This is a guest post from Vanessa Davis.

Motivation is the most important aspect when it comes to exercising and when that lacks, everything else falls apart sooner or later. Sure, you can train out of stubbornness and that’s sort of motivation as well, but the truth is that your body can recognize very well when you’ve got a real desire to work and improve yourself and when you’re just doing something to get it over with. Results will still be there when you’re working out without motivation, but you won’t feel the fulfillment and you will probably need longer to achieve any noticeable results. That is why this article is dedicated to 5 methods that will always keep you motivated and keep you on track.

Every time I start a new training regimen I start to see progress and some weight loss... then, for some reason, I give up. But since I found these great ideas to stay motivated and I haven't looked back!

Do Something You Love

There are so many different training regimes out there, so many fad diets, countless promises that bring very few results and that alone is enough for you to give up even before you start. One of the things people don’t tell you about exercise is that you have absolute freedom with how you’re going to incorporate into your daily routine. You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym if it makes you uncomfortable and you don’t have to go running if you only want to die after you’re done. There are so many great activities you could be doing, that still promote healthy lifestyle and give you the body that you want. We’re not saying you don’t have to do some cardio or high intensity workouts from time to time, but you don’t have to dread every time you put on your exercise clothes. Variety is the key here, so be bold and try out new things – go swimming, jump the rope, go hiking or try free climbing, cycle to work or rollerblade there, your imagination is the only limit. Of course you will be much more motivated to train when you have fun while doing it.

Know Where You Started

There is always that one defining moment we realize things can’t continue the way they use to be when it comes to our fitness. For some it’s the realization that they can’t button their favorite pair of jeans, for others it’s the fact that they had to stop and catch their breath after a couple of flights of stairs. Whatever it is that made you start your training, keep those strong emotions with you whenever you don’t feel like putting in some effort to feel and look better. Chances are that you don’t ever want to be in that situation again, and that in itself is enough to motivate you to go through your workout. Please, don’t allow negative emotions to motivate you, but rather hold on to that first surge of energy you felt when you first firmly decided to improve your body and work from there.

Be in Good Company

It’s amazing how opinions of other people can affect the way we perceive our reality, especially when it comes to our loved ones. That is why it’s a good idea to have a training partner who will go through training with you. Everything is much easier when done in good company, and let’s face it, we all need reality check from time to time and that voice of reason that tells us not to give up on our healthy diet, encourage us to run just a mile more and cut through excuses we hide behind. If you can afford your own personal trainer, then by all means, go for it, but getting a gym buddy works just as well, if not better. There will be plenty of motivation going around, especially because you will have to be the motivator as well, so you’re going to have to put your money where your mouth is.

Ditch the Negative Chatter

We are the biggest obstacles for ourselves, we don’t need anybody else to limit us, when we’ve got so much negative self-talk constantly going on. Fear and lack of confidence are enough to cramp us into a little box called comfort zone, from which so many of us never break free and same rules apply when it comes to training. If you don’t think you can do it, well, you can’t. Negative self-image is one of the most frequent issues modern man has to deal with and it’s our limitation in many occasions, self-improvement included. Every time you think you can’t do something or attain a goal, remember that our minds always want to give much before our bodies do, so don’t give in, smile even though you don’t feel like it and push on.

Just Start!

You know how you get that uneasy feeling in your stomach when you think about your workout? The truth is that your mind is playing with you and it all goes away the moment you get to the gym or play that workout video, because that is the moment your mind accepts that it’s lost the battle. Being motivated to work out comes naturally the moment you actually start doing it, but everything that comes beforehand is a risk factor. Your ego doesn’t want to be uncomfortable, so it will give you all sorts of excuses and ways out not to go through it, but it all simply melts away when you start warming up. So instead of dreading the fact that you’ve got five miles to run, think about how good stretching before that run will feel, and after you’ve stretched, well, you might as well have a run while you’re there.

Every time I start a new training regimen I start to see progress and some weight loss... then, for some reason, I give up.