the Olympics I have also been thinking about these athletes whose entire life, day in and day out, 24/7 is about training and exercise and proper nutrition, etc. For them it's a full time job and they don't have the luxury of bailing out just because they don't feel like it... and look at their results. If that isn't motivation I don't know what is!

    If all that fails and you still decide not to workout, then don’t beat yourself up about it.

    I hope this helps :smile: