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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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