So here is a story: It’s a new month. New month, New you. As such, you make resolutions, one of which is to hit the gym, join a yoga class, be active in a sport you like, or to start jogging around the neighborhood. You are pumped up in the first month. This year it’s going to be different, you just want to smash those goals and get that beach body that’s Instagram-worthy. It’s mid-month, and you can’t see much change in your body. I mean that body should be forming already, right? Wrong.

Now what?

You have a cheat meal, then a binge drinking spree on the weekend, then the next few weekends. You miss one day at the gym. “It’s just one day right? I’ll go tomorrow, ” you tell yourself. You skip another day. “I just missed two days,” you lament. The entire week goes by then another. By end of that month, someone is back to their old habits. Does this sound familiar? By this time you have lost your motivation to exercise.


Staying motivated to exercise can be a challenge for those getting started. Don’t worry as you just need to take one step at a time at your own pace.  Here are a few tips I have used that could boost your motivation to exercise consistently.

1. Knowledge

Don’t just get into something you do not know about. Before deciding to start a workout program, do some research about why you need to exercise. Know what you need to get active. Get to know how the body responds to exercise in the first few days and how it adapts to exercise. Therefore, with this information you will not quit after day two because you would be expecting muscle soreness from the previous day’s work out. Hence you will be mentally prepared fully.

2. Have a regular workout time scheduled

As a mom, there is a lot to be done around the house and at work. Therefore, scheduling your work out sessions helps you avoid stress, anxiety and resentfulness. Be sure to give enough time for your workout session. Include time to get to your place of workout and time needed to change into your attire. Also include what you will be doing for the allocated amount of time. This makes it easier for your workout sessions. When scheduling your sessions remember that rest is as important and add rest days to your schedule.

3. Stop waiting for a miracle

You will not get results from work you have not done. Therefore, when it comes to exercise, apply Newtons third law (the law of action-reaction). That is to say, what you give is what you get. Don’t expect to lose weight or gain muscular strength from just thinking about it. You have to go out there and make it happen. Hard work and suffering is what it takes.

4. Get comfortable workout gear

This includes good workout shoes and a sports bra, especially for moms who are breastfeeding. Furthermore get a good pair of socks for your feet, polyester t-shirt or vest, a good pair of workout shorts or tights. When you feel good in your workout attire, chances are you will enjoy your time during exercise. In short, when shopping for workout clothes comfort is the way to go. You don’t want to have limited range of motion when doing squats because your pair of tights are too tight. It might get uncomfortable during dance class when your boobs keep popping out! Get a good sports bra to prevent any of this.

Get into some comfortable workout attire.

5. Be flexible and gentle with yourself

Let’s say your schedule says your workout sessions are in the morning. This does not mean you cannot have them in the evening. There are days when moms have emergencies to attend to. Such as when the babies are sick and mornings are spent in the hospital. Adjust your routine to exercise in the evening when the kids are laid down to rest . If you are not able to workout at all , remember tomorrow is another day.

6. Make a financial commitment

As human beings we tend to value things we have paid for. Get a gym membership, hire a personal trainer, or better yet, join a sports club. If you can pay up to 3 months, do it. This way if you miss your workout sessions there will be that pinch of ‘wasted money’. You wouldn’t want to waste three months’ worth of gym membership, would you? As such, this is enough motivation.

7. Reward yourself

Every time  you hit a milestone in your fitness journey, reward yourself. Get yourself a new pair of training shoes, a new attire. Indulge in that cheesy pizza or cake you’ve been avoiding. This doesn’t mean that you get carried away. You can even decide to go on a weekend get away without the kids. Celebrate getting to your goal weight or losing those five inches around your waist. This will definitely have you looking forward to smashing more goals. 

8. Find a workout buddy that won’t let you off the hook

Inviting a friend to help you achieve those fitness goals could be the motivation you need. How fun would it be if you and your friends spend an hour a day catching up and burning calories? Find that one friend who is not afraid to call you out on the days you miss your workout together. It works more like having an accountability partner.

Get yourself a workout buddy

9. Track your progress

Be sure to take girth measurements of your waist, hips, chest, arms and thighs before starting a workout routine. This is one of the ways you can know if you are making any progress. Take the measurements on a monthly basis to check how far you’ve come. Another way is by keeping a record of how you feel during and after workouts. Go through the journal every now and then and note the difference.

10. Consider having a personal trainer

If you can afford to, hire a personal trainer. They will help you design a workout program best suited to your needs. A personal trainer will be there to observe and correct your performance. They will also be there to challenge and motivate you. When hiring a personal trainer be sure to get someone you are comfortable with. 

11. Stop consuming empty calories

Unhealthy, processed, and high sugar foods make you feel tired, lazy and grumpy. This could  have you postponing your workout sessions or not having them at all. Eat plenty of whole foods, fruits and vegetables. Your nutrition program should work for you. Instead of removing things you enjoy add more of the things that will help you achieve your fitness goals. Have meals with all the three macro nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. This way, you will have energy to hit the gym and record a new personal best.

A plate of vegetables and chapati.

12. Fun and variety

Doing the same thing over and over again can get exhausting. Break the monotony. If you are using a fitness app, have a dance class or go for yoga. If you are a gym junkie try going for a hike or a run. Participating in a sport is also a good way to keep things interesting.

13. Stop making workout about how you look

There are so many reasons to workout such as exercise to increase your strength. Also to get those feel good hormones(hello endorphins).A workout could also be to boost your immunity, get that energy boost, improve your blood circulation and also to increase your bone density.

14. Have music you enjoy listening to on your workout playlist

Your favorite music gets you motivated to finish your workout sessions. Make a playlist depending on the type of exercise you will be doing. It’s best to do this before the workout so as to save time during exercise.

15. Don’t call it exercise or workout

The terms exercise or workout make it seem so unachievable. You can call it movement or whatever you want to call it. This is a way to get rid of the pressure these terms put on beginners.

16. Create space in your home for workout

Have a space in your house dedicated entirely to working out. That way, when it is time to exercise, you won’t get lazy thinking about having to move furniture around.

15. Have consequences

It’s such a challenge when you have to discipline yourself, but it’s actually very important to do so. Every time you skip a day of workout have consequences depending on the your reason for not exercising. For example, if you skip a day because you were feeling lazy , don’t watch your favorite series for a day. Sounds fair, doesn’t it?


Staying motivated to exercise is about making personal choices and adapting your life around meeting your fitness goals. Keep your eyes on the prize and surround yourself with like-minded people. Avoid people with poor habits that might derail you. Happy exercising!

Listen to the Thriving SuperMama podcast here. Available on Anchor, Google podcasts, Apple, Republic and others.

A sports, exercise and wellness consultant. Check out her Instagram @muenikimani

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