As the days shorten and winter draws closer, it's hard to always find the motivation to work out—and it's even harder when you have to make yourself wake up early to do it. It's definitely possible, though. Here's how to get over all those excuses you're making and keep exercising through the colder months.
1. Schedule it.
Schedules are so, so helpful. A solid schedule helps you turn your workouts into a routine, making them something you don't want to skip. It's also like having an appointment each day—you wouldn't miss a scheduled doctor's appointment, so you won't miss your workout appointments either.
It also helps for you to design a plan that's perfect for you, not someone else, as you won't be doing a workout you aren't ready for. You can schedule at your own pace and work your way up when you're ready.
2. Invest money in your workouts.
Spending money isn't anyone's favorite thing, but joining a gym or getting a personal trainer can really help with your motivation. If you're paying for something, you're less likely to skip out on it. Your bed may be calling you, but then you'd be throwing money away. Unless you're filthy rich, that's not really something any of us can afford.
3. Go to a class or switch things up.
If you go to a class, you have the peer pressure factor (in a good way!)—you don't want to be the one walking out of class halfway or skipping classes regularly. You also have other people motivating you. Talking to people in your classes can introduce you to some people who probably came for the same reason as you. Soon enough you'll have new workout buddies.
You also have a variety of options to choose from if you choose to take a class. If you don't like one, you can try another that might suit you better. You can find a fun, motivating workout that you'll actually enjoy going to every day.
In addition to classes, you can try to switch up your morning routine. If you are able, turn your commute into a workout. Research has shown that those who bike or walk to work are actually happier. If you aren't able to do this, try parking farther away from work and getting a 20- to 30-minute walk in. That small change to your morning can make all of the difference in the rest of your workday and helps you get in some early morning movement.
4. Find a gym buddy.
Gym friends are great for dragging you out of bed and making you go to your workout. Plus, it's harder to bail on a workout when you know you're letting someone else down. If you have a commitment to each other, you'll feel bad about breaking it.
5. Treat yourself!
While you definitely need to have a carb and protein boost before your workout, you can't eat a ton. So have something to look forward to afterward. Plan a nice breakfast for after your workout so you have something to reward yourself with when you're done—think whole grains and delicious fruit.
6. Start competing.
If you're a competitive person, nothing will motivate you more than a little friendly competition. This could get you to go above and beyond your usual workout and make you push yourself each time.
If you have a workout buddy, take your fitness trackers and challenge each other to be the one with the best stats at the end of the day. Even if you're working out solo, make it a contest with yourself to try and top yourself each time you do a workout.