7 Tips for When You’ve Lost All Motivation
Have you set some weight loss goals for yourself but you just can’t seem to follow through? Does it seem like no matter what you do, you just can’t find the motivation to workout or eat a healthier diet? Or maybe you do find the motivation, but it’s short lived.
Not to worry, it’s perfectly normal to go through periods of low to no motivation. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to get it back when this happens.
But before we get into what to do if your motivation seems to have disappeared, let’s take a look at how a loss in motivation might actually show up for you.
It’s not uncommon for people to confuse just being tired with a total loss of motivation. So, how do you know the difference? How do you know if you just need to rest or if you’ve actually lost your motivation to continue?
Common Signs of Lost Motivation
Being Bored With Your Routine
Becoming bored with your routine is a really common occurrence. I find that this applies not only to workouts but also to eating plans.
Yes, the body and mind both love routine. They find security and safety in the predictable.
But on the flip side, by following the same exercise routine and the same meal plan day in and day out, things can become tedious and boring. This can absolutely lead to a total loss of motivation and the desire to just give up altogether.
Feeling Like You Can’t Make a Difference
Do you feel like no matter what you do, no matter how hard you work, it won’t make a difference?
Have you worked hard to lose weight in the past, eating all the right things, only to feel like a failure when you didn’t hit your goal?
Do you find yourself skipping workouts because you feel like there’s no point? You’re not going to get the results you want anyway, so why bother?
I’ve been there…more times than I can count.
If you’re already feeling like your efforts won’t be rewarded, you aren’t going to be very motivated to stay on track.
Not Being Satisfied With What You’ve Done
Another sign that you may have lost your motivation is that you never seem to be satisfied with the progress you’ve made. Even when we hit our goals, sometimes it just doesn’t feel like enough. This can be a total motivation killer.
If this is the case for you, the unhappiness that lead you to set the goal in the first place most likely had nothing to do with the actual goal itself.
I see this all the time. We think that if we just have the new car, the promotion, the guy, the income, the magic number on the scale, then all will be well. We’ll feel satisfied. We’ll be happy.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
As long as you try to outsource your happiness or your confidence or your self worth, you’ll never be satisfied, no matter how many goals you achieve.
Feeling Stressed About What You’re Doing
We can also lose motivation when we’re stressed out.
Feeling stressed about what you’re doing is just feedback from your body. You may be feeling stressed because you’re trying something new and it’s uncomfortable. Another reason you may be feeling stressed out is because you’ve put an expectation on yourself that seems a little daunting.
Starting anything new can be a challenge. And this can bring up feelings of discomfort, which can potentially lead to a loss in motivation.
Remember, not all stress is bad. It’s just feedback. Try seeing your new workout or your new way of eating from a different perspective. I find that it always helps to view challenges as something that I GET to do, not something that I HAVE to do.
Comparing Yourself to Others
This one is HUGE and can kill your motivation within seconds. Falling into the comparison trap can lead to more than just lost motivation. It can lead to anger, resentment and low self-esteem.
I feel like people fall into one of two camps when it comes to comparison or being hyper focused on what others are doing.
There are those that look at other people’s success and see something that they think they’ll never have. They’re reminded of what they aren’t.
Then there are those that look at people who are successful and see them as an inspiration. They think, “If she can do it, I can do it.”
Someone else’s success or failure has absolutely nothing to do with you. I promise, if you stay in your lane and you focus on your goals, you’ll be so much more successful and whole lot more motivated to continue working on them.
Here are the 7 tips to Boost Your Lost Motivation
Now that we’ve covered what a true loss in motivation looks like, let’s talk about how to get your motivation back.
I can totally relate to this feeling. You know the “I just want to throw my hands in the air and say screw it” feeling.
Just know that this is completely normal and it’s just your body’s way of giving you some feedback that you may need to change your approach. See if any of the following tips offer you a renewed sense of motivation.
Motivation Tip #1: Make a Plan
You know the saying, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” You don’t need a super fancy or expensive workout program or eating plan to be successful either. Just create something that is easy to follow and will offer you some sort of accountability.
Also know that your plan is fluid. It will change as you grow and learn more about what works for you and your body.
If you don’t have a plan in place for your workouts or your meals, you will most likely resort to falling back into old patterns and habits. You know, the ones that you’re trying change because they don’t serve you anymore?
When we’re just starting out with exercise or healthy eating, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and intimidated by all the information out there. Sometimes it’s enough to make us think that we can’t do it by ourselves, that we NEED someone else’s help. And a lot of marketing (especially in the diet culture) targets this exact thought pattern. You may be feeling like you MUST have professional help in order to be successful.
Maybe you’re wondering:
Am I doing this right?
What if I mess up?
Everyone else seems to know exactly what to do except for me.
I don’t even know where to start.
Relax. There’s more that one way to skin a cat (who came up with that terrible saying?). And to be honest, any improvement you make in your health is a step in the right direction. All you need to change your life (and I’m not just saying this to be dramatic) is a 1% change. That’s it. 1%.
Take some time and map out your next week. What days will you workout and what will you do? What adjustments will you make to your diet to incorporate more healthy foods?
Just remember, cut yourself some slack and know that no one has it all figured out…even the so-called experts.
Motivation Tip #2: Review Your Goals and Focus on Your Why
This is such an underrated practice but can be so powerful if you do it regularly. As we work towards our goals, sometimes they change. And that’s ok. It’s actually a great sign that you’re getting more clarity around what it is you actually want.
Sometimes we realize that we’ve bitten off more than we can chew and we need to create more manageable goals.
Other times, we may realize that we’ve sold ourselves short and we’re capable of achieving so much more.
And as hard as it is to admit, sometimes we set goals for ourselves that someone else thinks is great. Have you ever set the same goal as your best friend only to realize that you didn’t really care anything about that goal?
I remember setting a goal to read 100 books in a year because a friend was doing it and I thought it sounded cool. Yeah, I didn’t actually care about reading 100 books in a year. So, do you think I achieved that goal? Nope. Sure didn’t.
Either way, reevaluating your goals from time to time can help keep you on track.
Another thing to revisit often when it comes to staying motivated is your WHY. This is your main reason, or motivating factor, for setting your goals in the first place. If you aren’t motivated by your WHY, it’s probably not big enough or important enough.
Very rarely does our WHY have anything to do with an outside result (looking good in a bikini). It’s often related to feelings such as worthiness, confidence or safety. So when you’re trying to determine what your WHY is, keep digging. If your goal is to look good in a bikini, ask yourself why that’s important. What feelings do you associate with looking good in a bikini? Dig deep and then dig some more.
Motivation Tip #3: Practice Mindfulness & Visualization
Did you know that 15 minutes of visualization is more powerful that 15 hours of hard work? Yep, you read that right.
Visualization is so powerful that many top athletes use this technique to improve their performance. Tiger Woods has used visualization his entire career, and I think we can all agree that he’s seen his fair share of success.
The most important thing to remember when visualizing what you want is to allow yourself to FEEL what it will be like when you’ve achieved your goal. Close your eyes and allow yourself to step into that version of you. Really let yourself FEEL what’s it’s like to be her. I can’t stress this enough. Feelings are SO important in visualization.
It’s also important to get really specific and make sure your vision is at least 50% believable.
Personally, I update my vision every few months. I meditate to get really specific about what I want, and then I write it out. Sometimes, I’ll even read it out loud and create a voice note on my phone so I can listen to it everyday.
If you want some serious motivation, create your vision ASAP.
Motivation Tip #4: Take Small Steps
There’s nothing wrong with setting lofty goals. I have some lofty goals of my own. But as we work towards those big goals, it’s important that we break them down into bite sized chunks so they’re more manageable and easier to achieve.
There’s a concept called minimums. If you’ve never heard of this concept before I highly recommend you give it a try.
When we use minimums we are setting goals for ourselves that are based on the minimum amount that we can achieve while still being challenged.
For example, if you’re looking to lose 10 pounds. Instead of just focusing on the 10 pound weight loss, try breaking it into a smaller, more manageable goal. Maybe try focusing on losing 3 pounds in the next 2 weeks. This is probably something you’ve achieved in the past, so your brain knows it’s a possibility while still being a challenge. It doesn’t seem as daunting as those 10 pounds you can’t seem to lose, no matter what you do.
I don’t care who you are, you like to win. Or at least your ego likes to win. So, by setting smaller goals that are more achievable you’re giving your ego that win that it likes so much. And wins (no matter how big or small) equal, you guessed it, motivation.
Motivation Tip #5: Celebrate Your Wins Along the Way
This alone will be a gamechanger for you. It’s so common to get so focused on achieving our big goal that we ignore all of our successes along the way. We can be so hard on ourselves, can’t we?
If you’ve set a weight loss goal I’d be willing to bet that you’ve been a lot more successful than you’ve given yourself credit. Maybe you haven’t hit all of your targets every single time, but I guarantee you’ve made some pretty major steps in the right direction.
Maybe you said no to Friday night Mexican for the first time in your life because you knew that you didn’t yet have the discipline to stay away from the queso. This should be celebrated!
Or maybe you didn’t eat the white cheddar popcorn at 9:00 pm when you were binging Netflix and “just needed something to snack on.” That’s huge! Celebrate yourself.
Or maybe you completed a 20 minute workout after work even though it was the last thing you wanted to do. Major victory!
Celebrating your wins will drastically improve your motivation. I promise you’ll be more likely to keep going if you celebrate yourself.
Motivation Tip #6: Set Up Your Space for Success
Creating an environment that is welcoming, organized and clean is so important when it comes to motivation and overall success.
Think about it. If you have your designated workout space but it’s cluttered and your equipment is haphazardly strewn about, how likely are you to workout on a consistent basis? You probably aren’t.
But if that space is well organized and clean, maybe it’s also bright and has some framed motivational quotes hanging on the wall, you’ll be more likely to use that space and get in regular workouts.
If your kitchen is full of processed junk food you’re going to have a really hard time eating clean. And if you haven’t taken the time to prep at least a few meals for the week, it’ll be even harder to avoid that processed junk food that’s packaged in such a convenient way.
I have found that keeping a well organized kitchen is crucial for my success when it comes to clean eating. I make sure that my fridge and pantry are always clean, well organized, and stocked with healthy, fresh food that’s already prepped.
Motivation Tip #7: Have an Attitude of Gratitude
I feel like I talk about gratitude all the time. It’s definitely shown up in a few of my previous blog posts. If you’ve been wanting to establish a gratitude practice of your own but aren’t sure where to start, check out this blog post to help you get started.
I also recommend checking out the book Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Everyday by Jay Shetty. This book has really helped me deepen my gratitude practice. And it’s so good I’ve read it twice.
Having a grateful attitude can have a profound effect on your motivation and can completely change the outlook of your life. We are surrounded by abundance, most of which we take for granted.
I saw a post on Instagram the other day that said, “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you were grateful for today?”
That really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? Are you sitting here right now thinking about all the things you’d still want in your life tomorrow? Yeah, me too.
Lately, I’ve noticed that my gratitude hasn’t been as focused on the material things in my life, although I am super grateful for all of them. But I’ve found myself being really grateful for my health and the ability to challenge myself in my workouts. This is something I’m so appreciative for and hope to never take for granted.
And not to get all cheesey, but how amazing is it that we can drive 5 minutes to the nearest grocery store and literally buy any food we want? I mean, anything your little heart desires is at the store, just waiting for you. So, if you want to fuel your body with beautiful, fresh produce that will leave you feeling incredible all you have to do is drive to the store. We are surrounded with options. I don’t know about you, but that is definitely something that I am super grateful for.
Remember, if you’re feeling a little down and out when it comes to your workouts or your eating, just know that this is normal. It will happen from time to time. Giving up isn’t the answer though. Just take a deep breath and a step back. Chances are you just need to make some adjustments.
Even if you aren’t seeing the exact results you want right away, you’re doing great. Keep going!
And if you’re still thinking that it’s just too hard to do by yourself or you’re still feeling overwhelmed, maybe working with a coach would be a next great step for you. Let’s hop on a call and discuss how I can help you achieve that dream life you’re after.
You Might Also Like
How to Establish a Daily Gratitude Practice
Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Everyday by Jay Shetty
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Thanks for your blog, nice to read. Do not stop.