12 Pro Tips on How to Start Getting in Shape (and Keep it Up!)

It takes about 66 days to form a new healthy habit. That's more than two months, which can seem a liiittle overwhelming — especially if your goal is something like "get in shape." But, it doesn't have to take that long to get your butt in gear. You just need the right motivation, and some easy tips to trick your mind into actually looking forward to your next sweat sesh.

Yes, that is possible, even if the most working out you've done recently is lifting a drink from the table to your mouth at happy hour (we've all been there). We polled our favorite fitness pros for their best inspirational workout tips — they've built their careers on helping other people learn to love working out, so if they don't get you pumped, well, we don't know what will.

So, whether this is the first time you're really committing to getting in shape, or the ninth time you've tried to make a fitness resolution, we guarantee this advice will get you moving. No excuses this time — you've got this!

Treat Yo' Self

“Everyone feels awesome when they get a new pair of jeans with a perfect fit or a new dress with a special flare. Set a target goal for the month of hitting the gym three times a week. Going three times a week, indulging in just 30 minutes of cardio and weight training will help you get started on your fitness goals. Once you hit your target of three times a week for the month, take a shopping trip and reward yourself with those skinny jeans or little black dress. Work hard so you'll earn the rewards!" — Xio Colon, Fitness Manager at CRUNCH Hoboken

Turn Working Out Into an Event

“Instead of making a date for drinks with friends, make a date to go to the gym. Find a class that sounds appealing or share a trainer with your friend(s) — celebrate by grabbing a drink together afterward! Going to the gym guarantees some awesome conversation over drinks as well!” — Marion Roaman, Co-Founder of Peloton

Have a Fitness Plan

"If possible, sign up for your workouts in advance. It’s easy to ditch your workout to stay in bed or for a last minute happy hour. Signing yourself up holds you accountable — you’re more likely to stick with your workout plans when your time and/or money has already been invested." — Chris Tracey, Master Instructor at Flywheel

Make Yourself Accountable

"Make a shared fitness calendar for you and your friends! You can each add your workouts on there and join each other in classes to stay motivated and accountable. I've actually made one for my #TranFans and they consistently set fitness dates all over the city." — Jason Tran, Instructor and Director of Recruiting at SWERVE

Face your Fitness Fears

“The only way we can be courageous is to face fear or resistance head on. Put a post-it on your mirror, fridge, day planner, or computer screen that says just that: 'Choose Courage.' This applies in our lives across the board — to get to the gym, to tackle a marathon or to try out a new yoga pose! Courage can be put into action anywhere, all the time.” — Bethany Lyons, Founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga

Stay Fueled

“Change up your eating schedule. Small meals throughout the day keep you energized for your workouts. The first thing you should should put in your body when you wake up is a glass of water, followed by a small breakfast an hour later. I recommend six small meals throughout the day (about every three hours) while continuing to consume the enough water to keep you hydrated (hydration is key!). This will keep you fueled throughout the day and will also help you stick to your workout routine. It’s a form of accountability.” — Latoya Julce, Instructor at 305 Fitness

Make a Fitness Date

"Expecting friends and family to visit during the holidays? Invite them to join you for your planned workouts. Make yourself a priority and help your friends and family get fit, too. Don’t derail your plans just because you have visitors. Meeting your girlfriends for dinner? Take a Physique 57 class or stream an online workout together before! This will put a healthy spin on your girls' night out. — Tanya Becker, Co-Founder and COO of Physique 57

Stop Making Up Excuses

"We can be our most creative when it's time to avoid a workout. I can come up with endless excuses not to go: 'I don't have time,' 'Today is the perfect day to scrub my bathroom floor!' 'I really need to alphabetize my spice drawer.' But if I have a very busy day, I'll go out and just run one mile. That run takes less than 10 minutes. Who can honestly say they don't have 10 minutes to devote to their health and happiness?" — Ashley Brown, instructor at Real Pilates

Keep it Simple

"Try to avoid overthinking your workout plan. When it comes to starting a new program, do your best to avoid the new zany machine at your gym or that cool new technique you heard from some random guy. Keep it simple by learning these four exercise staples: the squat, the dead lift, pull-ups (assisted or not), and push-ups. If you challenge yourself with these four exercises, plus a cardio program you actually enjoy, three to four times a week, you will see a change (and you've saved yourself a lot of stress!)." — Mark Koester, Director of Fitness at Active Sports Clubs

Change Your Perspective

"The label 'workout' is a buzz-kill. Why should something that makes you feel good be called 'work'? Change your label to 'me time.' Write it in your calendar and watch your perception change. Exercise is your reward, not a punishment. Me-time that happens consistently is the ultimate reward for all the other hard "work" you do in your real life." — Alycea Ungaro, Owner of Real Pilates

Find Your Inspiration

"First, identify a powerful reason for working out. Something uniquely personal. This will tie massive emotion to your goal which will drive you off the starting block and keep you going. [If your inspiration is how you look], then, put a current photo of yourself in a bathing suit somewhere you can see — the fridge, your phone, wherever. Put an inspirational photo right next to it. This visual reminder of what you're working for sends powerful signals to your brain to get your butt moving!" — Adam Rosante, Founder of The People's Bootcamp

Get Selfish

"Make your workout your time. Focus on what parts of your workout make you feel the strongest and the happiest. Celebrate those moments! And stop comparing yourself — everyone's journey is totally different, yet everyone has a similar goal of working hard and feeling good. And listen to your body. If something hurts, like physical pain, it's your body telling you to back off. And that's OK. You don't have to always 'push through'; sometimes, that will do more damage than just taking it easy for the day. Be okay with that." — Bree Branker, Instructor at Flywheel

Written by Ashley Mateo

Image: SolisImages/Fotolia