13 Best Ways to Get Back to Your Workout Plan & Stay Motivated

Staying physically active is always ideal, but at times it just isn’t possible to keep your regular exercise schedule. Life commitments, travel plans, or injuries can derail your fitness efforts and prevent you from exercising for periods of time. Getting back to your regular exercise routine can often be challenging, so finding ways to stay motivated to workout is key. Below we have shared our best tips for getting back to your regular workout plan and staying motivated. 

staying motivated

1. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Yourself

Set goals and reward yourself for breakthroughs. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself is a great way to motivate yourself to stay on track. S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. By utilizing this system, you can create goals that are surely obtainable.


For example, if you’ve struggled with weight loss, start by setting specific (not general) goals. You don’t want to set a goal of simply ‘losing weight.’ Instead, set a specific goal to lose 1 lb per week. Not having a specific goal in place makes it far more difficult to stay motivated to workout.


It’s essential to ensure that your objective is quantifiable. You should be able to monitor your advancement and have a technique for evaluating if you are meeting your goals or progressing. This could involve tracking your workouts, weighing yourself, or taking measurements.


Set achievable goals. It’s easy to get excited about your new health and fitness goals and want quick results. But it’s important to set achievable goals that you can stick to; otherwise, you’re likely to become discouraged. Making small changes over time is the best way to reach your health and fitness goals.

Start with something simple, like taking a daily walk or adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. These small changes will add up over time, and the results will be amazing.


Setting realistic goals will help you stay motivated to workout and reduce frustration and stress. Be honest with yourself and know what you are capable of committing to. It’s better to set realistic goals rather than lofty ones that will set you up for failure. For example, when first getting back to the gym, it might be more realistic to set a goal of working out 3 times a week rather than every day. 


Make sure your goal is timely, which essentially means setting a deadline. For example, simply setting a goal of losing 10 pounds is far less motivating than setting a goal of losing 10 pounds in 3 months. Setting a timeline for yourself forces you to be more accountable to meet your specific goal.

SMART setting Stay Motivated to Workout

2. Get Enough Sleep

You might think, “How does sleep affect my motivation to work out?” Well, when you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces less serotonin. And low serotonin is linked to depression, anxiety, and a lack of motivation. It also affects your metabolism, so you’ll likely struggle to lose weight. Conversely, when serotonin levels are sufficient, you feel wonderful.

So, if you’re struggling with motivation, you might want to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. You might also want to make sure your training is just enough. Overtraining can also lead to a serotonin deficiency, making you less motivated to work out. So to stay motivated, make sure you’re getting enough sleep and avoid overtraining.

3. Track Your Progress

An effective way to stay motivated and hold yourself responsible is by monitoring your improvement. You can use a journal or a mobile app to track your workouts, food intake, and progress. 

To stay on track, utilizing technology can be a very effective tool. Using technology, you can create a workout routine that will help motivate you to stay on track and achieve your goals.

Technology can also be used to stay motivated to workout. Many apps can help you stay on track by providing encouragement and motivation.

Track Your Progress Stay Motivated to Workout

4. Change Up Your Routine or Find a New Workout you Enjoy

Doing the same workout daily can get boring and make exercising less enjoyable. If you’ve been doing the same exercise routine for weeks and feel like you’ve lost your motivation, it’s time to change things.

There are a few different ways you can do this. One way is to change the order in which you do your workouts. For example, if you usually do some cardio before hitting the weights, reverse the order in which you do things.

You can also try changing your workouts to reignite your motivation. Try increasing the intensity, changing the amount of time you spend exercising, or trying a different type of exercise altogether.

Exercising is supposed to be enjoyable. If you’re not enjoying your workouts, chances are you will not be motivated to do them. Therefore, you might want to find a new workout you enjoy to stay motivated and reach your fitness goals faster.

5. Listen to Music or a Podcast While Working Out

If getting back into your physical fitness routine has been a struggle, try turning on some tunes or an interesting podcast for motivation. Workout music can be an awesome way to power through your exercises! So, if you’re feeling uninspired, throw on some headphones for some motivation – or even a welcome distraction.

Listen to Music or a Podcast While Working Out Stay Motivated to Workout

6. Reward Yourself

Celebrating small successes is important to maintain motivation and enthusiasm. It helps keep a positive attitude and builds self-confidence. Achieving small goals can lead to bigger successes.

It’s important to acknowledge the small successes when beginning a strength training or workout plan. Celebrating these successes can help create a positive atmosphere and maintain motivation on the journey to achieving your goals.

You must be kind to yourself and not underestimate the significance of small successes. Celebrating the small victories can help keep the focus on the positive and build the confidence needed to continue working towards the bigger goals.

7. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

It can be tempting to measure your physical fitness and development against others. For instance, if you aren’t making headway with your workouts, you might compare yourself to someone else and get discouraged.

It’s important not to someone else who might be working at a different speed or intensity, is at a different fitness level, or follows a different exercise plan. Instead, concentrate on how you are progressing in your fitness journey.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others Stay Motivated to Workout

8. Find an Accountability Partner

Having someone that holds you accountable can be a great way to stay motivated to workout and reduce frustrations when getting back into your fitness regimen. Find a gym buddy with a similar fitness level and goals. It’s also important that you two get along and be honest with each other.

When you find a workout buddy, setting clear expectations is important. Discuss what each of you hopes to achieve and how you will hold each other accountable. Establishing a plan for how you will work together and how often you will meet is also necessary. Once you have a plan in place, it’s easier to stay committed.

Staying accountable for any goal requires having a strong support system. This support system can come from family, friends, coaches, personal trainers, or online forums.

Find an Accountability Partner Stay Motivated to Workout

9. Make It a Lifestyle, Not a Chore

If exercising is something you dread and wish you could avoid, try to consider exercise a lifestyle instead of a chore. It all comes down to how you look at fitness and what you associate with it. If you associate fitness with something you don’t enjoy, staying motivated to workout is hard.

However, if you turn fitness into something you enjoy, it becomes so much easier to stay motivated and actually do it. For example, if you hate going to the gym, try finding a workout you enjoy. You may enjoy yoga, hiking, playing tennis, or something else. Maybe try weight training or interval training. Try full-body strength training at home if you want to avoid going to the gym.

Get started, and you’ll jump back in! Whether you choose to stay at home or join a gym, create a schedule for exercising and stick to it.

Make It a Lifestyle, Not a Chore

10. Keep Your Fitness Journey in Perspective

It’s important to keep your fitness journey in perspective. The goal doesn’t need to be the fittest person in the world or to achieve perfectly fine body composition. The goal might be to be healthy and active and to make lifestyle changes that will benefit you in the long run.

It’s also important to remember that physical health goals take time. When you don’t reach a goal as quickly as you would like, it’s easy to be disappointed. Instead, try to keep a positive attitude and focus on your progress.

However, be mindful of your physical limitations too. Don’t push yourself too hard or too soon. Listen to your body and take rest days when necessary. Make sure to warm up and cool down before and after each workout.

It’s essential to keep your fitness journey in perspective. Don’t compare yourself to others or strive for perfection. Just focus on being healthy and active. Enjoy the process and create a program that works for you. With consistency, dedication, and determination, you can reach your goals.

Keep Your Fitness Journey in Perspective

11. Develop a Sustainable Workout Routine

Developing a sustainable fitness program is a great way to improve physical and mental health. This can be done by establishing a regular exercise routine that you can stick to.

First, establish a regular workout routine. Consider how many days a week you want to exercise and what activity you want to do. List those activities that won’t make you bored or frustrated.

Second, choose a time of day that works best for you, so you’re more likely to stick with your session. For example, if you’re a morning person, you may prefer to exercise in the morning.

Third, listen to your body when developing a sustainable workout plan. Make sure to take breaks and adjust your physical training plan as needed.

Fourth, stick to your schedule. Exercising with a friend or personal trainer can make it more fun and help you stay on track.

Additionally, ensure adequate rest and fuel your body with proper nutrition. Eating a balanced diet is essential for achieving your fitness goals.

Finally, reward yourself for sticking with your routine.

Develop a Sustainable Workout Routine

12. Learn to Enjoy the Process

Learning to enjoy the process is a key part of success in many aspects of life. Whether it’s a workout program, a career goal, or a personal growth project, learning to enjoy the process is essential to keeping your motivation.

Organizing a task into smaller, easier-to-handle sections is one way to develop a love of the process. This will help you stay focused and appreciate the journey as you work toward your goal.

Learning to enjoy the process means understanding that there will be bumps along the way. It’s important to stay positive and focus on your progress rather than your mistakes. This will help you stay motivated to workout and on track to reach your ultimate goal.

Exercising regularly can be challenging for some individuals. A common way to increase motivation and energy for an exercise session is to break up the physical training session into small, manageable chunks.

For example, break up the workout into two 30-minute sessions instead of working out for an hour. This allows the body to get used to the idea of exercising regularly instead of trying to cram it all into one session.

Having a list of goals to work towards will make the physical exercise more enjoyable and provide a sense of accomplishment when all the goals are achieved.

Learn to Enjoy the Process

13. Find Motivation Outside of Results

One way to find motivation outside of results is to focus on the journey instead of the destination. This means focusing on the process of exercising and enjoying the experience instead of being fixated solely on the results. This can involve changing your mindset.

Mindset is our thinking, attitude toward life, and approach to dealing with problems and challenges. It’s a critical factor in our success, both personally and professionally. It can be a powerful tool to help us achieve our goals and make life much easier.

Find Motivation Outside of Results


There are many ways to stay motivated to work out. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, improve your cardio, build muscle, or improve your physical health, you can use the strategies shared to get back into your regular routine, stay motivated, and reach your health goals faster. 

Author: Rick

Rick Kaselj MS, is a leading kinesiologist and injury specialist as well as co-creator of the best-selling Unlock Your Hip Flexors program. Rick creates exercise programs that help people heal injuries and eliminate pain, so they can go back to living a full, active, healthy life.

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