No matter how motivated and fired up you are to get to the gym and work on your fitness goals there will inevitably be days where motivation flags. Perhaps you feel a little sore from the day before. Maybe it's going to be a stressful day at work and you think spending more time on that project is more important than gym time. It might even just be one of those days where you feel a bit down and not motivated for much of anything. Your mind is telling you to go. You know you need to be consistent to get results. Yet, you just aren't feeling it.
One of the best ways to remedy your times of low motivation is to find yourself a workout partner. The right partner can make a HUGE difference not only in terms of motivation, but in terms of your overall results. A workout buddy will encourage you to show up (no matter how much you don't want to) and help push you harder than you would push yourself. They will encourage you to reach new levels, try new skills, and go for a few extra reps. A good partner will also reel you in when you are doing too much.
Notice that I said the "right" workout partner. It is not advisable to grab the nearest person at the gym and partner up. This could go sour quickly and become more of a barrier than a help to you. It's important to know your prospective workout buddy fairly well and be sure they meet some important prerequisites:
First and foremost, you need to like them! If you don't like their personality (or worse, find them annoying) then you are not going to be motivated to meet up regularly to work out. A partner is supposed to make training FUN and effective!
Second, your partner needs to have similar fitness goals. If you want to add 50 pounds to your squat and they are focused on training for a triathlon then it probably won't work. Part of having a workout buddy is assisting each other with movements and spending at least some of the time training side by side going rep for rep. Very different goals will not allow for this benefit.
Finding a partner who is committed to their goals is also very critical for the buddy system to work. If you choose someone who is always negative about working out and cancels frequently then you are going to become less motivated and potentially resentful. Choose someone who is most likely to participate in a healthy give and take with you.
An obvious, but very important, criteria for a workout partner is compatible schedules. Frequently having to change your schedule and work hard just to get together is stressful. You will end up alone at the gym anyway or bending over backwards to meet your partner at their convenience. Showing up consistently at the gym is hard enough without this extra stress. Pick a partner whose ideal workout time is the same as yours.
Finally, it helps to choose a partner who is at a similar fitness level or higher (even better). This will motivate you to strive to be your very best and push past preconceived barriers. Your partner will support you but also serve as a role model for what is possible for you.