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How to Dodge Motivation Drain and Keep Making Progress

How to Dodge Motivation Drain and Keep Making Progress

Nearly two-thirds of adult Americans make a fitness-related New Year’s resolution, and 73 percent of them give up before meeting it, according to a study by Harris Interactive.

Whether it’s the beginning of the year or not – everyone struggles to stick with health and fitness goals for a variety of reasons, including lack of convenience, and support, unnoticeable results and decreased motivation. But stopping before you’ve hit your goals isn’t the solution. In the same Harris Interactive study, 38 percent of respondents said it’s too hard to get back on track after falling off.

Instead of giving into motivation drain, and struggling to get your routine started again, push through the motivation drain to keep making progress. Here are a few ways to do exactly that.

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Find a Partner

Motivating Factor: Support 

Few things are more motivating than a good friend, especially if they’re working toward a similar goal as you. A workout buddy will help you get up early in the morning, if you hit the gym before work, push through to the end of a tough set, and talk you through long treadmill sessions.

But don’t let your motivating partner become a distraction. If you find that they’re talking too much, or adding to your motivation drain, politely address the issue and move on. Perhaps there are other ways they can help motivate you that would be more effective.

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Track Your Progress Daily, Weekly and Monthly

Motivating Factor: “It’s Working!”

Tracking your progress doesn’t mean you need to be posting #TransformationTuesday photos on Instagram each week. In fact, you don’t need to take any photos at all. Instead, track your progress in a few other ways:

  • Daily: Use a fitness tracker to log steps, sleep, water drank and more. Don’t have a fitness tracker yet? Check out the FitBit, which was the favorite wearable among 2,000 people polled or the Xiaomi Mi Band 2, which is just $45, according to a recent pricing analysis by CouponBox.com.
  • Weekly: Give yourself a fitness test each week with one exercise. Do the exercise at the beginning of the week for 30 seconds and see how many you can do. Repeat this at the end of the week and see if you can beat yourself. Track this over a 1-month period to see how much progress you’ve made.
  • Monthly: Use a measuring tape to get a benchmark progress in the areas where you want to tighten up or lose weight, including your arms, legs and midsection. Re-measure each month and note the changes. 

Try Something New Each Week

Motivating Factor: No More Boredom

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Doing the same exercises each week gets boring quickly and is one of the biggest reasons for motivation drain. When you’re bored, you’re less motivated to lace up your shoes and work out. Avoid boredom by trying something new each week.

If you belong to a gym, classes are perfect for this. Most gyms offer a variety of class options, at all different times, ranging from strength training to HIIT. With other people around, you may also be more motivated to push yourself. If you don’t belong to a gym, look to boutique fitness studios to try something new. Check out barre, yoga, boxing and more.

Trying something different will also challenge your body in new ways, allowing you to reach your goals faster. 

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Work With a Personal Trainer

Motivating Factor: Professional Coaching

Sometimes, taking your workout routine to the next level is difficult to do on your own – especially if you’re not feeling motivated. This is where a personal trainer can be most valuable, especially if you’ve already built strength and learned what you do and don’t like in terms of fitness.

If you’re starting to slow down, get a burst of motivation from a 4- or 5-week program with a personal trainer. Not only will this help ensure you’re using proper form and pushing yourself safely, but you’ll kick motivation drain with someone there to make sure you work harder and reach new goals.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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