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Get Motivated

Tip #1: Wash your hair only on days you work out.

Only allow yourself to wash your hair after working out. This way, if you don’t go to the gym for a couple days, proof will exist in your greasy mane!

Tip #2: Give yourself a real reward.

An extrinsic reward is so powerful because your brain can latch on to it and make the link that the behavior is worthwhile, which increases the odds the routine will become a habit.

Tip #3: Challenge yourself.

Find micro-challenges and long-term challenges to keep you motivated. In the moment, set a specific distance or time frame to keep you motivated such as running until the end of the song that is currently playing or making it to that next kilometer. Then try to do that 30-day challenge you’ve been thinking about as well to keep you going for the long haul.

Tip #4: Compete with everyone and anyone.

Secretly compete with other people in the gym or your fitness class. Also, try competing with yourself. If you were able to do 10 deadlifts last time, try for 15 this time. If you ran 5 km yesterday try for 6 today. Keep trying to beat the old you.

Tip #5: Focus on the positives.

Don’t motivate yourself by thinking about your muffin top or flabby abs. A 2014 study found that frequent exercise goes along with a positive body image, which was defined as appreciating one’s body, focusing on how it feels, and being satisfied with what it can do.

Tip #6: Write down how you feel after every workout.

By writing down how you feel after a workout every single time, you will create a resource to boost motivation to wake up and go for a run or a workout. If it’s one of those days when you’re just not feeling it, you can pull out your log and read how great it felt at the end of each of those previous workouts.

Tip #7: Turn your commute into a workout.

On days that you can't do your usual workout, stuff your essentials — keys, cash, credit card, phone and ID — into a fanny pack and jog home from work instead. Running, walking, or biking somewhere you have to go anyway makes exercise feel time-efficient and you don't have to carve out another part of your day for it.

Tip #8: Involve your causes.

Strong feelings, especially antipathies, have a multiplier effect.  There is a website, Stickk, where you can pledge to give a minimum of $5 to a charity or an individual you like if you meet your goal or to one you dislike if you fall short. The Web site Plus 3 Network is another site where you can raise money for charity. You pick from a list of goals that have prearranged corporate sponsors; if you meet yours, they'll pay the charity. There’s nothing like getting fit and being charitable to help you feel good about yourself.

Tip #9: Try group fitness classes

Group fitness classes give you something to look forward to. You can make friends, feed off other participants’ energy, and having people around you keeps you going in the moments that you want to quit.

Tip #10: Imagine the crowd is going wild.

When a workout gets tough and you just want to quit, imagine that you’re a professional athlete and the audience is watching. They have high expectations and are routing for you to succeed. This can help push you through those tough moments when you know your fans are expecting you will give it your all.