As much as I love working out, it can be hard sometimes to motivate myself to get the job done. I have learned a few tips and tricks over the years that I have found helpful in getting started and staying motivated.

Today I'm sharing ten tips that I use regularly that help me stay motivated and excited to keep putting in the effort day after day.

1) Lay out your workout clothes the night before.
I always pick out my workout clothes the night before and lay them out on the bathroom counter so they are ready and waiting for me in the morning. Takes out the guesswork, especially if you are like me and are an early riser for the gym.

2) Find a workout buddy.
Have a hard time getting yourself to the gym? Find a friend and hold each other accountable. If you each know that you are meeting at the gym, you are more likely to show up. You won't stand up your friend!! Once you are there and put in just five minutes, you'll feel invested and ready to continue to workout.

3) Attend a workout class on a regular basis.
Find a class that you enjoy and keep coming back. You will begin to create friendships with those that are in the class and sometimes that will provide the accountability you need to show up.

4) Invest in some at-home workout equipment.
Some days going to the gym just isn't in the cards. Been there. Or, maybe you don't have a gym membership at all. No problem. Beachbody On Demand is a great solution. For $99/year you get access to all of their programs and can stream them from your smartphone, computer or TV. I use this if my gym is closed or can't make it to the gym due to sick kids or other commitments that keep me at home. Don't want to spend that kind of money, invest in a set of hand weights and look up videos on You-Tube.

5) Wear workout clothes that make you feel confident.
It's true that what we wear can make in impact on how we feel. That goes for workout gear as well. No matter your shape or size, be comfortable at the gym. Wear what works for you.

6) Find a podcast that interests you.
I do love to listen to music while I exercise, but lately I have been alternating music with podcasts. Podcasts are great for your general cardio equipment like treadmills, ellipticals or stairclimbers or running/walking outsdie. They give you something to listen to and help take your mind off the exercise. For example, you might find it habitual to listen while you run and that is motivation enough to tie up your shoes and hit the pavement for a few minutes.

7) Share your successes.
Don't be afraid to toot your own horn every once in awhile. Made a new PR during a lifting session or a run. Share it! Be proud of your accomplishments. Hearing what you have done can be motivation for someone else as well as encouragement for yourself to keep going.

8) Make your time on the treadmill a game.
A run outside is always preferable but not always possible. If you are like me and the thought of more then ten minutes on a treadmill is torture, make it a game. I like to do intervals where I walk and run and varying speed and incline. For example, each minute I will tick the speed up. 5, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3. 5.4 for five minutes, then back down and back up at even higher speed. Then maybe walk to a similar pattern and vice versa.

9) Keep it simple, go for a walk.
If all else fails, take a walk. Even a ten minute walk is a good starting point. Once you get going, you're likely to continue increasing your time and finding the motivation to keep going. Throw on a new podcast as mentioned above and walk until the episode is over. You'll enjoy yourself, promise.

**10) Remember that taking care of yourself matters! **
Nobody is going to do it for you. Finding the time and putting in the effort is up to you and only you. If you are one that often puts others first, know that you also need to put in time for you. Exercise is a great way to do that. It provides you with necessary 'you time' and is good for your mind, body and soul. If you aren't taking care of yourself, it won't be as easy to take care of those around you. You deserve it. Don't let anybody tell you different.

I hope you have find these tips and tricks helpful. They have certainly helped me. As my shirt today for spirit week at the YMCA says, 'The only way to finish is to start'. If that isn't motivation enough, I don't know what is!