You start your fitness journey with a lot of enthusiasm; you don’t need gym inspiration because everything about this journey excited you. Planning each session, meal and everything revolving around gym will only give you a buzz. We have all been through this cycle of incline and decline, and it is only a matter of weeks or months before you start losing the buzz you get from going gym.

We all want to stay active; going gym can help individuals professionally and also help people keep on top of their fitness goals. However, maintaining the motivation to go to gym can be a challenge that many have faced. How many people do we know that get into gym and it only takes few weeks before they cancel their membership. I am sure everyone who joins gym would join with an intention of making this a life long hobby or even their lifestyle; here are some ways to motivate yourself to go gym:

1.       Make a Plan

When you have a plan, you have a goal and a purpose. One reason people lose motivation is when they don’t see any progress, and this maybe because they are not planning their gym properly. When you go gym with a plan, you know why you are in the gym. If you have a gym routine, you would know which body part, exercise and the amount of reps you are doing. You would be able to plan your session out, and therefore, make the most of your session in an efficient way; you are unlikely to waste time (have back-up exercises in mind in case the equipment is in use and you don't want to waste time). Planning is a broad term, you can take it further by understanding what your goal is, for example are you trying lose weight? Or gain weight? You can then plan 6 weeks worth of sessions and meals and this can eventually become a life-style.

2.  Visualise success but be realistic

Being able to visualise success will help you envision your goals and help you understand what you want, ultimately finding yourself. When you have a goal in mind, it is harder for you to skip gym or have a lazy mindset regarding gym because you will understand every time you miss a session or not give 100% every session you will ultimately compromise you goals. This is why it is important to visualise your success, but this should be done realistically. The last thing anyone would want is to set unrealistic targets because not achieving your goals can also lead to demotivation. When you envision your goal, you should set small stepping stones which will help you achieve your main goal. For example if your goal is to lose4kg within a month, you should set yourself small targets like losing 1 kg every week and after a month you would achieve your main goal.

3.    Change your routine

One way to keep yourself motivated is to keep changing your routine. If you follow some programs, their durability is normally between 4-6 weeks. This means every 4-6 weeks you can follow a different program. Changing gym routine is a great way to keep yourself motivated, because why would you want to keep doing the same thing over and over and over again? A Different routine after a certain period of time is a great way to find out what suits your body and which exercises you enjoy.

4.    Log your workout and keep track of your progress

Being able to see where you were when you started how far you have come, in itself is a spectacular way to motivate yourself and keep pushing yourself, because this shows you are on the right track. Whether you use notepad or phone, it is really helpful to record your progress. By recording weights, exercises, reps and sets, you would be able to keep pushing yourself because you can set yourself higher targets. To keep on top of things, you can also start noting down your daily nutrition in-takes. Things are made easy for everyone, you can use a phone app which allows you to record your nutrition and gym progress, and what is better than a phone which is at your finger tip!

5.    Train with a sports buddy

Some people prefer working out on their own and you may be one of them. But if you can’t motivate yourself to go gym, it is always good to experiment. A little push from another individual with similar goals and aspiration can take you a long way. Sometimes having another person with you can be enough for you to get that push you need to get off your couch and get you to the gym. They can really push you beyond what you think might be your limit, if you chose the right training buddy.

You don’t want to be the one who always motivates others; sometimes you need someone who will motivate you. Everyone needs a training buddy who will push them, challenge them, and make sure they get their sessions in!

Ideally a training partner should be someone who is slightly better or stronger then you. Being able to have friendly competition with each other, challenging each other to push more weights or do more reps, maybe pushing each other to do cardio or making sure you work on your core, and lets not forget Legs!

6.    Stop working out for looks

Prioritising is important when it comes to long term goals, and looks shouldn’t be the one. Going after looks can sometimes disappoint you because it can take you a while before you actually achieve the look you are after. Moreover, when you do achieve that look, would you ever want to get back to gym?

Maybe you can prioritise keeping fit because you would always need to maintain your fitness, or work on your attributes like strength, endurance and stamina. One good way of keeping in touch with gym on a long run is when you have another hobby and you use gym and to help you perform better, for example, if you participate in a marathon, you will need to make sure you are fit and you have a very good stamina and cardio.

7.    Dress for a workout, even if your not feeling gym

It is all about taking small steps ,and the first step to going gym is getting ready for gym. Dressing for a workout will automatically remove a lot of obstacles in your way to gym.

8.   Take time to recover

For me personally, the biggest motivation is progression. Recovering is important if you want to see yourself grow. if you are going gym everyday or even every week consistently with no breaks after a month or at least 6 week, you will slowly see the rate of your progression declining. You may start doubting yourself and your method of working out, and it could just be lack of recovery.

You need recovery to allow the micro-tears to heal so your muscles can grow; overtraining or under recovery should be avoided in order to achieve optimum performance at gym.