Getting Started and Staying Motivated

For most of us, our lives are hectic with jobs and families and the idea of adding a workout routine on top of it seems daunting. Perhaps you have never worked out consistently, or it has been a while since you last hit the gym. Either way, there are some established tips that you can use to get started and stay motivated.

First thing is first, you have to get started. As mentioned many times on this website, the time to start a new workout routine is now. Not on Monday, not next month, now. For people who have been away from a fitness regimen for a while or are new to working out all together, the beginning is the hardest. The sooner you start the better. The beginning is often the most exciting, so use that excitement to get in and get going.

Set Goals

The famous motivational speaker, Zig Zigler, once said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” This is true in life, and especially in fitness.

What are you trying to accomplish by working out? Once you have an understanding of what you want to achieve, you will be able to build a plan that will help you get there. Too often people show up at the gym, jump on anything that is open, and go until they feel a bit tired. While that is better than doing nothing, you are not going to get the results you want in the long run.

Small or incremental goals are important too. You may start with wanting to lose 30 pounds, but you can also have a goal of losing a specific amount of weight per week until you reach your overall goal. This keeps you motivated throughout the process and prevents you from quitting.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Be Realistic

Every guy wants to look like Brad Pitt from the movie Troy, and women want to look like Jennifer Aniston in just about every movie, but you have to be realistic. If you have the time and dedication required to get there, then by all means, make that your goal. But if you can only dedicated three days a week and 40 minutes a day, you probably won’t get to the level of the guys from the movie 300.

This is not meant to discourage, in fact, it is designed to do the opposite. The last thing you want to do is feel upset even when you are making great gains, just because you set your expectations too high.

It is also important to be realistic when first determining the amount of time you can dedicate to working out. Not everyone can devote three hours a day, 6 days a week to a workout regimen.  If you start high and fall short, you can become discouraged. Make sure when first starting out that you set a reasonable timeframe to devote towards working out that will allow you to reach your goals. As you learn how to fit it into your daily routine, add more if you can.

Get a Trainer

This is optional, but highly recommended. A trainer does more than just motivate you when working on a hard set; they actually manage your fitness. They help you determine your goals and develop a workout plan that will get you there in the most efficient way. They also force you to be realistic because they know what you can and cannot do in the beginning.

One of the most important things a trainer does is hold you accountable. It is easy to shrug off the gym when someone at work invites you to a happy hour, or the 5:00am alarm seems just a little too early. But when you have someone is committed to you, it is much harder to blow it off.


About the Author: Eric Stauffer is a husband, father and author who has made working out a priority in his busy life. He is currently training for fifth first marathon and works out five days a week. You can find his writing handy work over at