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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Williams chapter.

We’ve all been there before—you tell yourself you’ll start going to the gym tomorrow, but tomorrow comes, and the walk to the gym feels too long, you don’t want to mess up your hair-wash schedule, you have too much homework due, you can hold off on it for another day, and the list goes on. It’s hard to understand how exactly everyone else is finding joy out of painful and mindless physical activity. But, the truth is, you’ll never get it if you never try. For those who really want to add an exercise routine to their daily lives, here are some ways to motivate yourself to take that first step:

1. Give yourself more time.

For someone who’s never even stepped foot inside of a gym, going to the gym is hardly a priority. Excuses like homework or lack of time will easily distract you from your plans to work out. So, give yourself more time to work with. If the walk there takes 10 minutes, give yourself 15 more on top of your allotted gym session. Use the free time you have in your day where you’d usually not do anything significant to go to the gym. Don’t let yourself detract from what you’ve set your mind to do.

2. Treat it like any plan in your schedule.

Going to class, getting lunch or dinner, going to work—these are all officialized plans in our routines. It actually throws us off when we don’t go through with one of them. Treat working out as any other routine activity in your day-to-day life. Whether this means dressing up cute or going with friends, find ways to incorporate it into your day.

3. Make a workout plan beforehand.

People are often hesitant to go to the gym because they don’t know what to do there. Find your focus, watch videos, do research, and make yourself a workout plan to follow when you go to exercise. Add an example beginner video. Do you want to work out your upper or lower body? Triceps or biceps? Find what works best for you, and get yourself pumped and excited to target those areas. Prepare yourself to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of people at the gym, and when you get there, go straight for the machines or space you need, and start that workout plan. If needed, blast your music to help with gym anxiety.

Anything that you do for the first time will be daunting. There’s not much you know about it, and it’s easy to feel judged or overwhelmed by the people there. But, everyone starts somewhere, and it’s an admirable feat to realize this and start your gym journey. Find ways to keep yourself going, whether it’s the chemical natural high or something else. Once you start to see the progress, mentally or physically, you’ll find in the gym a second home; you’ll be too far in to quit. Hope this helped!

Annabelle Kim

Williams '24

Hi! I'm Annabelle Kim, and I'm from NYC. I'm a senior at Williams majoring in Sociology, concentrating in STS. I'm a huge foodie and wellness advocate.