How to stay motivated when starting your workout journey

Let's be honest: It's hard to keep a consistent workout routine. Between all your day-to-to-day priorities (HW, squad hangouts, your part-time gig at the smoothie shop) and the little distractions (Netflix, TikTok, that closet you've been meaning to organize), exercising tends to fall to the bottom of that never-ending to-do list.

But not this year! If fitness is your 2024 resolution, these tips will help you roll out the mat—even on those tough I-just-want-to-go-back-to-bed days.

Make it fun

@laurennbfit i look dead inside bc most of these were early mornings lol #gymtok #gympartner #gymbesties #trending #fitnessmotivation ♬ original sound - 👾

The hardest part when starting out is not being excited to do your next workout. So make it a whole experience: Put on your cutest athleisure fit (bc squats are definitely more fun in your matching Lululemon set), fill up your fave water bottle and blast some good tunes.

And remember to switch up your routine if things start to feel boring (aka don't hit the treadmill five days in a row). In fact, the best fitness regimens rotate between cardio and strength days to keep things interesting. Peep below for a weekly sched that hits all the major muscle groups.

Monday: Zumba
Tuesday: Upper-body dumbbell workout
Wednesday: Pilates + core
Thursday: Treadmill or outdoor run
Friday: Lower-body strength circuit
Saturday: Yoga
Sunday: Rest

Change your mindset

Do you consider working out a chore? Well, that might be the problem. Instead of framing it as just another daunting task on your daily sched, try to think of it as a self-love moment for your body. (After all, exercise *does* treat you to a flood of feel-good endorphins and a boost in brain, mental, cardiovascular and overall health.)

On that same self-love note, don't pressure yourself to hit the gym if you're *really* not feeling it. (Like, if it's day two of your period and your cramps are killer and you just need a Netflix day.) We *all* need breaks. And if your body is telling you that it needs rest, it probably does.

Keep track of your progress

Start a workout diary (we like this Wellness Journal from Papier) to jot down what you did on the mat each day. A workout diary is the best way to look back on how well you're doing—and feel proud of yourself for all your accomplishments. Make it cute by decorating it with your fave stickers. And treat yourself to a new set of gel pens before you get started, pls!

Get a workout buddy


Take this as your sign to get a workout buddy ASAP. By having a partner to work out with, you can hold each other accountable and encourage one another to push through. Let's face it: It's harder to ditch that weekend barre class when you know your bestie's waiting for you!

Make working out competitive


Who doesn't love some good ol' friendly competition? For more drive to stay on track, there are *so* many apps online to make working out more competitive with yourself and others, such as Stridekick and Fitocracy. You can also get involved in a workout challenge (remember the viral Chloe Ting Two Week Shred program that everybody and their mother was doing during quarantine?). This not only gives you more incentive to stay consistent, but it also pushes you to reach above your potential. 

Reward yourself


Setting goals is super important if you want your workouts to pay off. (Pro tip: Make your goal something really specific, like "I want to be able to do 20 push-ups by the time school lets out in June.") Better yet, reward yourself when you reach those goals by treating yourself with a new pair of shoes you've been wanting, a spa day or a hardcover book on your TBR list. Because after all the hard work, you deserve it! 

Ready for some more workouts? Check these out:
🏋️ 7 easy-to-learn beginner workout vids you can find on YouTube rn
🏋️ 5 new workouts to glow up your routine
🏋️ Indoor workouts to raise your heart rate when it's freezing

 Follow @girlslifemag on Insta for more fun workout inspo!

Slider image: @samiclarke
Top image: @nonabyat
All GIFs via Giphy


by Taylor Hancock and Madison Yee | 1/12/2024