Do you remember the day you first joined your gym? Wasn’t it a great feeling, knowing that you had finally taken that first step towards living a healthier life? Making a conscious, positive decision to improve is rewarding, and hopefully we’ve all kept that promise to ourselves. But try as we might, it seems that there’s always a handy excuse to not exercise.While gym attendance peaks around January, it slacks off every March/April as people forget about their New Year Resolutions. Summer BBQ’s and vacations tend to make people stay away from the gym, and six months later holiday parties and planning to the same thing. Finally, we can all relate to those days when we simply don’t want to work out!The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, a trade association serving the health and fitness club industry, reports that the average health club member in the United States spends only about 90 days at the gym per year. Our goal at Pick Up The Pace (www.letspickupthepace.com) is to help you STAY MOTIVATED to exercise! We don’t just want to help you with the ‘how’ of exercise – we want to help you with the ‘why’ too!That’s why we regularly bring new music into the gym, offer games and contests, provide fitness education materials, weigh and measure monthly, provide a fun environment, make it easy to get to the gym with expanded hours, and basically just do what we can to help you stay motivated. We want you to look forward to exercising!So what can you do to stay motivated? Here are five great ideas to help us all keep that inner fire burning…..1) Find an exercise buddy! When we know that someone else is going to meet us at the gym at a certain time, we will automatically be much more likely to show up ourselves. After all, who wants to abandon their friend? Don’t have a friend at the gym? Invite one along! She will appreciate the invitation, and will be much healthier for it!2) Get to know people in the gym! One of the many reasons why women enjoy Pick Up The Pace so much is that it’s part exercise facility and part social club! Visiting with friends and family while we’re exercising makes the time go by so fast it hardly even seems like we’re doing something good for us. It’s great to get out of the house or office and just have some fun with other ladies!3) Talk with your doctor! We all know that exercise is good for us. From helping to prevent cancer to lowering our blood pressure to helping us fit into that swimming suit, exercise is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Even with that knowledge, it’s sometimes encouraging to hear about our progress from our doctor. Here’s a hot motivation tip: ask your gym for a copy of your fitness records (monthly body fat analysis and measurements) and then share that information with your doctor. He or she will be so happy that you’re exercising, and will encourage you to continue!4) Chart your progress! The CEO of a Fortune 500 company once said “What gets measured gets done”, and that advice is as good for us as it was for that business. Take the time to keep a food journal, an exercise log, or simply write down your fitness goals. Post it where you will see it every single day (on the ‘fridge, in the car, on the mirror, etc.). Life is just so busy these days, a constant visual reminder of our goals may be just the motivational push we need.5) Give yourself a reward! Sometimes the ‘big picture’ can be too intimidating. For example, if you have 80 pounds to lose it’s tempting to think “It’s too much! I shouldn’t even try.” That’s one of the biggest motivation-killers out there, so combat those discouraging thoughts by rewarding yourself for smaller accomplishments. Treat yourself to a manicure when you lose that first five pounds. Buy a new outfit when you’ve lost ten pounds. Take a mini-vacation when you’re halfway to your goal. Give yourself small rewards for achieving smaller goals, and guess what…..many small steps make up a long journey! Before you know it, you’ll have accomplished your overall goal!There are many other ways to give yourself the motivation to succeed. Try some of these tips today – the only thing you have to lose is the fat!