- Exercise & Fitness
How to Stop Losing Your Motivation. Best Ways to Stay Motivated.
Your motivation is your reason for taking action. It is why you do things. Lots of people diet because they want to lose weight. Weight loss is their motivation. I have been doing a strength training workout because I want more muscle. When your desire to do something is strong enough you actually do it. You take action. The problem with motivation is that you can lose it. It fades away. You stop taking action because your motivation is gone or no longer strong enough.
Whenever I start I always stop. I can't stay motivated for very long. I find it hard to continue. It is easy for some people but not for me. Do those words describe you? Staying motivated can be hard. You have good reasons to start but you can't stick with the activity because your reasons to take action stop being good enough. Learn how to stay motivated so you can continue to take the steps you need to take to accomplish your goals. Will power is not enough. You need to motivate yourself.
Lack of Progress
Sometimes you do the work but you don't get the results you were looking for. You start to feel that it is a waste of time. I lost my motivation to do my daily push up routine when it did not seem to be doing anything. It was no longer making a difference. You lose motivation when you realize that you are not making progress. Sometimes your plan is flawed. The steps you are taking are not enough or maybe you just don't notice the progress.
Working on a lot of different goals at once does not work very well. You have a limited amount of time, energy and willpower. It can be exhausting both mentally and physically. For the amount of work you put into it you don't make a lot of progress. You get tired or frustrated and lose your motivation. I tried to get a lot done by working on a large number of goals. At first I was highly motivated but it wore me out and I did not accomplish very much. After about 2 weeks I gave up. Every time I tried to get a lot done by working on a large number of goals I ended up quitting.
People often torture themselves in an attempt to get what they want. They do things they don't want to do. At first it might seem like a good idea. You are highly motivated to do whatever it takes but then your motivation fades away. It is no longer worth the effort. So you give up. The problem is that you are giving yourself reasons to quit. You have reasons to work on your goal but you also have reasons not to work on your goal.
When people go on strict diets or start intense exercise routines they often give themselves lots of reason to quit. They are motivated to give up. It could be considered as a form of self sabotage. The motivation to accomplish their goal is cancelled out by their motivation to quit.
Working on a goal can become very repetitive. You are doing things over and over again to eventually get the results you want. Even if the activity was enjoyable at first it can get boring. When you get bored you lose interest. People often have trouble staying motivated because they get bored with their routine. That is why I often have trouble sticking with an exercise routine for more than 2 weeks. I become bored and lose interest.
Achieving Part of Your Goal
Accomplishing part of your goal should be a good thing but it can actually make you less motivated. Belly fat is a good example. If your motivation is based on the amount of belly fat you have then you lose your motivation as lose your belly fat. People start and then stop after making some progress because the reason to take action is gone or less important. You start because you have a good reason to take action but then your situation changes.
Your reason for taking action continues to change as you come closer to getting what you want. It is not the same as the reason you started. That is one of the main reasons people quit. Going back to the belly fat example. I was trying to lose 5 inches, 4 inches, 3 inches and then 2 inches around my waist. When I was down to wanting to lose 2 inches around my waist I did not have a good enough reason to continue my intense exercise routine.
Most people have reasons to exercise, reasons to watch TV, reasons to diet and reasons to eat dessert. They have conflicting motivations. When you have conflicting motivations you need to decide what action you want to take. Choosing between the two actions reduces your motivation. You might have a good reason to work on your goal but you also have good reasons not to. Making the best decision all the time is extremely difficult because you can't keep ignoring your cravings and desires.
Wanting to watch TV is a good reason not to exercise. Choosing between TV and exercise reduces my motivation to exercise. I might be able to exercise instead of watching TV some of the time but most of the time I will just end up watching TV. When I went on a diet I still had a good reason to eat dessert and junk food. So I could not stick with my diet for more than 5 days.
Best Ways to Stay Motivated
- Get results faster. Work on a small number of goals and keep track of your progress. Use multiple methods to measure your progress when possible. Put in enough time and effort that you should be making a noticeable amount of progress every time. If it is not working then change your plan. Learn what works and what does not. You may need to work harder or smarter. To keep track of my fat loss I switched to smaller units of measurement. I switched to millimeters and exercised enough to lose fat. So I was able to see that the fat was coming off every day.
- Make it fun. Give yourself reasons to keep at it by doing things you want to do. You have a goal. There are actions you need to take to accomplish the goal. Those actions can be enjoyable. Make a list of things you would like to do that will help you achieve your goal. Then choose some of them. I like going for long walks in the woods. So it is on my to do list.
- Avoid boredom. There are usually lots of ways to accomplish the same goal. Switch things up by changing your routine. I usually change my exercise routine after 2 weeks. There are lots of different exercises and different ways to do them. I exercise everyday.To stay motivated enough to exercise every day I try to keep it interesting. If you don't like your routine anymore then it is time to change it.
- Make sure your reasons are still good enough. What are your reasons for taking action? Are they still good enough? Your reason for taking action could be gone or it could become less important. If you don't have enough motivation then come up with some new reasons to take action. I started to lose my motivation to exercise when summer ended. My main reason for exercising was gone. So I thought of another good reason to exercise during the cold months.
- Avoid conflicts when possible. You want to do this and that. So do both. I can exercise while I watch TV, before or after. I can diet and still have small portions of dessert. Most of the time you don't need to choose between one or the other. Eliminate your reasons for not taking action by finding a way to do both. Make small compromises if you need to.
Staying motivated does not need to be difficult. It is easy for some people and it can be easy for you. Staying motivated is easy for me. I can stay motivated for a very long time. I find it easy to continue. When I start I keep going until I am done. If it is something I really want then I make sure I stay motivated. I find good reasons to stick with it.