How to Fall in Love With Working Out, According to Influencer Briana Chandler

Indulge us in a little self-assessment for a moment. Ask yourself: Why do I work out? Really think about it, and then analyze your answer. Do you use language like "should" or "need?" Or is it "want?" Do you think about the physical or mental benefits, or both? What goals populate your mind's eye, if any?

There are no wrong answers here. In truth, we could probably all stand to check in and find some clarity about what drives us to stay active—and on the flip side, locate the holes in our motivation. Because not only is the leap from "should" to "want" incredibly empowering; it's actually not that elusive.

Just ask Instagram wellness star Briana Chandler, whose own fitness journey began simply because she was trying to find an outlet for other pressures in her life. "I grew up playing soccer and running cross-country," she recalls. "After graduating high school, I needed a way to stay active. Trying to balance honors classes, extracurriculars, multiple jobs, and my relationships with others while designing my future was overwhelming. I received a gym pass as a Christmas present and decided I should finally make use of it."

Fast-forward to now, and Chandler has leveraged this personal goal into a full-fledged career: She now boasts nearly 300,000 followers on Instagram, and runs an eponymous site featuring workout and healthy eating guides. Fans flock to the 23-year-old for her relatable advice as well as her ongoing discussion on how staying active relates to her mental health—namely, that it has helped her cope with depression and anxiety.

But even if Chandler's story serves as proof that the benefits of working out go so far beyond the potential physical gains, knowing how to get yourself motivated is still step one. Below, she shares exactly what to keep in mind if you want to make fitness a lasting habit.