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Almost every morning I begin my day with a workout. Many days, I wake up feeling renewed and fresh. I draw the shades as the sunshine floods into my room, toss on my quarter zip and thermal leggings, lace up my Brooks, and I am out the door.

This morning, I would have rather listened to “Queen Victoria” have a freakout on The Bachelor than have to go workout. Therefore, I procrastinated. I scrolled through different bikini stores’ Instagram accounts, read more Kanye and Jeffree Star drama on The Daily Mail, and stared at the Redbubble art on my wall.

Some days you spring from your bed ready to take on the world. Other days it feels impossible to find the motivation to workout. All we know is that after that workout is over, damn do you feel good. Scientifically speaking, when you workout, your body generates chemicals called endorphins that ignite a feeling of positivity and happiness. Heck yea I want those endorphins to kick in. For that reason, I wanted to share what I do to find the motivation to workout and kick ass on days where hitting snooze sounds more enticing:

Be positive!

If you enter into any situation with a negative attitude, you will be more likely to fail. Studies prove that by thinking positively, you will train more intensely for longer periods of time.

More than half the battle is mental, and to be physically strong, you need to be mentally strong first. Something else I realized when I workout is that I get to workout. It is not a chore but rather a gift. It is a privilege that you cannot take for granted when so many others are not as fortunate. Remember this every time you do not want to workout: you are blessed with a strong and capable body and mind and are incredibly lucky to have the world at your fingertips.

The satisfaction of proving you are stronger than you think

You will never know what you are capable of until you try it. Convinced you cannot do a pullup? All you have to do is try. If you cannot do it, then make it your goal to do one pullup. It will not happen in a day, or probably even several days, but maybe a week later you will find yourself doing what you thought was unattainable. Never doubt yourself; you are truly capable of achieving the unthinkable.

Wearing something new/cute

A former lacrosse captain of mine once said “look pretty, play pretty.” If I walk into the gym and I think I look ~fuego~, I feel more ready to tear it up. A key element to this though: I dress for myself, not for anyone else. Wear what makes you feel most confident and do not take into account any potential opinions or thoughts of others. You are only there to prove something to yourself, not for anyone else (some brands I love that are mad cute, as well as functional, include Lululemon, Carbon38, and Outdoor Voices).

Draw inspiration from someone you respect on social media

There are plenty of “fake” influencers on Instagram who photoshop their pictures to have the “perfect physique” and say “eat healthy, workout 3x a week, and be happy!” Yeah, none for me thank you. Nevertheless, there are a few wellness influencers who are real people with realistic workouts that are enjoyable, fairly quick, and make you feel like a badass. We all could use some external sources for inspiration every once in a while if we are in a workout rut or need to change up our routine (my favorite influencers on Instagram include @rachaelsgoodeats and @realribaali. The latter is a little more intense but both ladies are absolute beasts).

Use workout “trinkets”

I love using booty bands, jump ropes, sliders, boxes, etc. during my workout. It adds variety and resistance to exercises that you want to intensify. If you are bored with the same 7-minute abs you do time and time again, start incorporating the sliders. Maybe add glute bridges or wall sits to the end of your workout with the band around your knees to add resistance and really feel the burn. If you repeat the same workout routine every week, your progress will inevitably plateau. By changing your routine and shocking your body with different movements, you will 1) not get bored 2) actually be excited about trying something new, and 3) you will see better results in the long-term.

Give yourself an incentive

Treat yourself after a hard training session! Schedule a manicure or massage, lunch with a friend, a shopping trip, a movie night, or anything that will give you something to look forward to after a workout.

Fire up a killer playlist

Adrenaline-pumping music really completes a workout and makes it so much more enjoyable. You can make your own playlist, use a friend’s playlist, or search for workout playlists with genres and artists that you enjoy. A stellar playlist will eliminate boredom, distract you from any mental or physical strain, improve your stamina, and enhance your mood!

Get a workout buddy

Having a designated person you workout with essentially forces you to go train even if you really do not want to (once you make a commitment that you will go with that person, you cannot back out). You hold each other accountable to follow through with your plan. Also, if you go with a friend, you have a built-in cheering section as well as someone to spot you for more difficult exercises that you cannot do on your own.

Something is better than nothing

If you do not feel like doing the 5 sets of sprints that your team trainer assigned you, then maybe do not do them that day. Hop on the elliptical or bike to get a lil’ workout in and save sprints for a day that you feel mentally prepared for them. Getting in a 20-minute workout is a lot better than doing nothing at all. You do not have to train intensely every day but taking a few minutes of “me time” will clear your mind and make you feel proud of your work ethic.

Why do something tomorrow that you can do today? When I feel unmotivated to train, I repeat this phrase. Every day is an opportunity to better yourself. Why wait until tomorrow to achieve your goals when you can start today? The amount of progress you can make in a week of working out is astounding. For instance, by the end of the week, you might be able to bench 5 pounds more than you did a few days prior, so get to it! The time is now. Do not postpone your greatness because you “do not feel like it.” I get it, there are days I would love to stay in my bed, and it is encouraged to take days to yourself like that. However, your body knows when exercise is the best thing for it on other days. It is one of the few times you can focus solely on yourself and push out all the b.s. in your life. With that, your happiness comes first. If you know that a workout will give you a positive start to your day, then dig deep, and find that motivation.

My name is Zoe Lash and I am currently a junior at Colby College where I am a French Studies and Global Studies double major and Managerial Economics minor. I am also a midfielder on Colby’s women’s lacrosse team.
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