According to research, roughly 4.5 million people in the U.K. over the age of 15 currently have a membership at a local gym. However, only 27 percent actually take advantage of these associations and regularly exercise. This just proves that staying motivated to reach your health and fitness goals is not always an easy task.

The good news is that it is possible to get back into the gym habit without hating it every step of the way. For starters, it helps to change your perception of the gym.

Changing Your Gym Perception

In other words, instead of looking at it as a place that you must go (usually kicking and screaming) if you want to lose weight, try to think of it as a place that you want to go. That you choose to go. Remembering that it is a choice helps remove the lack of control you feel when you tell yourself that you have to do something, making it easier to make a more positive decision.

Additionally, spend less time focusing on the negatives of working out (like time taken out of your day and sore muscles) and more time concentrating on the positives. Remind yourself that exercise makes you feel better about yourself mentally and physically. It lowers your levels of stress and increases your self-esteem.

Grab a Pal

Another option that can help make your gym attendance a habit is to grab a pal and make it a joint effort. Sometimes it can be difficult to motivate yourself, but when you know someone else is counting on you to show up, you’re less likely to cancel and find something else to do instead.

Essentially, having a workout pal gives you someone to be accountable to. It makes it harder to make excuses because someone is right there looking at you saying, “I don’t think so. Come on, let’s go to the gym.”

What do you do to stay motivated with your gym workouts?