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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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