08/28/2015 04:54 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

5 Ways to Motivate Yourself for a Better Workout


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Some days are great workout days. You feel energized, motivated, and are excited to get going. Other times, even getting to the gym seems like such a chore.

Despite how you feel, there are five ways to shift your attitude toward your daily workout. These tricks will not only make it easier to hit the gym, but the quality of your workout will also skyrocket.

1. Remember Your Goal
Why do you exercise in the first place? Having a very specific goal that you're working towards gives every workout purpose.

Write your goal on a sticky note and put it somewhere highly visible. This will provide a passive reminder of what you are going to accomplish.

Even a small goal -- "My goal this month is to go jogging twice each week" -- can be enough to dramatically improve the likelihood of getting your exercise done.

2. Visualize Your Workout
Visualization is a technique used by many athletes to help improve their performance. They picture themselves winning the race or scoring the goal, and they are then more inclined to succeed.

The same principle can work for you too.

Simply create a mental picture of what you will be doing in your workout, whether it be running, lifting weights, or taking part in a yoga class. This process can increase your desire to make that exercise happen and can dramatically improve the results you will get from your workout!

3. Grab a Workout Buddy
Exercise is better when you do it with a friend.

There's nothing more motivating than knowing someone is waiting for you at the gym. Not only will a workout buddy help you avoid skipping exercise when you're feeling unmotivated, but you will also work harder too.

Ask a friend to be your training partner and then schedule workout times that can be kept consistent from week to week. This helps establish consistency and builds good exercise habits for both of you.

4. Pump Up the Music
What song makes it so hard for you to sit still? When you're not feeling motivated to exercise, this type of upbeat music can make all the difference.

Enjoyable music can brighten your mood and can distract your mind from the effort of exercise. In fact, the right music has been shown to make exercise feel 10 percent easier!

Create a playlist of songs that have a quick tempo -- the faster beat is a perfect mental distraction and subconsciously pushes you to keep up with its pace. Your workout will feel easier and you will end up working harder.

5. Have a Reward
One of the biggest hurdles to regular exercise is the fact that the end goal (e.g. losing weight, looking fitter, getting stronger, etc.) is so far removed from the exercise itself. Results take time and it can be easy to get impatient.

That's why it is so powerful to build in rewards that provide instant gratification. Treating yourself with a relaxing bath or your favourite cup of tea after a workout can be a nice way to recognize your hard work.

Even a small reward can be enough motivation to get a workout done on those days when you just don't feel like moving at all.