How to Stay Motivated to Workout?

The fitness industry’s overemphasis on motivation is debunked, emphasizing the significance of cultivating habits and building a supportive community for a sustained and successful fitness journey.

  • Author: Lesley Logan
  • February 5, 2024
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how to find the motivation to exercise online pilates classes
how to find the motivation to exercise online pilates classes

What is Your Deepest Motivation to Become the Best?

The need for exercise motivation for your fitness routine is the most overrated lie sold to you by the fitness industry. I’m here to tell you why you don’t need to rely on motivation to exercise and all the ways that you can make sure that you want to work out even when you don’t feel motivated to do so.

Hi, I’m Lesley Logan Pilates instructor since 2008. I was trained by Joseph Pilates’ client, Jay Grimes, and several other amazing instructors. But my habits training is with BJ Fogg, author of Tiny Habits. And it’s really important that I talk to you from that habits coaching perspective when it comes to movement because one of the biggest things that I see people put pressure on is to have the motivation to be some sort of superhero, that somehow they should just feel like they want to workout every single day, all the time. And that kind of pressure is the reason why you often don’t meet those movement goals, why you don’t end up at the gym. So here, let’s start talking about ways to stay motivated.

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The Role of Motivation in Kickstarting vs. Sustaining Your Fitness Journey

Alright, so motivation is a driving force behind why we do what we do. And put simply in scientific studies, what they found is motivation is really useful when it helps you get started. Think about like starting an engine, or a plane taking off, it requires more gasoline, and more motivation to get going. But once it’s going, it kind of just, it doesn’t need as much, right? And so for you, what you want to look for in how to get motivated to workout is like getting started, you’ve got a race you want to do, there’s some sort of goal you want to have, using the motivation to start is really, really helpful. But relying on motivation to help you 24/7 isn’t. And the biggest mistake we make is thinking that there’s something wrong with us, we don’t have the motivation to do what we want to do. You just needed to get started, just sign up for the class, log into your membership, or whatever that thing is that you’re using as a habit. You don’t need it to show up every single day. And when you rely on that, you are actually going to keep yourself from reaching those goals that you have.

Insights from BJ Fogg and Time Prioritization in Fitness

Put even more simply and even better, I’m going to quote BJ Fogg from his book Tiny Habits, I highly recommend that you read it, he actually says that motivation is that friend you want to go to a party with they are awesome, they’re a good time. But that’s that same friend that you would never ask you to pick you up from the airport, because they’re just not going to be on time, it’s not going to be there when you need them. We often make excuses up, when we lack motivation as a reason why we’re not motivated, we’ll say ‘Oh, I don’t have any time’. And the thing about your movement practice is it doesn’t require you to have a ton of time, and in my next one I’ll talk about also, why you don’t need a lot of time in the first place. But if we were to evaluate your whole day, there’s probably a lot of time in it, that we end up wasting doing silly things that if we were to look back, we would definitely not want to prioritize over our movement. But we do.

Overcoming Resource Constraints in Your Fitness Journey

And then another thing that we often do is we actually use the lack of having resources, money being the main one, as to why we actually cannot do the thing that we’re lacking the motivation to do anyways. And the reality is, is like yes, a lot of movement practices do cost money. But in today’s day and age, you’re here on YouTube, there are tons of free resources, tons of free classes. So if time is something that you’re lacking, may I suggest you take one of my short workouts. We have it here on the channel, I’ve got the standing workout with weights that you can do anywhere, you can use water bottles at your office. And if money is one of those things, and you’re wanting longer workouts, we have those free here on the channel as well, including with equipment, but also without so we have this reformer one, but feel free to check out our other mat workouts to get those full movement practices in.

ways to stay motivated online pilates classes

Shifting from Discipline to Daily Habits in Your Fitness Routine

Alright, so if motivation isn’t what’s going to keep you moving, what does? Well, some people would say that they lack discipline. And here’s I’m going to tell you, that’s not what you lack. You lack habits that you want to have. When you think about discipline, it’s actually kind of a lot more pressure to put on yourself, we already have enough, okay? What we need to be looking at is the daily habits that you have to set you up for success. And actually, I want to know that you might think I don’t have any habits. Yes, you do. Everything we do on a day is a habit, and then we just don’t happen to like all of them. There are some habits I have that I don’t like about myself either. And so what we have to do is set your habits up so that when you lack motivation to do the movement, or you lack motivation to do anything you wish you were doing your habits step in and go ‘I’ve got you, we’ve already done this’, right? Think about when you wake up, you do the exact same thing who can hit snooze without even looking for it, right? That’s a habit. You get up you go to the bathroom, you brush your teeth, you don’t actually make those decisions, they happen as a habit.

The Key to Sustainable Fitness Without Overwhelming Goals

And so what I’m here to talk about today is that you are not needing tons of motivation or tons of discipline, what you need to reflect upon is the habits that you want to be having. And if you watch the video that I made, about how habits are actually created and how to create a habit for doing Pilates, you’ll get a lot more details on how habits are created, but let me just simplify it here because you’re here for this. So, you cannot have a habit that’s a big, huge goal in one day, okay? We cannot go from zero to 100 and we don’t need 21 days or 60 days or 90 days in a row to make a habit, none of those things will actually work.

How to Motivate Yourself to Workout Daily

What you need to do is start small, to create very small opportunities for yourself to be successful, and then celebrate that you did that, okay? Then what happens is, as those become easier as those habits become things you don’t even have to celebrate to do you just do them automatically, then we can link them the time of those habits. So sometimes you have a movement goal, that’s an hour every day, but you’ve never actually worked out for an hour everyday. So guess what’s gonna happen? You can do it on day one, because motivation is there. On day two, you’re going to be too sore. And so you’re not gonna go. And so then day three, you’re like, ‘Oh, there’s something wrong with me and I don’t have an hour to do today’, right? Too big of a goal, too much all at once.

Achieving Fitness Goals Through Small Habits and Supportive Communities

And so what I want you to look at as take the habit you want to have, take the thing that you wish you had motivation for, and make it something simple and small. So when we did our Reformer challenge, we actually start with a 10 minute workout. If you look at the comments in that class, you’ll see that some people are like ‘I wasn’t able to work out today, I think I didn’t think I could do it. But I actually saw this and I did have 10 minutes, and I did do it’ They celebrate it. And then realize that 10 minutes is an option. When 10 minutes becomes easy, they have more energy, they can make that 15, and then 20, and then so on. You didn’t go from zero to 100. So I want you to look at the goal that you want to have. And then how do you make it as small as possible? And then how do you want to celebrate that you did it. That’s how you’re going to actually get the workout encouragement that you want to have without motivation.

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Now there’s other things that go along with that. One of those is community. So, community is something that we actually offer up at It’s super, super important because when you are lacking the motivation for exercise when you are feeling like you’re out of a habit, you haven’t got that habit in the way you want yet, having someone going, ‘Hey, I just did this, and only had five minutes, I did five minutes’ and inspires you to show up and do what you can do. When you have a community that high-fives you and tells you what their aha moments are. Those are the things that help you show up, right? So one of the reasons that I kept going to a particular class when I lived in Los Angeles, even though the traffic was insane going home, is because the community that was there made me want to go, make me want to show up. So finding communities may be a really, really helpful way of showing up when you don’t want to.

Today, my husband and I do weight training. I hate working out at night, it is terrible. It’s not my favorite thing to do. But I’ve never once regretted an evening workout that we’ve done because the community that’s there makes me want to show up. If you want to try out what community is like at OPC, go to You’re going to love the amazing community that we have! You can try our community and our classes and see what it’s like to have accountability from our classes because they go away, and also have people motivating you and reminding you to show up for you.

Unlocking Motivation with Pilates and the Power of Just Starting

And lastly, when it comes to working out when you don’t have motivation, just get started with something. You know, I would love for you to do Pilates with me. I think Pilates has changed my life in so many, so many ways, and it’s made me stronger from the inside out. But if you’re watching this, if you just want to stand up and do some wall squats, that’s an amazing way to get moving. Because here’s the other way to start working out when you don’t feel motivated: when you move, you start creating dopamine, dopamine makes you feel excited, makes you want to keep going, and makes you want to work out some more. And so really just getting started with something is going to be better than nothing.

A 15-Minute Beginner Series to Kickstart Your Fitness

One of the things you can also get started with if you are interested in Pilates and you’re new to it is go to is a beginner series for people who haven’t done Pilates before or maybe they’ve dabbled a little bit. It’s going to be a Mat workout, requires nothing but you and it’s just 15 minutes. And by the way, if you just do five of those minutes, you’ve already won. So I want you to celebrate what you do. And I want you to just get started with where you are, with what you have. Please do not work out to punish yourself for what you ate yesterday, or to push yourself harder and think that that’s going to create this motivation to change who you are. No, actually start small. Start with what you have, and celebrate what you do. And I promise you you won’t be looking for motivation to show up for you ever, you’re actually going to use in your habits to create the daily life that you want to have and live the life you want to have.

Embracing Imperfection and Building Community

So thank you so much for letting me share these tips with you. I hope this is very revealing too, it gives you permission to not be a superhero. You don’t need to do that. And if you have any questions about Pilates, put them in the comments below. I answer those questions every single Sunday at 9 am Pacific time. And if you would like to join the amazing community –™. Then check out to give a good trial offer to the community and to our classes. Thank you so much and have an amazing day.

By Lesley Logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

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March flashcard sale | Online Pilates Classes



Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,


MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.



We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.



Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I've had a lot of questions about the Crab on the Mat and I think there are a lot of fears around it. I believe you can Crab sooner than you think! On the Mat, the focus is about the Crab which comes at the end of the order, so let see how everything we do is to prep for it. On the Reformer, there's so much we can strengthen and practice so that you can do the Crab. Let's make a Crab Special!

Mat - Magic Circle. If you don't have one, you can use a ball or theraband or an old pair of leggings

Reformer - no props needed

See ya in class,

xx~LL 💋

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    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


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    Joseph Pilates was BIG ON BREATHING! I won't make you pull out your breathisizer but I do want you to fill those lungs up!

    See ya in class,

    xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


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    Mat Props: hip band, light weights, and something to prop the hips up.
    Reformer Props: hip band and your typical reformer pieces

    See you in class,


      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band, light weights and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


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      Mat prop: 1 lb weights (water bottles or soup cans as substitutions ) + pole (dowel/broomstick/swiffer as substitutions)
      Reformer prop: 1 lb weights (water bottles or soup cans as substitutions ) + pole (dowel/broomstick/swiffer as substitutions)

      See you in class,


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      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 lb weights, pole and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


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      Cadillac/Tower = no props needed
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      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

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      Mat class - have your magic circle ready!

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

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      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

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      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

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      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.