Sometimes you wake up in the morning or you get home from work and you just don’t want to have to exercise. You feel too busy or too tired. We can come up with a million excuses, but we really don’t need any. We’re just dealing with ourselves here, right?

Yes and No. Sometimes other people can be our inspiration–we want to be healthy and be around a long time for our children or grandchildren. Sometimes our inspiration is fueled fully by self interest–we want to stay active or we want to reduce a health problem.

People get incentivized to work out by many things in life, but there are ways to create your own inspiration too. Plan to meet with a friend on a regular basis. Meet at the gym and get machines next to each other or go for a walk and use it as a time to catch up on the week. You can think of it as time with friends instead of time for exercise. Plus, then you have a plan that you’re less likely to skip out on.

Put a sticker on your calendar for every day you work out. It feels good at the end of the month to see a month full of stickers.

Bring a book. Read at the gym. That can be a great distraction on a day you don’t feel like exercising.

Let a beautiful day inspire you. What can you do that is active? Do you like to garden, walk, kayak, play tag or catch with the kids, or are you a runner? Let your imagination run wild. You can do anything. Be a kid again. Let exercise be a fun activity. Not a chore.

When I was in high school, I had an English teacher that used to tell us the hardest part is getting started. She has never been wrong, and her words transfer to more than just writing term papers. Her comment is true for exercise too. Get yourself to the gym. Get yourself to your fitness class. Get yourself to move. Once you’re up and doing it, it won’t be that bad and it will be over before you know it.