Between a stress fracture, two broken toes, and the overwhelming desire to stay in bed now that the days are getting shorter, my workout routines have taken a back seat. In fact, you may even go as far as to say that my routine isn’t on the bus at all. Growing up a dancer and gymnast, I can tell you first hand, nothing makes life brighter than the endorphins (and muscle definition) one receives from a strong workout routine. So, how can we battle the urge to cuddle up with tea and a good book for an extra hour instead of going to the gym or that yoga class? Here are my five secret weapons:

    We hear it all the time, “no matter how you feel: get up, dress up, and show up.” The same is true for our workouts. The better you feel in the clothes you are wearing, the easier it is to trick your mind that you are actually EXCITED to start working out again. While we all have our dream list from Lulu Lemon or Carbon38, try splurging on a few key items and supplement the rest with cheaper alternatives. Old Navy and Target both have great options. 
    Nothing makes me feel guiltier than cancelling a workout class I have already paid for. I can’t be reimbursed, so not only am I blowing off my goal, I’m also throwing away my hard earned money! Let’s be real, who wants to do that?!
    If you are someone who cannot hold themselves accountable, ask a close friend or partner to help out. Scared you will hit snooze too many times on the alarm clock to make it to the gym? Ask an early bird to give you a wake-up call. Worried you would rather go to the bar or head home early after work? Ask a co-worker to remind you (nicely but firmly) that you have a date with the gym. Or, better yet, find someone who will go to the gym with you! It’s easier to workout with a friend, and more fun too! Trying a new workout is significantly less intimidating when you have a buddy. 
    I don't care who you are, no one can run a marathon after the first week of working out, or find their six pack after doing an ab circuit four times. It’s easy to get intimidated when starting a new routine, and who likes feeling overwhelmed? Start small. If you’re getting back into running, try running one mile 4 days a week and build from there. If you want to start yoga up again, try making it to 2 classes a week for the first week or two. Be patient with your progress, and celebrate all the small victories. 
    Trying to lose weight? Buy yourself a gift after you reach the first ten pounds. Training for a 5k? Treat yourself to new shoes after you complete the race. Write down your goals, and post them everywhere you will see them to remind yourself what you are working towards. Tell friends for support. It’s important to have a long-term goal, and set shorter term ones along the way. When you reach each milestone, celebrate it! Each short-term goal brings you step one step further to your long-term goal, and makes it seem more possible to succeed.

Between implementing these five steps, drinking water, going to bed early, and a lot of support from my boyfriend and friends, I am slowly finding my journey back into the fitness world a lot less stressful than I imagined. I’m excited to complete some of my short-term goals, and see what my overall progress is six months from now. Do you have any fitness goals? Do you have tips and tricks to achieve them? I’d love to know!