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Have a purpose

  • I write down time-specific goals in my diary, so I can see whether I have attained them when the time is up.
  • I write down what I want to achieve for the day, how I will achieve it, and check it when I have accomplished it. And I keep the list posted on the mirror in my bathroom.
  • What helps me the most is setting up short-term goals—I always make sure that I have certain points along the way that I can track my progress with. This keeps me going when times are tough and I don’t feel like working out.
  • I keep a daily journal of my cardio/weight-training workouts as well as everything I eat. This holds me accountable and allows me to chart my progress in a specific way.
  • I have to make a million decisions during the week, both at work and at home. Working out may be hard, but it’s also an hour when I can relax and focus on one thing.
  • My cross-country/track coach has told me to pick one guy on the team and set my goal to beat him. You have to constantly think, If I don’t work out today, ‘so-and-so’ is going to get ahead of me and have a greater advantage.

Make Exercise a Habit

  • I make lunch hour on Tuesday and Thursday my “workout time.” If someone wants to schedule something for those times, I’ll say, “Sorry, I’m busy then.”
  • Working out and eating right can be a habit. Establishing a regular routine and following it for two or three months will condition the body to do it.
  • I find it helps to start thinking of my next workout immediately after I finish my current workout. This way, when I get in the gym I know exactly what I will be doing, and I’m totally prepared and ready to go.
  • A little planning will go a long way. During the workweek I pack my own lunch and bring my own snacks. And I pack my gym bag every night with the essentials…. It’s always waiting for me in the front seat after work.

Remember the Benefits

  • I think about how much better I’ll feel when I’m finished with a workout. Also, I keep in mind that workouts don’t have to be all-or-nothing—when I don’t feel like exercising I can decrease the workout intensity, because it’s better to do some form of exercise than nothing at all.
  • I stay motivated by going to my favorite retailer and trying on the latest styles, one size smaller. I make a mental note to be able to fit into the smaller-waist pants and properly fill out the shirts.
  • On days when I feel flat, I wear sweats, lower the weight, and just try to work up a sweat. At the end of the workout I feel great, my endorphins are high, and my batteries are recharged.
  • My family history includes quite a bit of hypertension and cancer, and I want to stay as healthy and functional as possible for as long as possible.
  • I dream about bumping into my ex the next time we’re at the beach, and can’t wait to see the expression on her face. It’ll be nice seeing her drool.
  • At my heaviest I weighed 260 pounds and I was miserable, but I have since lost 100 pounds. A great way for me to stay motivated is to carry a picture of myself at my heaviest weight in my wallet. If at any time I get the urge to eat unhealthy food or skip a workout, I just look at the picture, and immediately I change my mind.
  • Seeing younger men who look years older than me is a great motivator.
  • I believe that muscles are the badges of the soul. And the physically fit get to wear their badges, no matter what their job, education or social status. What could be more inspiring?
  • I stay focused and motivated by thinking of girls on trampolines.

Work Out Right

  • I look to see how many hours I’m training compared to the amount of rest I’m receiving. If I’m working too much and not getting enough rest, that needs to be modified.
  • If something hurts, I’ll stop what I’m doing and take care of it. I don’t mind slowing down when I need to, because I know that if I injure myself, it will keep me from making progress for a long time.
  • I’ve sold myself on the adage that some is better than none, meaning that a 20- to 30-minute strength-training session or a comparable cardiovascular workout will help me remain on the road to staying strong.
  • I focus on increasing the amount of weight I can lift every week while still maintaining excellent form. Seeing how much I can progress while still doing things right has become a kind of game for me.

Visualize Success

  • When you start a set, don’t say to yourself that you are going to try and do eight reps—tell yourself that you are going to do eight reps, and you will.
  • When I’m on the treadmill, I stay motivated by looking straight in front of me and imagining there is something there I really want, so I try to catch it by running faster and faster for a long time.
  • I’m 23 now, and I try to visualize what shape I want to be in when I’m 30 years old, then when I’m 40, 50 or older.
  • I imagine myself being 50 years old and still able to play sports with my son. I want to be able to work out for my whole life and stay fit, not only physically but mentally as well.

Let Others Help

  • It helps to start an e-mail group for the regulars of your gym or club, where everyone can send in motivational tips and get advice from others.
  • Being on a team helps me to stay motivated even when I don’t feel like training. Your mind says, “I can’t let my team down,” even when your body doesn’t feel like doing it.
  • I have a buddy who works out with me. We encourage each other to do better, and it makes the time go by a lot faster.
  • I read Men’s Fitness articles that I consider important, not once but several times. Whenever I have trouble remembering your advice, that works very well for me.

Enjoy Yourself

  • Working out has become my personal time. Those few hours at the gym are when I can focus on nothing else but myself. No problems, no worries—just me and the weights. That’s where I can make my own personal goals happen.
  • I frequently remind myself, If doing the Stairmaster on level 20 is the hardest thing I have to do throughout the course of a day, I’m going to have a very easy day.
  • My girlfriend and I have a bet going as to who can look the best … and whoever wins gets their fantasy fulfille

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