Motivation: The 5 Signs That You're Losing Yours And How To Quickly Turn Things Around
isn’t a smooth, unchanging road. It has peaks and dips that influence your
performance, productivity and emotional energy.
can naturally plateau – flowing and ebbing with the seasons or your emotional
state. Even once you’ve caught a good run of self-inspired motivation, you may
feel you’re losing your edge and relapsing back into old habits.
discovering how to get your motivation back
and positive ways to sustain it, it’s
important to know yourself and the signs of your motivation fading. This will
allow you to make a conscious effort to stay positive, be kind to yourself and keep on track.
1. You feel uninspired
feels like just yesterday (and maybe it was!) that you sprung out of bed on a
wave of enthusiasm to hit the gym – self-inspired to rise, shine and lace up.
with the snooze button beckoning you back for another 5… 10… 15… minutes of
shut-eye (okay let’s be realistic… 45 minutes at
least!), you don’t have the spark inside of you that wants to get on with it.
want – or let’s call it passion - every step feels like a heavy burden
– both emotionally and physically.
Solution: Revaluate your goal
When’s the last
time you reassessed your goal? Perhaps you’ve surpassed it and it no longer
provides a sense of challenge or purpose to drive you into action.
may have originally caused you to set a goal that is too small, limiting or
mundane. Your goal should ignite a passion within you, rather than feel like
yourself, "What do I want for my body?" and
"How will that make me feel?". Don’t just
think on the surface of "I want to lose weight"
or "I want to complete a marathon" – look
deeper to discover why it’s a
source of inspiration for you.
2. You feel overwhelmed
big allows us to imagine possibilities of future self-fulfillment and take
action to make that a reality.
when your goal feels like an unscalable mountain, it’s no wonder why the
thought of giving up and falling back into old habits may have crossed your
If your goal feels impossible, your self-confidence may deteriorate before you’ve even started making practical steps towards achieving it.
Solution: Break down your goal into realistic, measurable steps
goal should inspire you without feeling overly daunting, frustrating or
Break your goal down into achievable, specific milestones that you can tick off one by one. This provides sustainable motivation as you climb your way to your end goal in a natural progression.
3. You feel bored
Perhaps you find doing squats or *insert mundane, repetitive task here* uninspiring and hold onto any excuse to procrastinate. But it’s the only way to achieve your weight loss or fitness-based goal… right?
With this inside-the-box perspective, chances are you’ll give up your goal before it’s reached. Boredom has a way of squashing enthusiasm and drawing our focus elsewhere.
Solution: Find your passion
First, determine whether you’re bored with your goal itself or your method of achieving it. Sometimes we make goals not for ourselves, but because we feel obligated to do so. Your goal must be for you – and there is no need to feel guilt over that.
Secondly, how are you trying to achieve your goal? If it’s a weight loss or fitness-based goal, find a training method that resonates with you. If you absolutely despise your workout method – chances are you’ll give up on it and your goal before it’s within reach.
Find your passion – whether it's running, dancing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, kickboxing – you name it.
If you get stuck for inspiration, channelling your childhood dream may give you some fresh ideas in your adult life. Perhaps you wanted to be grow up to be an explorer (hiking/trail running) or champion beach volleyball player. Don't be afraid to shake things up by varying your workouts or trying something new.
the process itself of working towards your goal excites you, finding a rhythm to your training will come more
naturally – and if you’re like us, even to the point where you’re daydreaming
of pounding on the pavement, even as you curl up for the night.
4. You feel devastated at anything less than 100% success
laser-focussed on your goal can initially fuel your momentum, but your passion
may quickly subside if you allow every ‘defeat’ to weigh heavily on you or
procrastinate due to fear of failure.
for perfection is debilitating and limiting. We’re all our own worst critic,
and impossibly high standards can leave you feeling anxious and bound by stress
– at the gym and beyond.
all-or-nothing mentality and harmful self-talk can be detriment to your
motivation and productivity, and in turn cause you to avoid rather than expose
yourself to the risks of a new challenge.
may begin to wonder "What’s the point?" when
you don’t experience visible results immediately or feel continuously
dissatisfied with your efforts - forgetting to take in account that achieving a
larger goal takes time and persistence.
Solution: Let go of perfect, shift your mindset and find peace in the moment
Leave behind perfectionism-fuelled expectations that conjure
thoughts of “I’m not good enough” and replace them with positive, realistic
thinking, such as “Everyone makes mistakes, and mistakes allow us to grow”.
When you feel weighed down by negative emotion, remember the courage it took to begin your journey and how far you've come. Celebrate yourself for that.
When you have a
positive mindset, you’re more likely to be self-inspired to eat healthy, hit
the gym or spring out of bed for a morning jog.
you’re making a real effort, you are making progress and any setbacks are a
part of the process that you can overcome.
In fact, mistakes allow us to learn, strengthen our skills and encourage creative thinking. Don’t avoid trying something new because you’re worried you won’t be good at it. Work at it and allow your mistakes to act as a stepping stone to elevate your performance in future.
goals have a power to motivate, getting fixated only on results can wear your
out prematurely. If you’re a runner, consider including a ‘fun run’ into your
weekly routine. An occasional session where you forget about tracking performance and focus on the joy of running
rather than crushing your PB can be uplifting - helping you remember the why
that motivates you.
5. You feel burnt out
physically and mentally fatigued, irritable and unfocussed. The energy and
enthusiasm you once unleashed at full-pelt has since faded, leaving you
wondering, "Why have I plateaued?" and "Where’s my motivation?".
Overtraining is when the intensity and
frequency of workouts exceeds your body’s ability to recover fully and
Perhaps you’ve fallen into a loop of yo-yo exercising - trying to ‘catch up’ on your
fitness after a workout rut by doubling up on your training. You could be
inadvertently burning yourself out, reinforcing the cycle and losing grip on
in the hope to prevent breaking out of your fitness groove, you could be
neglecting to recover. The thought of taking a rest day may even make you feel
guilty and apprehensive – like you’re falling off-track or slacking off. But
you don’t have to beat yourself up or feel that way.
Solution: Rest and recover
Tame your guilt gremlin. Know that not only is giving your body and mind a break
okay, but it is essential to your long-term fitness and mental health.
and recovery is a life cycle of muscle breakdown, repair and strengthening that
allows your body to adapt to higher intensity workouts. Neglecting recovery
puts you at higher risk of injury, illness, stress as well as a decline in
performance and motivation.
sustain your motivation for the long-term and prevent the mental and physical
crash that comes with overtraining, incorporate rest days and ‘active’ recovery
into your fitness schedule.
recovery may involve light, chill-worthy fitness sessions such as walking, yoga
or foam roller exercises that allow you to ease tension in stiff muscles while
allowing your mind to unwind.
Eating a nutritious and balanced diet, getting enough sleep and meditation may aid in your recovery and allow
you to return to your workouts feeling rejuvenated and focussed.
Check in with your body and mind. If you’re lethargic but having trouble sleeping, your muscles are constantly sore or feel like jelly or lead and you're moody and stressed, prioritising your recovery will help refuel your energy, repair your muscle and rebuild your motivation.