Make your goals personal to avoid falling off the wagon again
You're ready. You've shelled out the cash for a gym membership and acquired a consenting adult as an accountabilibuddy, but you still can't seem to get off your ass.
Maybe that's because you're setting the wrong goals. "It always comes down to motivation," Pagan says. "I’ve found the people that tend to do a little bit better make their goals really mean something, instead of it being something arbitrary -- lose weight or gain muscle." In other words, you might want to lose weight for your third wedding, or add muscle for an upcoming lead role in an action film. Whatever makes sense to YOU.
If you don't know where to start, just start
It's sort of like the old paradoxical cure for writer's block: start writing.
In this case, any sort of movement will work. "If you’re not really comfortable with the gym, I’d say the first step would be just to start going," Pagan says, though he also notes that if hiking or running outdoors feels more appealing to you, that's the route you should take.
Re-evaluate your daily schedule if you don't think you have time
As president, George W. Bush would go running six days a week, and he had plenty on his plate -- a dog, Dick Cheney, some other things, probably. So when he's faced with someone who claims her schedule is too full for fitness, Pagan advises, "Find a time that [you] can prioritize. Because the time excuse is a widely used one, that often does not hold true when you take a look and break down your day a little bit."
Remember, you can get a lot out of a quick workout. So get back out there, start the cycle over again, and don't beat yourself up when you fall off the wagon again. It happens to everyone.
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Joe Oliveto is a staff writer for Thrillist. Talents include making excuses to not go to the gym. Bother him abut it on Twitter.