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Motivation is a fluid thing.

Just because it is there one day doesn’t mean that it will be there for the next particularly, as we’ve mentioned before on these pages, when the evenings start to get darker, colder and considerably more wet. Your goals, though, remain the same regardless of what your personal level of motivation is at the time so in order to actually achieve them, you must put yourself in the best possible decision to do so.

This starts with being open and honest with yourself about what your goals are, how best to smash them and go to bed each night with a level of personal satisfaction which says that, yes, you are indeed trying to be your best self.

So, how best to put yourself on the right track?

Rules are made to be broken

This goes back to ours statement that exercise, and the motivation required to do it, is entirely fluid. Sometimes life can get in the way of your workout plan, so it is of great importance to roll with the punches when this happens. If you miss a Monday workout, you needn’t throw the rest of your week’s workout plan in the trash. Improvise, adapt and overcome, as a famous mixed martial artist once said.

No one likes a quitter, especially not you

One tactic often taken up by gym-goers is to harness the ‘buddy system’ to help achieve your objectives. Do you go to the gym with someone a little more experienced? Are they able to pound out more reps, or log more miles on the treadmill than you are? Keep their numbers in mind as your own goal. Friendly competition is a tremendous motivator, and there’s no better feeling than getting one-up on your workout buddy.

Expect honesty

If you do employ the buddy system, there is no point in being ‘yes men’ to each other. If you have a workout partner it becomes harder to skip going to the gym as you’ll have to send off that apologetic text as to exactly why — and you better have a good reason. Furthermore, placing yourself in an environment in which you and a friend both want to up your fitness levels can be of tremendous benefit.

Don’t focus entirely on your appearance

If your primary goal is to look better in a mirror a regular workout plan will help with that but if that is your sole motivation then you are setting yourself up for a fall. If you ignore this overarching goal it makes it a whole lot easier to celebrate the minor victories you will have when you add more weight to your reps, or whatever your personal level of improvements might be. Remember, you won’t see this in the mirror right away.


Some people need to be pushed (by themselves) a little harder and this is where apps like PACT or Diet Below can come in. These allow you to set your objectives and if you don’t achieve them, it makes you actually part with money from your bank account. This may seem somewhat like you bribing yourself, but it is a whole lot easier to plod yourself to the gym if there are financial penalties for doing otherwise. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, though.