Motivation quite often starts out as extrinsic; you start a new year’s resolution, you want to lose weight or gain muscle, you’re training for a race or you’ve joined a six week challenge.

But that doesn’t usually last very long. Eventually you run your race, your six week challenge ends, you lose the weight or gain the muscle you set out to.

So… now what? When you’ve achieved your goal, how do you stay motivated to keep showing up at the gym? 

“Just do it” yeah ok Nike, just settle down. Sometimes it’s not that easy.

Really though, we need to create intrinsic motivation, which is behaviour motivated by internal reward (the behaviour becomes the reward, grasshopper), rather than the external rewards that motivated you initially.

So basically, what I’m saying is:

Find a way to enjoy going to the gym.

But how? When you really don’t like cardio, you can’t just make yourself like cardio. True, deep down you might not ever like the asshole (assault) bike, BUT you sure as shit can fake it til you make it girl! AND at the very least, keep showing up, with these three tips:


If you’re going to do something you don’t enjoy, at least know WHY you’re doing it. Write down affirmations as to why you know you need to do cardio. For example, “having a strong heart and lung capacity is going to reduce my risk of some serious diseases and help me live healthier as I get older” or “pushing myself in something I don’t enjoy will make me mentally tougher in other areas of my life”  or “having aerobic stamina will help me outrun the zombies when they come, because they ARE coming”.


Even if you start off gleaming with determination and full of affirmations, it’s inevitable that at some point, you’ll fall a little flat, and be tempted to skip the gym “just once”, and it’s a slippery slope from there friend! Obviously, sometimes life happens and there’s nothing we can do about it, we have other commitments, family, friends, work, holidays. 

However, we can anticipate some obstacles and eliminate them to improve our chances of staying on track. Think back on times where you haven’t made it to the gym (excluding when life happens). Do you find it hard to get up early to get to a class? Maybe as soon as you get home you get sucked into a Netflix vortex and forget all about the gym.

It will be different for everyone. Find out what’s holding you back and nip it in the bud; if you find it too hard to get up early, go to evening class instead, or have your alarm on the other side of the room so you have to get up to turn it off. Head straight to the gym instead of going home first, Netflix can wait.


Now that you’ve made it in the door, your environment is CRUCIAL in setting you up for success. Think about it, you can do literally anything, if you’re doing it with the right people.

The environment you’re in, and the people you surround yourself with, will be the determining factor in whether you actually have a good time while you’re at the gym. Note to self though: this will backfire if you’re buddying up with a bunch of Negative Nancy’s. Look for people who are likeminded, who want to work hard and who will push you harder than you’ll push yourself.

Feed off of other people’s energy, and in return, give them yours.


Melanie Corlett