We’ve all become demotivated at times, but sometimes we fall into a rut that even the most simplest tasks or positive changes seem too difficult. But the thing is, motivation comes and goes and you’re not always going to “feel like it”. When starting a new project, goal or routine, there will always be a period of time when you’re not motivated. I’ve usually found that when I set myself a new goal I’m super motivated when I start and all I can think about are the possibilities and the up sides. But there is a period of time when the excitement wears off and the new habit hasn’t yet developed, that it’s easy to become demotivated. It’s in this period that self-doubt creeps in and we wonder if our efforts will be worth it, it’s here where we wonder why we can’t yet see results, and we believe if we could see results already then we would be more motivated to continue.
Most of us have one conception for demotivation and assume we’re struggling with the same problem every time we become demotivated. But the truth is, demotivation contains many variations and the reason you become demotivated for one thing is not necessarily the reason why you become demotivated for another.
In essence, demotivation happens when we don’t fully commit to something, but the reason why we haven’t fully committed is different every time. And that’s what this post is about, it’s about finding out why you might be struggling to commit to your goals and how to get that motivation back!
You’re not taking care of yourself
There are times when you need to focus, stop scrolling and get to work and then there are times when we need to sit back, slow down and relax. If you’re not giving yourself much or any time to recharge then this will have a huge impact on your health and energy levels, leaving you feeling demotivated. But how do we know when it’s time to recharge?
What to do:
Check in with yourself every so often to make sure your basic needs are met. Are you getting enough sleep each night? Are you eating a balanced and healthy diet? Do you drink enough water? When was the last time you exercised? How often are you working? If it feels like you’re working 24/7 then give yourself at least one day off every week when you can unwind and reset. At first you might feel like this day is being wasted but by allowing yourself time to relax and take care of yourself, you will be more productive during the times when you need to buckle up and work.
You’re scared of wasting effort
Are you scared to spend your time and energy on something in case you don’t get the results you want? Whether that be a new workout plan, healthy eating or a creative project, the fear of wasting effort is holding you back and demotivating you. It’s very common, especially if you’re a perfectionist, to fear wasting effort. The fear of wasting effort is the fear that you try your best but your best won’t be good enough and you wonder if you should put your energy into something else.
What to do:
When starting a new project, goal or routine, there will usually be a period of time when self-doubt creeps in and we wonder if our efforts will be worth it. A good way to overcome the fear of wasting effort is to focus on your efforts rather than your results by setting effort based goals instead of results based goals. Which means you will give yourself a period of time when you wont judge whether or not your new project or a habit is working. For example, for the first one to three months you won’t keep looking at how much you’ve grown or if it’s working, you will simply turn up. You will turn up to the gym without checking if you’ve lost weight and you will go to that yoga class without seeing if you’re move flexible.
You keep changing your goal
When you forget to look back on how far you’ve come and how much you have achieved already then it’s easy to become demotivated and discouraged. A lot of us will unknowingly move our goal to something more challenging, but when we do this we become demotivated at how far we have left to go.
What to do:
When you become demotivated, step back and take a look at how much you’ve achieved so far. Remind yourself what your goal was when you first started this journey and what you’re currently aiming for. Has your goal changed? Have you raised your standard? Do you have higher expectations for yourself? It could be that you’ve come so far than you now believe you can achieve bigger and better things! This belief has unknowingly changed your goal to something more challenging, leaving you feeling demotivated because you haven’t giving yourself time to celebrate how far much you’ve already achieved.
You don’t believe in yourself
Some days we believe in ourselves more than others and that’s perfectly normal, but is your lack of self belief the reason why you’re demotivated? It’s easy to become demotivated when you don’t believe in yourself, because lack of self-belief will stop you from trying to achieve your goals. But the thing is, when you give up, motivation isn’t suddenly going to kick in and your self-belief will only decrease. So what can we do about it?
What to do:
Start small and take it slowly. Let’s say your goal is to get fit and to exercise 5 times a week for one hour a day. This is a very challenging goal to stay consistent with, especially if you haven’t had much of an exercise routine in the past. You can still focus on getting fit but change the way you get there. Instead, try exercising for 20 minutes a day 4 days a week and then once you become comfortable with this new routine your self-belief and motivation will increase, you can then make the goal more challenging.
You won’t leave your comfort zone
As humans we like what’s familiar and resist anything which is new and alien to us. Because of this, we stay within our comfort zone and re-create what’s familiar to us, we try the same approach again and again and become frustrated and demotivated as we keep getting the same results.
What to do:
To get that motivation back you need to step out of your comfort zone, because great things don’t happen in your comfort zone. Think about one thing which you haven’t achieved yet, how many methods have you tried to achieve it? Do you claim that you’ve tried everything to achieve this goal when actually you’ve tried the same method over and over again? If you want to create something different you need to do something different, and that means doing something out of your comfort zone.
You lack support from others
Have your shared your ideas, projects and goals with anyone? Do you know anyone else who is working towards something similar? Are you lacking support from others? When you lack support from others, either because you haven’t shared your goals with anyone or because the people who you shared them with aren’t interested, this can cause serious demotivation.
What to do:
Whether you’re working on a fitness goal, a home renovation, a work project, a creative goal or a financial target, knowing that others are working towards the same thing can give you the motivation which you need! Having someone to speak to who is going through the exact same thing, and giving someone else encouragement can bring back the motivation which you’re missing. If you don’t know anyone who is working on the same thing as you, then find online communities where you can seek advice and encouragement. if you’re working towards a fitness goal then look at going to a fitness class, joining a running club or hiring a personal trainer.
It’s not important to you
Do you think that maybe the reason why you’re not motivated is because the goal isn’t important to you? Are you only doing it because it’s “cool” or because other people are doing it? For example, are you pushing yourself to go to a yoga class or to become a better cook, because you think that’s what think you should be doing? With social media, it’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and think that maybe we should be doing that as well.
What to do:
Have a think about what you’re struggling with right now and ask yourself, how much do I care about this? Think about who inspired you to do it and whether or not this aligns with your values. Write down the reasons why you want to achieve this and the reasons why you don’t want to achieve it. Notice how you feel when you write down the reasons, this should give you a good indication if it is important to you.
What are you working on right now and how do you overcome demotivation?