We all know it’s important to be physically active, but it can be hard to keep up a workout routine when school, work, family and social obligations take up so much of our days.

Sometimes the last thing you want to do is go for a run or hit the gym, so athlete and fitness personality Katie Austin  is breaking down how to stay motivated to stick to your workout goals (even when you really don’t want to work out).

Below are her best tips:

Katie Austin

(Katie Austin via The Riker Brothers)

1. Remember Why You Work Out

Focus on why you set fitness goals—think about the big picture rather than the individual workout.

“First and foremost, I’m motivated by the way that working out makes me feel—not only physically, but how I feel about myself,” Austin tells Sweety High. “It boosts my overall confidence.”


2. Work Out First Thing in the Morning

“Working out in the morning is probably the best time to work out, just because then you don’t have to dread it the whole day,” she says. “That’s really helpful!”


3. Pick Out Your Workout Outfit the Night Before

“Lay out your clothes the night before so you have it all set up—your shoes, your sports bra, everything like that,” says Austin. “Right when you wake up, put on your workout clothes and your tennis shoes.”

Once you’re dressed, it’s easier to get to that next step of actually doing the work.


4. Create an Empowering Playlist

“Listen to music to get pumped up,” she recommends. “That’s a huge way to stay motivated. Put your headphones in and block everything else out.”


5. Plan Your Workouts Ahead of Time

Getting to the gym and not knowing exactly what to do can be overwhelming and detract from your motivation.

“Have a set plan of what you’re going to do, whether that’s a set program or videos, or just writing down what you’re going to do beforehand,” says Austin. “If you’re going to a gym, write down your sets and reps of each exercise, or sign up for a class.”


6. Decide on a (Healthy) Treat to Have After Your Workout

“Knowing you’re going to have a good treat afterward like a smoothie or protein muffin is always good motivation!” says the Muscle Milk brand ambassador.


7. Start with Small Goals

“If I’m not in the mood to work out, I tell myself, ‘Okay, I’m just going to do 15 or 20 minutes,’ ” says Austin. “Once you start going and you get 15 minutes in, you start feeling really good and you tell yourself, ‘Okay, I’m going to do another 15 minutes.’ Starting smaller is always key because you don’t want to feel intimidated before you even begin.”


Looking to update your workout playlist? Check out THESE new music releases from Bea Miller, American Authors and more.