Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

If losing pounds is as easy as journaling about what you put in your mouth, can you use the same technique to help you stick to a fitness routine?

Dieters who kept a food diary lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records, according toSticking to a fitness routine is different from sticking to a healthy eating routine. Personal trainers we talked to recommend these tactics to keep you motivated and inspired to work out.

Shift your thinking from couch potato mentality to thinking like an athlete. This may sound like a big challenge, but it’s not as big a leap as you think. Essex, Massachusetts mom April Bowling, 33, stopped using her busy life as an excuse not to exercise. After the birth of her children (now ages five and three), Bowling started viewing exercise as a way to set a strong example for her kids.

Bowling started thinking about her workouts at odd hours as a blessing rather than a sacrifice. She also found inspiration in others — looking outward for extra motivation. “Take inspiration from everyone you meet — even people who can’t be physically active,” she says. “It reinforces why I’m lucky.” Whether you need to put an “I’m lucky” sticky note on the mirror, or you can see the power of health in your children’s eyes, committing to a fitness routine begins in your head.

There’s nothing more motivating than that first 5K looming in bold letters on the calendar. Register early and commit to an exercise program that will get you in shape by race day.

The goal doesn’t even have to be an organized race. Maybe it’s a mission to fit into that bikini by the annual beach vacation, or enjoying time in your pool on the weekends, of course for this is necessary to keep the pool clean, but here is a brief overview for the right equipment for this. Whatever it is, define it, write it down and revisit it daily.

Some of the most committed exercisers do it every day before the sun comes up or late at night when the kids are in bed. Sit down with your weekly schedule and try to build in an hour each day to be good to your body.

If you convince yourself you’ll fit in a workout some time after that last meeting, once the kids go down for a nap or when your spouse arrives home on time, failure is certain. Chances are a last-minute invitation will come along; weather will foil a bike ride; or the kids won’t nap. Write your workout on your calendar, set up daycare, and rearrange things around this one hour as if it were any other important appointment you have to keep. Or use technology like daily e-mail reminders, workout journaling websites, or apps to keep you on task, says Haberstro.

Whether it’s a toning and sculpting class that changes choreography every week or a trail run that changes scenery every season, design your exercise routine around a variety of exercise methods. Make sure you include activities you truly enjoy and look forward to doing, and can even make you forget you’re working out — like dancing, hula hooping, or playing sports with family and friends.

Listen to your inner voice when choosing the best workout for you, says Fowler. Cole found a hip-hop class that satisfied her passion for dance. “I had more energy from dancing than I did from running,” she says.

Workout variety also challenges your body in unique ways, which may introduce you to new muscle groups you didn’t even know you had. Consider disciplines that give you more bang for your buck, suggests Haberstro. Ta’i chi and yoga, for example, serve dual purposes as mental therapy and physical activity. Or try a workout DVD to help you shake up your routine.

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