motivation for exercise
Ambassadors share their favorite motivational tools

We all have those days when mustering the motivation to get to the gym or to hit the street for a jog just seems like too much work. This is fine if you’re sick or if it’s a legitimate rest day… but what about those days when you just don’t want to? Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to motivation, so we turned to our amazing Girls Gone Sporty Ambassadors to see what they had to say about finding motivation on the tough days — be sure to check out their blogs to learn more!

Alarm yourself

No, you don’t need to scare yourself into working out (although maybe there’s some merit there, too)… but you could set an alarm or two to get you up and at ‘em like these clever Ambassadors:

  • “I name my alarm ‘Get up and run!!’ and my back up alarm, ‘Don’t even think about being lazy!!’ I also run with a group so I have a lot of people holding me accountable.” -Holly Johnson
  • “I set an alarm on my phone that says ‘Get out and move! Combat, weights, walk, run, hike, walk with the dogs. Something, just move!'” -Nikki Golio
  • “I set the alarm and put it away from the bed so I have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you’re actually up, it’s easier to get moving” -Darlena Kolpak
  • “I set up my iPhone with alarms that have inspirational messages, so when my alarm goes off there are messages that pop up like, ‘How bad do you freaking want it?’ and ‘You never regret it when you’re done with the workout.’ They tend to help because it’s almost like it’s my inner-self coming out and motivating me!” -Rebekah Reidy
  • “I work at a desk and every day I have a 12:00 and a 12:15 alarm in my Outlook calendar that’s linked to my phone that says, ‘Time to run’ for the first alarm, and “You better be running too fast to read this.’ for the latter alarm.” -Liana Kolodenker

Think positively

Reminding yourself of the benefits of exercise, the reasons you deserve it and how lucky you are to be able to move can really get your fire burning. Check out a few of the ways our Ambassadors think positively and gratefully:

  • “I always just think, ‘I am worth it! I owe it to myself!’ And, I love being able to say, ‘Runners get up before the sun; and, well, I am a runner now!’ As a new runner, that has been my favorite part – actually saying I am a runner!” -Mindy Artze
  • “I love reminding myself of the quote, ‘Strong is the new skinny.'” -Danielle Brown
  • “There was a year and a half where I couldn’t exercise to the best of my ability after surgery, so for me, when I am trying to motivate myself, I think of all those who can’t exercise and I exercise for them. I’ve been there – it’s depressing, it sucks and it’s painful emotionally and mentally… so now, with doctor’s clearance, I put myself in my past’s shoes or all of those who physically can’t do it.” -Rebekah Reidy
  • “I pull out my mom’s tried and true answer for everything: You’ll thank me later for this!” -Sarah Briggs
  • “I always tell myself, ‘You can do this.’ Also, I look at how far I’ve already come and ask myself, ‘What do I want more? A few minutes rest or a fit body?'” -Dianne Lebold
  • “I remind myself that I will feel 100 times better once I workout. I also love the quote, ‘Nobody ever drowned in their own sweat.'” -Natalie Torres
  • “My go-to quote is ‘Practice what you preach’! If I’m blogging, Facebooking and Tweeting for people to move, then I have to do the same!” -Tera Norberg

Consider the alternative

Sometimes thinking about how you’ll feel if you don’t exercise, or reminding yourself of the long-term affects of sedentary living is all it takes to get yourself moving. Heck, you could even give yourself a few unpleasant short-term alternatives to exercise to help motivate yourself right out the door. Take a cue from these smart ladies:

  • “I am usually okay, but I know I’ll regret it if I don’t. I once read somewhere that you never regret a run once you’ve done it. That is so true!” -Kate Edney
  • “It’s a mental game with me. I argue with myself inside my head. Usually the ‘You’re gonna regret it and feel guilty if you don’t run!’ does the trick!” -Mindy Bobe
  • “I tell myself I could either find one hour every day to exercise in some way, or my body will find 24 hours to be dead… It’s harsh, but it keeps both short- and long-term goals ‘alive’ for me (no pun intended!). Also, I don’t need any more guilt as a working mom, and not getting my workout in would do it!” -Dana Bratti
  • “My big mottos are: ‘I may not run the fastest, but I’m faster than all the people on the couch!’ and ‘I’d rather feel like death for 20 minutes than live a sedentary life and worry about feeling like that permanently.'” -Erin Smith
  • “I hang outfits that I love, but that don’t look good on me if I let myself gain a few pounds, on my closet door so they’re the first thing I see when I wake up and help motivate me to stay in shape!” -Jennifer McAmis
  • “When I get up really early in the morning, there are two things I repeat over and over once the alarm goes off. The first thing that I say to myself is simply, ‘Get up, get up, get up…’ over and over. Then sometimes I add, ‘You’ll regret it if you don’t. You’ll be mad at yourself later. Get up, get going…’ Pretty soon I’m out the door. I’m not always happy at first, but once I get the workout in, I do feel so much better and my day is so much more productive.” -Jessie Powell
  • “So whenever I need some motivation, I think of the quote,’Wow. I really regret that workout…said no one ever.’ It’s a reminder of how wonderful and blessed I feel after! It just takes the step out the door to feel amazing!” -Kim Yates
  • “I will tell myself that I have to be productive either way – so I can clean or run. Run it is!” -Presley Salmon

Take the first steps

No one ever promised that everything worth doing would always be fun, and sometimes to get to the fun part, you have to slog through the rough times. When you’re struggling to get moving, sometimes you just have to get moving. Period. These Ambassadors share how they take those first steps:

  • “My favorite quote is, ‘The voices in your head are liars!’ The best piece of advice is that you sometimes just have to stop arguing with yourself and go out there. Go through the motions and eventually it will click. If it doesn’t the first time, you are just one step closer to making it happen!” -Sarah Briggs
  • “I’ve been struggling in the motivation department all year. However, today I got out and ran. I didn’t really over think it. just got my clothes on and was out the door. I got out the door today and was pretty freakin’ proud of myself!” -Beki Berrey
  • “I usually tell myself to just work out 10 to 15 minutes, but once I start, I usually keep thinking, ‘Well, now I only have X miles or X minutes left, so I might as well just keep going.’ It usually works!” -Lina Hansson-Noe
  • “A little something is always better than nothing. Get past the excuses! I just wrote a blog about this recently.” -Lea Genders
  • “Okay, as horrible as it sounds, I tell myself, ‘The sooner you get out there, the sooner it’s over!’ This has been used recently with the colder weather.” -Michelle Moore
  • “My favorite quote is, ‘The only way to get it done is to get it started.’ It’s something my grandmother used to say about household chores, but it holds true for my training, too.” -Kymberly Swope
  • “My favorite quote is one that my girl Jillian Michaels uses all the time in her workout DVDs: ‘Get comfortable with being uncomfortable!’ Working out is tough sometimes, especially when trying something new. I’ve learned that if I feel like I’m not getting anything out of a workout, I’m probably not. And if it makes me feel like I’m working hard? Then I probably am. I spent years not exercising, so the feeling of actual physical exertion was something that I had to learn and have come to love. This quote has helped me get out of a bunch of exercise ruts, and got me social again. It has allowed me to try a bunch of new classes (some of which I hated!), but I tried them, which is important! Just get out of that comfort zone – that’s where it’s happening.” -Danielle Kinney

Shoot for a goal

Having a goal set in your sites can give you that extra push to help get you out the door. Whether it fuels your competitive drive or forces you to challenge your own limits, a specific goal can do wonders for internal motivation.

  • “I sign up for new events (races, triathlons, etc.) and I tell myself, ‘If I can’t train, how can I succeed?’ That usually gets me going. I’m not someone who likes to fail because I didn’t put in the time!” -Kim Teter
  • “I’m competitive. I think about my competition putting in their hours and think, ‘If I want to beat them, if I want to be the best I can be, and see the changes I desire in my body, I have to get to it!’ -Karli Blanarik
  • “‘There are no shortcuts to any place worth going!’ I remind myself of this all the time to help me achieve my goals. Skipping a workout, only doing ‘enough,’ or taking that extra cookie are all shortcuts to satisfaction. They won’t help you get through or to anything but where you are now. The reward is the work!” -Jenn Palilla
  • “My husband once said, ‘What are the other women in your age group doing right now?’ so I think of that when I need some motivation to get moving.” -Michele Johnston Lash

Look for accountability

When you struggle to hold yourself accountable, look for family and friends to help keep you going. It’s amazing how much an accountability partner or group can keep you on top of your game. Just ask these ladies:

  • “More than quotes or anything, I find the number one way to make sure I don’t miss a workout is to have someone counting on me. If I make plans with someone, I feel very guilty if I cancel, especially at the last minute. Our bike club is great for this because we all are able to hold each other accountable.” -Crystal Gauvin
  • “My GirlsGoneSporty and SweatPink sisters always help motivate me! Love you all!” -Laura Summers (We love you, too, Laura!) The lesson here? Sometimes online networks are all it takes to stay motivated!
  • “I think the best tip to get motivated is to make yourself accountable to someone other than yourself! Tell a friend you’re planning to work out. Make a consequence for not following through, for example, if you miss a workout or run, you pay $20 to your friend’s charity, or you buy her lunch. Last thought: You only regret the run you didn’t go on!” -Amanda Medau
  • “I have two Labradors who won’t let me not get out and walk! They need the fresh air and I always feel 100 time better after getting out for a brisk walk with them.” -Nicole Truog

Dress for success

Hey, whatever it takes, right? Whether you motivate yourself by buying new gear, wearing your workout clothes to bed or hanging all your medals on the wall, the important thing is that it gets you up and moving.

  • “I hang all of my road race medals on the wall across from my bed so when I wake up in the morning, they’re the first things I see!” -Dani Holmes-Kirk
  • “When I don’t feel like working out, I put on my workout gear. I can’t justify just sitting around in it. Once my shoes are on my feet, it’s game on!” -Joanna Broadbent
  • “My morning motivation is to wear something I feel confident and cute in! I’m the matchy-matchy girl out running at 5:30 a.m. because it boosts my confidence and makes me feel like a hot mama, even when I’m sweating like a pig! I’m always most excited when i have something new to wear for running or working out the next morning. I can barely wait to spring out of bed! Don’t go frumpy. Dress in something that makes you feel great – it may get you amped up to get out the door and train!” -Holly Joy Berkey
  • “Get dressed in your favorite workout attire, put on your running shoes and start blasting your iPod! You’re already halfway out the door.” -Katy at FitinHeels.com
  • “My running clothes are always set out the night before so they are one of the first things I see when I wake up. No excuses!” -Lisa Luth
  • “I keep my first racing bib on my fridge. This motivates me to think before I snack.” -Erin Jimenez

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