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How can you motivate yourself to work out alone?

Working out alone does not necessarily come naturally to everyone. While some prefer this way of exercising, others can find it difficult to motivate themselves to work out without someone there to support and push them along the way. For those who fall into the second category, it is not always easy or possible to exercise with others. Here are some tips to help motivate yourself and stay focused, even when you are working out alone.

1. Set long-term, medium-term and short-term goals 

Setting long-term goals is a great way to give direction to your fitness journey and it also helps you to know what you want to achieve over the next couple of years. For example: lose 10 kgs in a year, be able to run 10 km without stopping by the end of the year, complete a marathon in under four hours in two years’ time.
Next, you need to think about breaking these down into medium-term targets by setting goals that you can achieve in the near future. For example: lose 2 kgs in three months, be able to run 5 km without stopping in six months’ time, take part in running events each month over the summer while gradually increasing the distance each time so that you can run a half marathon by fall. 
Lastly, establish some short-term goals by breaking them down in terms of tasks for each workout session and this will create your workout plan. 
SMART is an acronym that you can use to guide your goal setting: 

S = Specific
M  = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Relevant
T = Time-bound

2. Have a personalized workout plan/journal 

Having a workout plan means that you know exactly what you need to do in each session and it also helps you to see the progress you are making. A journal can be useful after each session to check if your workout plan is suited to your abilities or if you need to make a few changes. 
It is important to remember that a workout plan is a great guide but it is not set in stone. If you are finding it difficult to follow your plan due to work or personal commitments, it is much better to adjust it accordingly than to stick to it at all costs. It could have the exact opposite effect on your motivation and even increase your risk of injury.

3. Challenge yourself and others 

See your goals as a challenge that you have set yourself. As a result, they should be ambitious but still attainable and realistic. You risk slowly losing your motivation during your workout sessions if you set the bar too high. 
Remember, just because you are exercising alone does not mean that you cannot challenge others. The feeling of belonging to a group plays a key role in motivation. This can include, for example, taking part in sporting events with others. 
Social media and WhatsApp groups are a great way to boost motivation while staying in touch with those who are taking on the same challenge as you.

4. Recognize your progress 

It is human nature to focus on what still needs to be done and what could be improved rather than what has been achieved. To keep motivated, concentrate on the positive points, your progress and the benefits of your session (in terms of both results and your well-being in general). Try to use your potential for improvement as a motivating factor for your next session. 


Motivating yourself to work out alone can be done, it just requires some thought and a little careful planning. The health and sports specialists at Hôpital de La Tour are available to help you create the perfect workout plan tailored to your needs and expectations.