We’ve all been there. Just yesterday we were knocking out hour long workouts like it was our job, meal prepping like we were about to get on stage for a fitness contest the next day, and looking for the next challenge to stimulate our hungry muscles. And then, all of a sudden, it just stops. Period. End of sentence. How do we get here? How do we go from taking care of ourselves, not even questioning what our next healthy move is going to be, to finding ourselves without the motivation to get back in the gym or eat something healthy the very next day?
It’s difficult to assess why motivation can drop off and sometimes disappear. Fortunately it usually isn’t a permanent condition. Remember this! You can get your motivation back—or at least stay motivated on a regular basis.
I’ve often viewed motivation as synonymous with momentum. It’s like pushing a heavy Atlas stone. At first it seems impossible to budge, but once momentum kicks in, the mass becomes progressively easier to push. Unfortunately, just as momentum can come to a screeching halt, motivation usually comes and goes the same. So what can you do to “keep the ball rolling” and stay motivated? I have a few tips here to possibly help with this all-too-common debacle.
How To Stay Motivated To Reach Your Goals
- Reassess your original goal: Sometimes we set the bar too high, and it leaves us exhausted and motivation-less. Is it possible you can split your original goal into a bunch of smaller goals or manageable steps? Setting yourself up for success is one of the keys to staying motivated.
- Ease up on yourself: I struggle in this area. Perfectionism and guilt are two somewhat evil villains that can destroy motivational levels. Beating yourself up for not achieving a goal or simply having an off day or two isn’t helpful. Shake it off and start fresh tomorrow.
- Know your why: Why do you want to stay in shape? To lose weight? Eat healthy? Motivation has been studied in great detail, and most experts believe that the main factor that determines whether you can stay the course is if your “why” is internally driven, not dependent on external influences. (For example, I work out because it makes me feel strong and happy.)
- Use visual tools: We joke that men are visual, but I believe both genders need visual tools to get the job done. Here are some really great visual tools that can help you stay motivated: use photos to track your progress; cut out and post photos that represent your goals; and design vision boards stocked full of inspirational quotes and images that depict your aspirations. Being able to represent your goals in a tangible way will illuminate the steps you need to take along the way.
- Media and technology: And last but not least, you can always rely on modern technologies and the great thinkers of today to find that spark! Hit up YouTube to find inspirational speakers such as Tony Robbins. Read books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Or get the hugely popular Fitness app for your smartphone so you can track your progress and food intake.
Motivation is a tricky thing to hold on to. We all experience moments, weeks and even years when our motivational levels seem to have disappeared or left on a vacation. Remember that getting started is typically the most difficult stage of the process; once you get that ball rolling, momentum should take over. Try some of these tips the next time your motivation dries up, and never hesitate to share with us additional ways we all can employ the next time we’re struggling to get pumped up!