Make It Cost You
Even if you already have a routine and know which machines to use and how, pay for a personal trainer. Since most of them charge you if you cancel last minute, you’ll be less inclined to recline on the sofa watching Wife Swap instead of hitting the gym like you'd planned. Sure, times are tough for most of us financially. But that means you should be cutting back on unnecessary costs—and your health doesn’t fit the bill.
Rise to the Occasion
Literally. Get up an hour earlier three days a week and work out first thing in the morning, before work. If you plan to go after work, it's a lot easier to tell yourself you had an especially exhausting day and throw in the towel.
Have a "Lazy Day" Backup Plan
Invest in the basics for a quick at-home workout: an exercise mat and some free weights. That way, when you really don't feel like making the trip to the gym, you'll have the resources to spend 30 minutes flexing your muscles at home. Even if you do fewer crunches, lunges, and bicep curls at home, it's better than skipping out on your workout altogether.
Keep a Log
Hang up a calendar in an obvious spot that is devoted solely to tracking your workouts. Every day you don't work out, mark it with a giant red "X." If you skip two or three days in a row you'll be faced with all of those giant "X"s--a visual reminder that it's time to get your butt in gear.
It's always easier to get through something you don't want to do when you have something to look forward to after. On weekends, plan something fun post-workout. Tell yourself you'll stop for a pedicure on the way home from the gym, or plan a girls' night out for that evening. That way, the gym will be just a stop on the way to something else you're actually looking forward to.
Dress the Part
You know how when you get a new shirt or dress, you're in a better mood to go out on a Saturday night? Well, the same can apply to working out. Putting on the same sweats and sports bra day after day can get old fast and become just another reason not to motivate. So once a month, treat yourself to a new piece of fitness fashion. Before you know it, you'll be in such great shape, you'll find yourself in the dressing room trying on those itty bitty Spandex shorts you swore you'd never be caught dead in. Because damn, you look good in them.
You've no doubt heard it before: Having a friend to work out makes you more apt to stick to your fitness plan. So do it. And for extra motivation, make a pact: Each one of you sets up an "I'm lazy" jar. Then, whenever someone bails, she has to put $5 in her jar. When her jar gets up to $20 (four missed workouts), she has to buy you a gift with the dough. And vice versa.
Keep Your iPod Fresh
There's nothing worse than going through an hour-long workout in silence. Except maybe suffering through bad music that the gym blasts over their speakers. Or the same old music that you've had on rotation on your iPod for weeks. So create a high-energy playlist of stuff you like on your iPod--and remember to change it up every week to stay motivated.