Working out isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) easy… that’s why it’s called work, after all. We all have the best intentions to hit the gym, but there are times when things — work, happy hours, or the sheer physical inability of getting out of PJs — get in the way. So to prepare us for those inevitable sluggish days, we chatted with seven fitness experts to find out how to stay motivated to move.

Runner stretching in sunny rural field

1. Choose an activity that requires an appointment. While doing a seven-minute workout at home may seem like a great option for busy gals, Lisa Corsello, founder of group-fitness studio Burn, advises us to “choose something that requires an appointment, like a group fitness class, and treat it like you would any other commitment.” Having something to write down in your planner or add to your Google Cal will help you stay accountable.

2. Get cute AF workout gear. Let’s be honest — wearing your ratty high school gym shorts isn’t really the best motivator to leave the house for a workout. According to fitness instructor and Chaise Fitness owner Claudia Aarts-Schreiber, one of the best ways to make you want to hit the gym is by gifting yourself cute workout clothes. “There’s nothing like an awesome outfit to make you feel good,” she notes. And that’s before you get all those awesome workout endorphins.

Athletic girl focused on fitness training with ropes at gym

3. Clean out your newsfeed. According to celebrity trainer and author of The Code Red Holiday Survival Guide, Cristy Nickel, cleaning up your activity online is just as important as all the work you’re doing IRL to stay fit. “Trying to eat healthier? Then ‘hide’ those chocolate cake videos. Trying to cut back on wine? Get rid of wine advertisements,” she advises. “Get them out of your newsfeed so they’ll get out of your mind.” Temptation managed.

4. Stick to a 15-minute rule. “Getting to the gym or out the door for a run is often the hardest part,” says fitness guru Lea Genders. Oh yeah, we’ve been there a few times (ahem). Her advice? Commit to a 15-minute rule. “Even when you really don’t feel like exercising, promise yourself you’ll go for at least 15 minutes. Most of the time, once you get going, you won’t want to stop,” she says.

Woman reading book in bubble bath

5. Find non-food rewards (double points if they’re free!). Instead of treating yourself with a candy bar, try to find rewards you love that won’t counteract all of your hard work, advises Jessa Mehta, founder of Get it Ohm! Karmic Yoga. “For example, a reward might be a solid stretch of guilt-free uninterrupted pleasure reading or a bath instead of a quickie shower,” she says. You’ll feel like you’ve indulged but are still 100 percent on track to hit your fitness goals.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff. “I had a client come to me worried about her nightly popsicle she liked to have,” says fitness guru Stephen Mason. “It’s never the popsicle or fun-sized candy bar or even the bowl of ice cream that’s a problem. It’s the popsicle for dessert after the burger for dinner, the Cheez-Its for lunch and the Pop-Tarts for breakfast ON TOP of not working out all week. Focus on your healthy eating and exercise habits and don’t worry about the occasional treat,” he says.

7. Utilize your phone’s background. “Make your wallpaper a picture of your goal,” advises Patrick Henigan, lead trainer at Jacksonville Fitness Academy. Whether it’s a scale with your goal weight or a pic of that adorable dress you’d love to fit into, having an hourly reminder of what you’re working hard for is invaluable to helping you stay on track.

How do you keep up with your fitness goals? Tweet us your tips by mentioning @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)