Have you succeeded at making time for exercise? That’s great! Now you just have to start a routine and stick to it. Unfortunately, this is always easier said than done. For most beginners, motivation can be very hard to come by. If you know exactly what I mean, these 10 tips are for you.

1. Start with small steps

If you’re new to working out, it’s best to ease your way into it. Don’t start with advanced or intermediate exercises that could cause injury and discouragement. Lift light weights and run short distances. You can move on to more challenging movements once you get used to the basics.

2. Do it for yourself.

Those who draw motivation only from external factors are more likely to end up quitting. To stick to your regimen, you need to find inspiration from within. Instead of looking at exercise as a way to impress others or gain the approval of your peers, use it as a means to become a better version of yourself.

3. Plan your workouts in advance.

Make sure things like bad weather or work and personal obligations never get in the way of your workout regimen. It certainly helps to schedule your workouts 2-4 weeks in advance and prepare a contingency plan, just in case something really important comes up just before your workout.

4. Tie it to your health.

Have your blood pressure, cholesterol, and body fat percentage checked. If any of these need to be improved, then you just found yourself a new source of motivation and a goal you can work towards.

5. Work with a trainer.

For complete beginners, working with a qualified expert is the best way to learn about the ins and outs of diet and exercise. It’s quite easy to find certified personal trainers online who will teach and motivate their clients to do their best every single day.

6. Find a training partner.

Do you know someone who might be interested in starting an exercise regimen with you? Working out with a partner will not only make compounds exercises safer to perform, but also help encourage you to keep your nose to the grindstone.

7. Learn from other people.

Surround yourself with people you can learn from. Bodybuilding shows, strength competitions, and fitness conventions are all full of experts who can give you a few pointers. You can also spend your free time on fitness message boards where you are bound to find useful, information, inspiration, and encouragement.

8. Keep track of your progress.

Start a fitness journal or use your phone to record your progress. There are hundreds of great apps you can use to keep track of your diet and how much you lift, run and walk. Paying attention to your progress will not only encourage you but also help you address your weaknesses so necessary adjustments can be made right away.

9. Try different exercises.

While I don’t recommend reinventing your routine every week, you can keep things interesting by doing different types of workouts every now and then. When it comes to strength training, try switching between free weights and machines. For high-intensity interval training, don’t just limit your movements to sprinting; there are hundreds of movements you can choose from.

10. Set the best goals.

You will never have a hard time sticking to a routine if your goals always keep you inspired. If you get second thoughts about your regimen, clear your mind and focus on what you really want. What is the ultimate goal you want to achieve? How will exercise help you get there? Don’t forget that and always use it as motivation, especially on off-days. Aside from taking these steps to keep yourself motivated and inspired, be sure to ward off injuries by doing some static and dynamic stretching before every workout.