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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 November 20, 2018

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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2. You put the cart before the horse.

“Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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6. You don’t enjoy the process.

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

7. You’re trying too hard.

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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9. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why.

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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