How to stay motivated to work out

Did you make a New Year's resolution to get in shape? Perhaps you want to be more active and exercise to become healthier and look better. Lots of folks are in the same boat with a real incentive to make 2018 their year for fitness. And come January 1, they're all in. Gym memberships soar, the sports bras come out from hiding, and the new sneakers that Santa delivered are ready to be unboxed and tied up.

Then a few weeks pass, and the cold weather combined with comfort foods and Netflix-binging causes the desire to work out wane. That New Year's motivation is nowhere to be found and you feel not only disappointed in yourself, but downright lazy. This wasn't your plan, but you just can't seem to kick yourself into high-gear.

Before you throw in the unused sweat towel altogether, follow these tips to get that motivation back and to keep it going until you reach your goals. With some help along the way, you'll get into the groove of working out and even look forward to doing so. Your resolution can be realized!

Buddy up

With a like-minded pal along for the ride, you will be more inclined to stick to your exercise plans and she will too. As per Shape, "Not only is having one more fun, but an exercise partner can make you more accountable, motivated, and even fast-track your fitness goals." And as per research out of the University of Southern California, "In a study of 117 adults, those who worked out with friends (or a spouse or co-worker) said they enjoyed the exercise more than those who got sweaty solo."

Consider your workout a time to connect while you get fit as a team. Encourage one another and celebrate your milestones as you get stronger and sexier!

Sweat for style

If you are a fashion fanatic, use the prospect of a hot new outfit as motivation to get moving. Give yourself a safe and reasonable deadline to drop a few pounds or lose a dress size or two (if that's the goal), or to firm up to fit best into a new pair of designer jeans or a body-con mini-dress.

As you exercise, keep your eye on the prize so you are sure to make your workouts a regular thing. Save a little dough as you lay off the cookie dough, and before you know it, you'll be rocking your couture like a supermodel. Look out Kendall and Gigi!

Go it slow

Some people give up too soon because they created goals that were not realistic. It is encouraging to want to aim high, but take the steps to the top slowly and steadily to create lifelong change that is manageable and attainable.

If on January 1st you had vowed to get back into your "skinny jeans" by the 15th and by that time you still couldn't pull one pant leg above your thigh, it can be a real downer. Instead, focus on being healthy and fit, and if weight- or size-loss is your concern, plan for monthly goals that are well-balanced and doable. Instant results only come from dangerous measures or exist only in fantasyland.

To stay on track, keep a diary of your workouts, meals, and weekly or monthly improvements in a journal, online, or even by video. Come this time next year, you'll appreciate how far you've come. For more tips on taking things bit by bit, gain more insight from "Make New Year's resolutions you'll actually stick to."

Hire a personal trainer

If you have the means, get one-on-one with a personal trainer. They will show you the ropes, design a workout plan to help you meet your goals, and be your cheerleader all the way. You'll learn the proper ways to exercise and do so efficiently. With a pro to lead the way, you'll see results you may not have been able to achieve if left to your own devices.

Like exercising with a friend, you'll have someone to show up for and rely upon to stay on your game. As perLivestrong, "There's something to be said for feeding that part of our brain that craves praise. Hearing a trainer celebrate your consistency, progress, or even proper technique can be a real boost when you feel like (quitting)."

You can do this! Motivation to become an even better version of yourself is a workout away. Keep at it and you'll be proud that you've kept that New Year's promise to yourself.

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