Before college, the most exercise I had was during PE class, which was not the most fulfilling form of fitness for me. I used to blame it on the stinky locker rooms, heartless teachers and ugly gym uniforms.

Since beginning my own workout routine, however, I've realized the problem was that I never had any personal motivation to exercise. Sure, I knew the basic facts that exercise is good for you and that you lose weight by exercising, but I never knew how much more exercising provides before I began on my own. This is how I found the motivation to workout.

How I started

sandwich, cake, pizza
Jenny Whidden

My first motivation was the classic fear of the freshman 15. Though I truly didn't have any routine or knowledge of how to workout away from PE, I began to go to the gym irregularly, sneaking time in whenever I was free.

My first stop was the elliptical. There is a lot of opposition to the machine, but I think it's a great place to start. It's a standard cardio machine that is easy on your joints and works your whole body. I still use it to begin each of my workouts.

My primary motivation is now driven not by losing weight, but by how invigorated I feel after I've worked out, both physically and mentally. The constant juggling that goes on in college leaves little time for a mental break, but I have found that break in working out.

Exercising allows me to reflect on my day and to clear my mind. Alternatively, I get a lot of TV time while working out that I wouldn't normally find time to squeeze in. When my workout comes to a close, I feel drained in the best way possible.

If you're not sure where to start, there are simple apps such as SWORKIT that can help. The second step is integrating working out into your schedule by establishing the days and times that you will go to the gym.

Kicking motivation into high gear

wine, tea, coffee, beer
Jenny Whidden

There are times when you just want to fall into bed after a long day, or when an elliptical is the last thing you want to see. It's a-okay to give yourself a break once in awhile. However, beware of the slippery slope that skipping out presents. Soon, one day will turn into three days, three days will turn into a week, and a week will turn into two weeks.

#SpoonTip: Here are some ways to help you avoid falling out of your routine.

My method is to never let myself lay down before working out, because deep down I know that I will never make it out of bed if I do that. Rather, I don't give myself time to mull it over. I tell myself that I'm doing this now or never.

In the end, I think everyone finds elements of working out that they like best. It's these personal favorites that will drive you to go back to the gym, all you have to do i find them.