Stick to these four staples and the rest is smooth sailing!
1. Enjoy the challenge
You're not going to work up a sweat without a reason to. Often your reason NOT to workout is more powerful and appealing. So your reason to get your butt moving has to be tied to motivation and emotion.
For years I would go through ups and downs of working out consistently and then finding excuses not to. It took finding the right reasoning to make it a fixture in my lifestyle. Nowadays, something just feels off if I miss a workout. I remember going through a multitude of temporary motivators. First it was, "To look good". Then, "Because its healthy for me". Followed by, "So I can splurge on the weekends". Back to, "To look good". Next, "So I can take my shirt off onstage". But, none of those reasons would stick with me. It wasn't until I started doing workout programs like "Insanity" and "Body Beast" to create day-by-day variation and working out with friends (Putting aside my nomadic tendencies) when it dawned on me that I was actually having fun and enjoying new challenges. It started to feel good.
I think if you set a goal, like to lose 20 lbs, as your reason for working out, you're going to go through discouragement if things don't progress quickly enough. And if you do reach that goal, you may lose that initial motivation and fall back into old habits. Instead, you just have to enjoy putting in the work. If you stick to it, results will come.
2. Just put the clothes on and get there
When you think about all the effort and sweat you'll have to endure, your mind starts listing off alternatives like eating ice cream on the couch and watching God knows what on TV. I've found that all you have to do is put on your gym clothes and get to wherever your workouts take place. If you're doing a workout program at home, even better. Just put your clothes on. You can start off by going as light or for as little as you want, but I guarantee you once you start moving you're going to want to do more.
3. Make it past Day 2
Habits are so easy to keep. They seem effortless. The real effort is creating the habit (Or breaking those destructive ones). Day 1 on a workout routine is always a challenge, but Day 2 is the most important day because that's when you start to form the routine. Objects in motion stay in motion and objects at rest stay at....well you know the rest (Pun intended). Keeping your energy up is important for this so make sure you're eating enough throughout the day, I recommend 5-6 small (Think between 250-350 calorie) meals a day.
4. Make it fun
Back to the beginning. Have fun. Laugh, smile and enjoy pushing yourself. You're only truly alive when you challenge yourself and refuse to settle for anything less than your best.