“How can I stay motivated and keep going to the gym even during exams or busy weeks?”

—Joseph, Clemson, South Carolina

Getting exercise can be tough when you’re not feeling motivated, especially during busy weeks with tests to study for and assignments to complete. I know—I’ve been there. Let me share three tried and true strategies that will help you stay dedicated to your fitness goals at times like this.

  1. Complete a task early: Start your day with a small crossword puzzle, a short reading, devotional, or even a simple chore. Completing a task in the morning, whatever it may be, can get you in an accomplishment mindset and motivate you for the rest of the day.
  2. Have a plan: The more uncertainties you’re dealing with, the more likely you are to skip a workout. Make a concrete schedule. Know exactly when you’re going to work out, what exactly you’ll do, and how long you’ll do it for. Block off those times on your calendar. This will allow you to focus on each exercise rather than how much time you’ll have left for studying.
  3. Minimize social media: It might seem daunting, but hear me out. Use Facebook only to check notifications. Use Instagram only to post photos. Use Twitter only to tweet. So, what can’t you do? You can’t check the newsfeeds. Scrolling through endless status updates and photos is what keeps us glued to our phones for hours a day. Take this away and suddenly you have extra time on your hands.

Implementing strategies like these is simple. All it takes is a start!