Motivation is the key to everything, whether it be pertaining to your job, your marriage/relationship or especially your health.

However, motivation doesn’t come easy. There are plenty of days where we don’t have the energy or desire to exercise or even eat right. It’s seems so much simpler to drive thru a fast food joint and order a super-sized meal than to go home and cook a healthy-based meal that in actuality could only take a few extra minutes.

Now, when it comes to exercise we could think of a million other things we’d enjoy or “need” to do when 5:00 rolls around. Who wants to workout when Facebook is waiting, or the couch is calling your name. You simply have to push yourself and motivation is the tool that will keep you going.

Work out with a friend. If you have a friend waiting on you at the gym or even at your or his/her house you are less likely to stand them up. If you’ve made a commitment to someone you’re going to want to keep it. Plus, working out with a friend is a great way to push each other. Try to find someone that is on the same workout level as you and has the same goals. It will be easier for the two of you to have a successful workout.

Try making a music playlist specifically for working out. Only put upbeat songs on it because it will make your workout seem easier. Put songs on it that you know will get you pumped. It’s proven that upbeat and fast tempo songs distract you from sensations you get regarding to pain and effort while working out.

On those days when you are dreading the thought of working out still show up to the gym. Tell yourself that you will only warm up and do some light workouts including stretches and then you can call it quits. More than likely you will end up finishing your entire workout because it’s easier to finish once you’ve started. So, you’ve basically tricked yourself into working out.

If you don’t like certain exercises don’t stress out over it. Sure, there are lots of great exercises that we should all do but you are more prone to working out if you are doing exercises you enjoy or don’t completely dislike. Not everyone is a runner. Some people hate running. Running is great exercise but it’s enough to shun people from the gym. Pick a workout that you are comfortable with. The whole point of working out is to get your heart rate up and to get your body moving.

Finally, write down your fitness goals. If you put it in writing where you are forced to look at it every day or every other day it becomes a little more tangible. Record specific details including exercises and perceptions on how your workouts are going. Also, keep track of your progress. That right there is enough to keep you going.

Just remember…don’t give up. When you feel better about yourself, you’re going to function better. Follow these motivation tips because you’re 40 percent more likely to work out if you have strategies to overcome the obstacles.