If you split your workout into smaller workouts, it may seem easier. So instead of thinking you need to run 5 miles, you can think that you’re only doing 5 short runs of 1 mile. If you have 6 exercises in a session, you actually only have 2 small exercises for the arms, two for the shoulders and two for the upper back.
You know what gets me going when I run? I picture I run after the guy who stole my first bike some years ago, to catch him and kick his ass. Sure, he’s imaginary, but every little bit of motivation helps. The days when I like my bike most are the days when I run after that imaginary guy as fast as I can- and they happen to be my best sprinting times.
3. Like a pro
If you want to push through a tough workout but you constantly lack the will, you could hire a personal trainer. They can be like a drill sergeant, or like a friend who encourages you- find the right fit and get moving!
4. Change pace
If you have to run, for instance, 10 miles, you could change your pace every half mile. The change will add enough variety, often enough, so that you don’t get bored, and monitoring your pace and your progress can keep your mind off the fact that you consider this to be a tough workout.
5. Trick yourself
What works for me every time is counting backwards. If I have a set of 8 repetitions, I will either count backwards from 8 to 1, or count like this: 1-2-3-4, 4-3-2-1. Either way the focus here is on how little you still have to go, rather than how much you’ve done. When you think “uuugh I’ve already done 7 reps” you don’t feel like doing the 8th too, but when you think “OK, only one more to go” it’s easier to find motivation.
6. Reward yourself
There was a saying on fitness blogs at one point that went like this:
“Don’t reward yourself with food, you are not a dog”
I partially agree with this, in the sense that one hour of cardio should not be “rewarded” with two large frappuccinos with extra cream and sugar. No point in ruining your progress like that. But sometimes food rewards can be great- like a superfood smoothie, or a protein shake in a flavor you really like (banannaaaaaaaa!).
Or if you want, reward yourself with something every week, or every month, like new workout gear, and remind yourself of this with each tough workout.