If you’re the type who signs up for the gym and then finds yourself paying a monthly fee without ever showing up, it may be time to boost your motivation and finally get started. Whether you’re looking to lose some weight, gain some strength or just improve your overall health and fitness levels, exercise can be an awesome tool. It can be tough to start getting yourself to the gym if you’re not already in the habit, but these tips can help you begin.

  1. Pack a tasty shake. If you give yourself something to look forward to, that gruelling first workout session may not feel quite so difficult. Look up protein-packed shake recipes online and find a mix that suits your fitness goals. Pack your shake or a protein shake in your gym bag and keep it in the locker while you work out. Chocolate protein powder combined with milk, peanut butter, and banana is perfect for a delicious refuelling snack.
  2. Find a gym buddy. It’s always easier to get to the gym if you’ve promised someone you’ll meet up there. Find a friend with similar fitness goals to you and agree to go a certain amount of times per week. You can cheer each other on and keep each other company while you both get fit.
  3. Pack your bag the night before. Some people struggle to find the time to pack everything up for the gym in the morning. If you’re someone who needs a little extra push, try packing everything you need the night before and leaving it next to your front door. You’ll see it before you head out and realise that you have no excuse not to go.
  4. Keep track of your progress. It’s easy to stay motivated when you have proof of your progress. Keep track of your weight, body fat percentage, body measurements, lift numbers, and cardio figures over time so you can see exactly what you’re getting out of the gym. Just seeing your improvements in hard data should be a great reason to keep showing up.
  5. Be careful about your goals. Many people start going to the gym with lofty ambitions in mind, like losing a significant amount of weight or sculpting a visible six pack. In reality, these things can take time. Set a more realistic short-term goal that you can reach relatively quickly – this should prevent you from getting discouraged a couple months down the line.
  6. Focus on the benefits. When you’re getting ready to go to the gym, focus your mind on the perks of making it through your day’s workout. Think about the endorphin boost, the feeling of accomplishment, and the contribution you’ll have made to your overall fitness, rather than the downsides of hitting the gym.
  7. Invest in some awesome workout kit. Heading to the gym in your old baggy t-shirt and an ancient pair of leggings hardly inspires a feeling of ambitious athleticism. Get yourself into a victory headspace by investing in some good quality active wear that you genuinely feel great in. If you feel confident and sporty, you’ll be far more likely to want to show off your new look. Just make sure you pick gear that suits the type of exercise you plan to do.