Given the choice between staying in bed or getting up early to hit the gym, it’s tempting to roll over and hit snooze. Staying motivated to work out can be tough, but there are ways to increase your fitness drive; and it all boils down to dopamine.

Our bodies produce a dopamine spike whenever we feel that something important is about to happen – such as when we reach a goal, win a game, or receive praise for doing something good. A dopamine spike gives us a positive, satisfied feeling and motivates us to act.

The key is to set up your workouts to produce this feeling on a consistent basis so you always feel like you’re achieving something, or you’re working towards something better.

Try these 8 ideas to boost your motivation and improve your workouts by setting yourself up for consistent wins:

Reframe your fitness

When fitness is something you HAVE to do, your mind will resist. But if you reframe it as ‘I choose to workout’ because of its benefits and how it makes me feel, you’ll be more motivated.

Set incremental goals

Set smaller, more realistic goals with your fitness program. You’re more inclined to work toward a goal if you feel it’s attainable. Instead of one hour of cardio or HIIT training every day, try 15-20 minutes of walking and/or running and build up to the longer workout.

Keep track of your accomplishments

Track your progress and celebrate minor victories, like being able to do a pull up on the bar or losing 5 percent of your body weight. Track your progress over time and celebrate small wins. These regular successes will motivate you to keep trying for more.

Share results with others

A small victory at the gym can feel even better when friends and family recognize and praise your success.

Find a friend who won't let you off the hook

When someone is expecting you, you’re less likely to skip your workout. Even having a family member supporting you can make a difference. If you share your goals with your spouse or family member, they’ll be more likely to adjust their expectations and push you out the door when motivation runs low.

Try a little friendly competition

Working out with someone who’s a bit better than you can drive you to continue longer and try harder. 

Stay focused

Sometimes you just have to power through. Even when you’re feeling tired or distracted, put in the time and focus on your exercises. Get your workout done and you’ll feel more motivated in general.

Make exercise a habit

It only takes six weeks to make fitness a habit. After a while, you’ll begin to notice how great you feel when your finish an intense workout – the endorphin rush makes you feel stronger, happier and more fit. That content feeling becomes the motivation to work out regularly.

By introducing even a few of these ideas into your routine, you’ll feel like you’re making progress with your fitness. Not only will you enjoy your workouts more, you’ll be motivated to try new things and keep coming back to challenge yourself.