When The Struggle Is Real: How To Stay Motivated to Workout

how to stay motivated to workout
As the beginning of this new year came, it caused me to reflect on what a crazy year 2017 was for me in the area of fitness. In January of last year, I was in a car accident that totaled my car and massively messed up my back and neck. It came at a time in my fitness journey where I was feeling incredibly strong, loved how my body looked and was just so excited about the progress that I had made at the gym. Then all of the sudden, I was at square ZERO! I felt completely defeated and frustrated and it was so hard for me to stay motivated to workout!

Nothing is more frustrating than knowing what your body is capable of and not being able to do it. I went from five days a week at the gym (three doing crossfit and two with a regular workout or climbing) to not being able to do anything…not even a sit-up. Over the course of the year, I re-injured my back two more times. Yes, I know, I have horrible luck!

The first time, I was thinking that I was further along in the healing process than I actually was. The second time, I slipped (while completely sober) carrying bags of food down a hill and landed on my hard on my butt since both of my hands were full. Man, has it been hard to stay motivated workout the past year! I use the work workout to include everything from stretching and going on a walk, to lifting weights and working up a good sweat. It’s been a year of learning to be patient with myself and my body, of not looking in the mirror and thinking negative thoughts about what I see now (SO hard!), and finding joy in the journey.

Although my fitness journey may look different from someone else’s, I understand that the struggle of trying to stay motivated to workout is very real! Maybe you’ve made a New Years resolution to get healthy and now you’re struggling to stay motivated. Perhaps you just can’t seem to find the time in your schedule or figure out what the right type of workout is for you. I have a few ways to help you stay motivated to workout!

how to stay motivated to workout


Find Something That You ENJOY Doing!
Working out is hard enough, so trying to convince yourself to do something that you really don’t enjoy to begin with is close to impossible. I know that it’s such an obvious one, but I hear it so often! It may take some time to find “your thing” but, you will. I mean, you probably can power through it for a little while, but why torture yourself like that? There are so many awesome ways to stay fit and active, some of my faves are escaping to nature to go for a hike, rock climbing, barre, or this time of year I like going snowshoeing (something I can finally do again now that there’s snow in Tahoe!).


Change Up Your Workout Routine
A change in your workout routine is a great way to keep those motivation juices flowing! There’s an awesome app called ClassPass that really helps add some variety to your workouts. It pulls up all the gyms in your area and gives you class options for everything from “open gym”, yoga classes, pilates, barre, reformer, lifting, and a bunch more. No, this isn’t a sponsored bit for ClassPass, it’s just an awesome, easy way to change up your workout. Who knows, maybe you will try something new that you love. It really helped me find new workouts during my time of transition!


Just Do It!!
Whenever I’m struggling to get myself up and working out, I remind myself that I’ve never regretted a workout or never finished a workout and thought, “Man, I wish I hadn’t done that. I should’ve just stayed home on the couch.” There have been tons of times where I’ve decided not to go and kicked myself for not going.


Treat Yourself To Some New Workout Clothes
Nothing motivates like a new pair of leggings or a fun new sports bra for the gym! I mean, it’s pretty much the best part of working out, right? If you need some ideas about some great spots for affordable workout clothes, this will be a big help.


Schedule Your Workouts Into Your Week
Scheduling out when you’ll be at the gym during the week helps you to stay consistent and minimises conflict. If you know that you’re doing Wine Wednesday after work with the girls, then you can make time for the gym that morning instead or make time for a Saturday sesh in your weekend.


Find A Gym Buddy
Finding someone that can hit the gym with you is an awesome way to stay motivated to workout! Not only is it harder to find excuses but, because your buddy will just roll their eyes and tell you to get your butt to the gym. This way, it makes going to the gym fun and social!! If you’re just starting to workout, having a friend there can make it a little less intimidating.


Class VS. Open Gym
Another great way to stay motivated to workout is to figure out if you work better in a class setting or on your own. For me, I do so much better in a class setting! I definitely don’t push myself hard enough when I’m on my own. I’m like, “Okay, I feel done! Let’s go eat.” I love the peer pressure of having to keep up with everyone in a class and not slack off. Having an instructor push me when I’d normally feel done, is really helpful for me. It’s also awesome because I know that I’ll get a full workout in during a set amount of time.

how to stay motivated to workouthow to stay motivated to workouthow to stay motivated to workouthow to stay motivated to workout

Photography: Diana Elena

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Do you struggle to stay motivated to workout? I’d love to hear if any of these ways are helpful for you or if you’re already motivated. What helps you to stay that way?
Meaghan xx
Windbreaker:  Nike c/o Dicks Sporting Goods
Leggings: Marshalls
Sweatshirt: Under Armor c/o Dicks Sporting Goods
Sneakers: Adidas c/o Dicks Sporting Goods


  1. brianatrev on February 1, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Taking classes are such a great motivation honestly!


    • Meaghan Gonzalez on February 11, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      I definitely start slacking if I’m not doing a class!! It gives me something to look forward to in my week and gets me excited to go to the gym!

  2. fashNcurious on February 1, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Finding a gym buddy is the key!! I need one quick, fast and in a hurry!

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on February 11, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      I would totally be yours! Are long distance gym buddies a thing?! haha

  3. lindatenchitran on February 2, 2018 at 6:47 am
    • Meaghan Gonzalez on February 11, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      Thanks so much Linda! I’m glad that you like them : )

  4. Laura Botkin on February 2, 2018 at 8:43 am

    I think I need to treat myself to some new workout clothes! I mean its only fair right? Thanks for the tips, I was really struggling this morning!

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on February 11, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      Exactly!! It’s absolutely essential for a high level of motivation for the gym haha. If you want top performance, I suggest a new pair of shoes too!! ; )

  5. Natalie on February 2, 2018 at 11:16 am

    I love these sneaks! I have a hard time getting into a routine of working out, but once I start, it does become a habit. I usually find it helpful to get in that “me time” and really think about how our bodies are our own to keep healthy. I don’t want to be a 60-year old person who can’t do anything because I didn’t take care of myself. So, that helps me with motivation. Also, I like dessert, a lot. But, I feel so much better about that ice cream if I have worked my butt off for an hour staying fit!

    xoxo, Natalie

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on February 11, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      I hear ya, girl!! It definitely goes beyond just looking good, it’s important to have a healthy lifestyle for our future selves. I’m all about giving myself those little rewards aka sweets!! It’s a good feeling to know I’ve worked hard at the gym for it : ) Thanks for sharing all your thoughts with me, I love hearing them xx

  6. everythingdeeblog on February 4, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    These are great tips! It helps that me and my boyfriend go to the gym together. A gym buddy definitely keeps you motivated.

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on February 11, 2018 at 3:12 pm

      That’s awesome that you two can workout together! Not only do you get to spend time with one another, but you can also keep fit and have someone to keep you accountable!

  7. Kristie on February 5, 2018 at 8:37 am

    These are great tips to stay motivated! Good luck on your workout journey in 2018. I hope you can stay away from any more injuries!


    • Meaghan Gonzalez on February 11, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      Aww thanks Kristie!! I need all the luck I can get, coupled with good ol’ common sense! I hope pairing them together will get me through 2018 injury free haha. Wish you all the best on your fitness journey as well xx

  8. Delayna on February 5, 2018 at 10:40 am

    These are all great tips!! I am one to need a partner for motivation! Those are hard to come by!!

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on February 11, 2018 at 3:59 pm

      Workout partners really are hard to come by! I’m so glad you enjoyed the tips and hope that you find an awesome person to workout with soon : )

  9. Christianne on February 5, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    I hear you and been trying to keep up with my routine. Sometimes I fail but I still keep going.
    Xo, Christianne

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on February 11, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      That’s the most important part!! So proud of you for continuing to just keep going. You’ve totally got this!!

  10. brianatrev on February 6, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Great tips! I seriously needed this!


    • Meaghan Gonzalez on February 11, 2018 at 4:12 pm

      Aww I’m so happy they were helpful for you!! Have a fabulous Sunday, girl xx

  11. shannon5286 on February 13, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    I swear, sometimes I need all the help I can get with this. These tips are dead on – in fact, I need to change up my routine a bit! Love the kicks too 🙂 xx Shannon || http://www.champagneatshannons.com

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on February 14, 2018 at 7:33 am

      You’re preaching to the choir Shannon!! I’m talking to myself in all of these tips because I need it too. That makes me soooo happy to hear that my tips have helped you! Keep going after it xx

  12. Tia Johnson on February 14, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    This post is so timely for me. I am overdo for some new workout clothes. Maybe this is exactly what I need to get me back in the gym!

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on February 16, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      Aww yay!! I’m glad it came at a perfect time for you. New workout clothes are such a big motivator for me, even if it’s something small like a sports bra : )

  13. chloejoymorien on February 14, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Great tips! I find that I work better in a class setting…I get a bit competitive too so doing a class always pushes me to work a bit harder 😛 – I’ve really struggled the last 2 years to find motivation to work out – I used to be a big gym junkie and worked out 5-6 days a week. I’m starting small and just doing a few classes a week for now, and I’m hoping I’ll catch the workout bug and start to love the gym again 🙂 xx

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on February 16, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      Same, girl, same!! I’m definitely more reluctant to slack off when there’s a whole class watching haha. That being said, I’ve had to become okay with taking my time or doing an “easier” workout with my lower back injury which can really suck at times. Last night while everyone was deadlifting, I was doing boring old weighted lunges! Maybe try something new? I hope you catch the bug too and love working out again xx

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