Have you ever made big plans, only to fail to act on them? Or maybe you started with a bang and kept your motivation for a few days, but suddenly lost interest. Happens all the time.
It’s easy to lose motivation after the initial excitement wears off. If you want to be successful, it’s important to keep going, because the work isn’t going to get done itself.
Understand why you lose your motivation:
- The planning phase is more fun than the execution phase. Sitting alone at night and making plans for the future can be an exciting time. Everything seems possible, because you’re only limited by your imagination at that point.
- However, when the sun comes up in the morning, it’s time to actually get busy. It all seems a little more daunting and less enjoyable when it’s time for the rubber to hit the road. Sometimes it’s more appealing to make a new plan and avoid the work of achieving anything. Resist!
- You lose track of the end result. Remind yourself of the prize at the end of your journey. Visualize how it’s all going to be when you’ve reached your goal. You should feel an immediate boost of motivation. If that end result doesn’t really get you jazzed up, then maybe this isn’t a true interest.
- Your goal doesn’t suit you. Many of us choose goals that are acceptable to the world at large. It might be buying a huge house or a fancy car. Maybe your goal is totally mismatched to your real desires or temperament. Ensure that you’ve chosen goals that match your interests and abilities. Are you wanting something you really want – or are you wanting something others think you SHOULD want?
- You feel uncomfortable and aren’t dealing with it effectively. Of course, it’s uncomfortable to do anything new. Whether it’s creating a new income stream, beginning a workout routine, or a new diet, it’s going to be uncomfortable. It’s important to deal with this discomfort effectively.
- Expect to feel uncomfortable. Have a plan for working through it. If you’re making changes to your life, discomfort is the norm. Sometimes you have to push through discomfort so that it becomes the new comfortable.
- You have too many negative thoughts. Negative thoughts are paralyzing. Negative thoughts will make you rationalize that you should quit. Though it doesn’t always feel like you have control over your thoughts, you do. You can choose what you want to think about.
- Take control of your thoughts. Catch yourself early in the process of thinking negative thoughts and redirect your focus to something more positive. It takes time to develop this ability. The key is to notice quickly that your thoughts are going off the rails. Sometimes I feel the voices in my head are having an ongoing argument and it’s my job to silence the nay-sayer and encourage the positive thinker.
- You’re stuck in your old habits and routines. The older you are, the more challenging it can be to break out of your old patterns. We find comfort in our old routines, and our brains become hardwired to repeat them. You’ll need to create new habits and routines if you want to change your behavior and your results.
- Identify one habit that is getting in your way and one habit you need to create to attain your goals. Put your time and energy into dealing with these two items. When you’re successful, tackle two more.
Which of these six reasons applies to you most often? Is there another reason you fail to sustain your motivation? Motivation and willpower can be highly variable.
Expect that your motivation will falter and be prepared to deal with it. Focus on creating habits that will take you to your goals, because habits reduce the need for motivation and willpower.