Have you ever struggled to get back to whatever you’ve been focusing on? Whether it’s eating less junk, skipping alcohol, or going to bed at the same time every night? I bet at least once in a while, you might have lost your motivation and wondered how to get it back.
We often talk about things that are ephemeral and intangible when it comes to health and fitness. Motivation. Inspiration. Determination. A desire to change. Fitness.
The invisibility of these guys often makes me wonder: do they exist? Is motivation something we could have a lot of at all times?
Motivation is based on the reasons we’re acting or striving to act a certain way. It’s the driving force behind most of our behaviors. Some people have more of it, some people have less, and on any given day the same person can be over the moon about a certain goal and in a puddle of her own tears and desperation, on another. There is not a single girl on this planet who’s motivated at all times.
Motivation goes hand in hand with discipline, determination, and practice. It can be complex because let’s agree, our motives, ambitions, and inner qualities aren’t always crystal clear. It can be internal (your inner voice and desires pushing you out the door to hit that spin class) or external (your furry friend wagging his tail ready to go for a walk when it’s pouring out). Motivation embraces many cognitive processes we don’t think about and often can be based on our needs: the need for power, need for safety, the need for recognition, our instincts etc. But we’re not here to regurgitate Maslow’s hierarchy of needs 🙂
If you ever felt like your fridge door gets opened way too many times (despite the picture of Angelina Jolie in bikini stapled on it), if you’d rather watch This is Us marathon on Netflix instead of running one, and if you find yourself wasting a lot of time trying to find Ms. Motivation, it’s time to try new stuff!
In case you wondered, I struggled a lot, too. I still do when I have a “bad” day but I’ve learned like anything else, motivation is something I can practice by using the right tools. I often hear it from my friends “You’re always so determined and motivated, how do you do it?” I’ve learned that only ME, MYSELF and I are responsible for being/staying motivated on any given day. This is how you can be rocking your days, too.
5 Motivation hacks to get going
There are a few ways you can become accountable and stay motivated. It works like a charm especially if you surround yourself with someone you look up to or someone who’s motivation levels are very high. On the other hand, if you have someone near and dear who struggles as well, pair up and do it together. Pursue a common goal or reward and make a challenge out of it!
Here are some ways to become accountable quickly:
- Friend (ask to check in with you)
- Support group (sharing your experience
- Your significant other or family member (pursuing mutual goals)
- Coach (WILL check in on you)
- Making a public statement (will hold you accountable if value those you’re announcing to)
If you don’t know why you’re doing it (or why you aren’t’), chances are you’re walking towards your goal blindfolded. It’s like eating that bag of Cheetos until your fingertips reach the bottom after you promised yourself to have just one serving (fifth time this month). If you don’t acknowledge patterns, behaviors, and thoughts you’re having, it will be pretty difficult to stay upbeat with your eyes on the prize.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Figuring out the why you keep failing at staying motivated. Is it the weather today? Was it the same yesterday? Are you scared to succeed? Are you afraid to be judged? Do you think “healthy eating “is too hard? Are you just being lazy?
- Now look at the reasons/excuses/ judgments/you name it. How many of them are real, valid excuses? Now think about your goals. How big and amazing they are, how much you want to have them in your life. Look at your reasons again. Can you reconcile these and see that you just need to change things up, and these reasons aren’t what’s stopping you? Find the mental blocks, because let’s agree. All of us have the same number of hours a day, busy lives. But people who stay motivated look past these reasons and find a way to stay on track. You got this.
- Work through your thinking patterns, stories you tell yourself, and limiting beliefs that block your progress. Here’s a great methodology to get it done.
- If you’re really stuck working through mental blocks, watch this amazing video by Marie Forleo to help your subconscious mind handle them.
3. Being your biggest cheerleader
Because if you aren’t, others may not cheer. The positives attract. The more joy and fun you experience daily the more others will join in. Bust those dance moves when you’re in a crappy mood and don’t feel like a salad for lunch. Call a friend and laugh your booties off about something absolutely silly. Hug yourself (or your pup) if you’re alone and feel like the entire universe is against you. It’s not the case, it’s’ just you got the blues.
Here’s how you can be your biggest supporter:
- Celebrate the wins, even the tiniest ones. Do a happy dance, treat yourself to a coffee or meal out (healthy, hopefully!), and spend time doing the stuff you love. The more you celebrate, the more you reinforce your winning attitude, the more you motivate yourself.
- Cheer yourself on when no one is cheering. That’s right. When I have a tough workout and I’m alone at the gym…I play the tunes that pump me up and praise myself as I go ( sometimes even out loud!). You’re amazing and you deserve feeling good. You’re responsible for making yourself feel good, no one else.
- Stay positive day in and day out. Whatever rocks your boat, pal. Affirmations, positive post-it notes all over your desk, watching Tony Robbins videos or Gilmore Girls (anyone else obsessed?), you can do it. It’s the matter of starting and continuing the streak of positivity with diminishing your negative/sad/bad moments in between.
4. Letting go of perfectionism
You can have it all without having it all. You don’t have to be a zebra to only have white or black stripes. I used to think that being a perfectionist is great because I go for the best, I do my best, and the results are amazing and everything is perfect, including me. Often, it’s just disappointing because let’s face it, things are rarely 100% the way we want them to be, and really that’s alright!
Here’s what you can do:
- Let go of “all or nothing” attitude and find a whole spectrum of colors in between. If you didn’t go work out because you got stuck building another ClickFunnel or deciphering another marketing strategy, it’s ok. It’s not black, it’s possibly blue or pink today. Do better tomorrow and praise yourself for other things you accomplished today.
- Do it now instead of waiting for the perfect weather conditions. Rough seas make good sailors, but once you start, you may find out that your seas are not that rough. It’s those awful images we draw in our heads that “oh my god, I’ll need to meal prep”, “I’m afraid to fail”, “I have a vacation coming up “ etc. Do it now and deal with it as you go instead of sitting there and building up the dramatic effects of possible outcomes. In your head, not in your reality.
- If it didn’t go well, start right over, with your next meal, work out, hour, day. Don’t wait for Monday or January 1st to arrive. Jump in and be proud you got back in so quickly. Practice this, and you’ll never fall “off the wagon” (whatever that means)
5. Seeing and believing it
Because if you know what you want, you can feel it in your finger and feel it in your toes. Love is ahhhh sorry, got carried away.
You need to know and feel deep in your heart, body, and soul that what you’re going for (Angelina’s bikini body, strong arms, feeling energetic, being confident in your skin, etc) is right there. No matter how many months separate you from your goal, you can see and feel it as soon as you close your eyes and imagine you’ve achieved it already. Sit up straight, close your eyes, and visualize. If you need a great technique to do it, check out this “mental rehearsal” technique.
Now tell me about you – what do you do when you lose motivation?
Author: Anya Perry
Anya Perry battled boring diets, low energy, and declining health for over 10 years before she found what works. Now, she helps women achieve their dream state of health, fitness, and vitality… without the struggles, battles of miserable diets, and yo-yo results. She can’t live without coffee and challenges.