7 Ways To Find The Motivation To Exercise When The Struggle Is Real

"I stopped weighing myself and used this advice instead"


Chandré Davids |

Your goal this year was to lose a couple of kilos, or get fitter and stronger, but you only really got as far as buying the pricey shoes that were supposed to make you a better runner. You keep telling yourself “I’ll start on Monday,” but life happens… Well, that’s all about to change. Because I know the struggle – and these are the ways I motivate myself. And they actually work.

Forget The Numbers

One of the most demotivating things about exercising is not seeing results. You sweat your butt off every workout, but the scale just doesn’t reflect the effort. Why? Because the scale can be deceiving. If you’re doing strength workouts, you’re gaining muscle. And because muscle weighs more than fat – well, you do the maths.

I stopped weighing myself because I became so consumed by the numbers that they began to dictate how I felt about myself. If the scale didn’t show I’d lost weight, I wanted to throw in the towel (and a couple of times I did). Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, gauge your fitness/weight loss on how you’re feeling, how you progress in your workouts and how your clothes fit you.

Watch: 7 Things Girls Who Work Out In The Morning Do

Press Play

There are days where you’re just not feeling it, which is okay – but ask yourself: Am I just being lazy or do I need a rest day? If it’s the former, try music. Spotify has amazing playlists. A personal favourite of mine is Twerking Zone, but if you’re not up to unleashing your inner Beyoncé, try some gqom or hip hop instead.

Whatever your fancy, the right music offers a great distraction as you sweat. Plus: Studies show that music can help you push harder during your workouts. Opt for tunes with 120 and 140 beats per minute for best results.

Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

You know that saying: Comparison is the thief of joy? It’s true. We think other people look ‘better’ than us – but the presence of someone else’s beauty doesn’t mean an absence of your own. Sure, you might never look like an Insta star or have an ass like Kim Kardashian, and that’s okay. Be your only competition. Do better than you did yesterday. Smash your PB. Just do you.

Watch: 7 Women Share Their Most Embarrassing Exercise Confessions

Try Something New

Routine is great, but it can also be super-boring, and I know it! If you’re not enjoying running on the treadmill, chances are you won’t have the motivation to do it. So find something you love. Try dancing, hiking, rock climbing, surfing – any form of movement that gets the heart rate up. Get out of your comfort zone. If you’re doing an activity that pushes you and you enjoy it, you’re most likely to stick to it in the long run.

Get A Workout Buddy

A workout partner can push you – and hold you accountable for slacking. Shy? Join a Facebook group. Having support will help you stay motivated and inspired. Just be sure to pick someone who will actually help you rather than flaking at the last minute…

Watch: The cardio Move You Can Add To Any Workout To Burn More Kilojoules

Set Small, Realistic Goals

Having one massive goal is intimidating. Check it out: So you wanted to lose 50kg in one year? Sounds huge, right? But if you say I want to lose four kilos a month, or one kilo a week, that goal seems more attainable. The same goes for completing a full marathon: 42km is long, but if you break up your training into a 5k, then a 10k, and so on, eventually 42km will seem way less daunting.

Have A Vision

What’s your end goal? It helps to write down your short, medium and long-term goals. Or make a vision board that depicts everything you want to achieve. Having a visual reminder of why you exercise will help you when things get hard. Can you see it? Now go do it. You’ve got this!

Watch ON: Fitness Fitness Advice Real Women