How to Sustain Motivation When You’re Starting to Struggle

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford

I hope your 2022 journey towards your goals has started well!

Hopefully my previous blog, ‘The Ultimate Guide to Motivation – Part 1’, offered some great insights in what you need to do to maximize momentum and motivation when you get started.

Part 2 explains how to keep going when you enthusiasm starts to dwindle. What can you do when you don’t feel the same excitement as you did in the beginning?  

Perhaps something new has come into your life and your old goal isn’t as much of a priority anymore. Perhaps you skipped a day or two and now you can’t get back into it. Perhaps you just got discouraged.

If you can get yourself excited again, and keep going, you’ll get there eventually. But if you give up, you won’t.

You have a choice!

Here’s how you can overcome the urge to quit, and sustain that momentum to keep going towards your goal:

  • Keep everything manageable. The most common mistake that I see most people make when trying to maintain the motivation is starting too big. Either people’s workouts are too long or they expected too much every time. When things don’t go their way they quickly get discourage and give up. My message is shrink the change. Don’t aim for a 2 hour workout every day. It’s not maintainable long term. Reduce it to a manage 30-45 minutes. Don’t aim to lose 5 kg every week. Make 1 kg per week your target. Anything above that is a welcome bonus. It’s a win/win every time
  • If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Preparation is vital to achieving any success. As the Benjamin Franklin saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Don’t wake up unprepared for the day. The night before decide what activity is important for the next day. If you decide you will run place your runners in a place ready to go. It’s that easy! If you plan to go to the gym after work pack your bag the night before.  Leave it directly in front of the door so you don’t forget. This tip works for me every time.
  • Find inspiration. Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve. It could be as simple as finding a picture of someone who has a look you want to achieve and placing it in a spot that always reminds and inspires you.  
  • Seek help. It’s hard to accomplish something alone. Find your support network. A workout buddy is a great way to keep you going when things start to get tough. You can support each other through those low points. I’ve tried it and it works.
  • Chart your progress. This can be as simple as marking an X on your calendar, or creating a simple spread sheet.  It can be vastly rewarding to look back on your progress and to see how far you’ve come, and it can help you to keep going. Now, you will have some bad marks on your chart. That’s OK. Don’t let a few bad marks stop you from continuing. Strive instead to get the good marks next time.
  • Reward yourself. For every little step along the way, celebrate your success, and give yourself a reward. The journey is as important and the destination so enjoy those milestones.
  • Go for mini-goals. Sometimes large or longer-term goals can be overwhelming. After a couple weeks, we may lose motivation, because we still have several months or a year or more left to accomplish the goal. It’s hard to maintain motivation for a single goal for such a long time. Solution: have smaller goals along the way. I call these milestones.
  • Get a coach. These people will hold you 100% accountable. They motivate you to show up and take action. This might be one of the more expensive ways of motivating yourself, but if you value what you are trying to achieve the cost should not become an issue. It will be money well spent.

Take Away Message

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Hopefully this 2 part guide to motivation has inspired and provided ideas for you to use!

 The big challenge about achieving any goal is staying motivated from the beginning all the way to the end. The essence of motivation is being energised and persistent in goal-directed behaviours.

When we are motivated, we move and take action.

How do you hack motivation? What helps you stay committed?

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