13 great tips for exercise motivation 

I have searched high and low for tips about exercise motivation. I have compiled the best of them in a list which may be helpful to you. I thought I had heard of all the tricks, but there are, in fact, several new things under the sun. 

1. My favorite psychologist Dr. Kelly McGonigal of Stanford states you must find " natural motivation". You cannot exercise because someone else wants you to. You have to have a genuine personal reason to act. Find it and articulate it to yourself. You must be able to refer back to it without ambiguity whenever you experience doubt. Make a list of your positive and negative motivations. 

2. This one rang true, but seemed counterintuitive: Accept your present state. A closely related piece of advice is: Don't be too hard on yourself. 

3. Only by having a clear idea of where you are at in the beginning can you set realistic goals and make a sustainable start. Set the bar low and start small . Don't overdo it. Value initiation over endurance. Once starts are established, finishes are near automatic.  

4.  Avoid perfectionism; don't get caught up in an all or nothing mindset. 

5. Think like an athlete.  Read success stories. Imagine the obstacle then imagine the solution. This is called a visualization. 

6. Schedule a regular workout time. If it cannot be the same time every day that is fine. Schedule it like a professional meeting and treat it with equal respect. Make it as convenient as possible. 

7.  Invest in likable workout clothes - This is way of remove barriers to working out, having to do with how you present yourself. It is way of bringing confidence, energy and investment to the workout.  Don’t put away your gear.  Reason they provide visual cues. 

8. Understand how habits work. Design a " habit loop" containing a cue, a routine and a reward. Build a habit using shorter daily workouts rather than longer less frequent workouts. Develop a pre workout routine to mentally and physically prepare and commit. Make it simple, e.g. layout workout clothes, fill water bottle, dress, and stretch. Do the same thing every time. 

9.Create accountability and support with a workout buddy, personal trainer, a gym community or an online community. Even a commitment contract or journal could work. Quantify and track your progress

10. Make exercise fun wherever possible. Vary your workouts. 

11. Reward yourself for every success, large or small. 

12. Pay attention to how good you feel when you get going and afterwards. 

13. Carry on after setbacks.