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4 Proven Ways to Increase Your Motivation to Exercise | TIME

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Do it with a friend.

Here’s how to develop workout motivation:

  • Stop Focusing On The Beginning: Yeah, starting the workout sucks. But the other parts can be great.
  • Make A Plan: Make it specific. Write it down. And use “If-Then” to address obstacles before they happen.
  • Make It A Game: If a calendar and a magic marker can create a show like Seinfeld, it can get you to the gym.
  • Play The Music You Love: It’s not just nice, it makes your workout better and has pain-go-bye-bye power.

Want to take all this to the next level? It’s easy:

Plan a walk with a friend who likes to exercise.

Anticipating time with a friend kills the dread. Plus, you made a plan. And you added some good ol’ peer pressure to the mix. Triple threat.

And your friends influence you. Spending time with people who don’t exercise makes you more likely to be a couch potato:

Evidence suggests that the effects are caused primarily by friends who were the least fit, thus supporting the provocative notion that poor physical fitness spreads on a person-to-person basis.

Just doing this is enough to make you much happier. When Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert of Harvard studied 5000 people around the world ages 18-80 they found people were happiest during three activities:

Socializing, exercise and sexy-time.

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