The beginning of any new year or new habit/routine usually comes with new energy, enthusiasm and a little more motivation than usual. But slowly, as the newness of it all wears off, that often fades and it becomes increasingly difficult to motivate ourselves to keep working toward whatever goal we set out to accomplish.
If you have awesome self-discipline, this probably isn’t a problem for you – and despite whatever lack of energy/motivation you’re faced with, you’re still able to push forward and put in the work it takes to accomplish your goals anyway. But if you’re like many of us, this decrease in energy and motivation can become discouraging, demoralizing and frustrating. It can take a hit on our self-esteem and spiral in a way that makes it even more difficult to regain any sort of momentum we once had.
So what do we do once we’ve lost some motivation & momentum and want to take ACTION about that instead of feeling defeated?
Ditch the Guilt – This one is crucial. Losing motivation & momentum is normal and only makes you human, not a failure. It’s okay if you haven’t maintained 100% motivation & enthusiasm about your goal since starting. It’s okay if you’ve temporarily stopped working towards it. Believing that you’ve already failed or haven’t been doing ‘enough’ isn’t going to help you build the momentum you need to get started again. Accept where you’re at and allow yourself to move forward from there.
Reassess Your Goal – Take an honest look at the goal you set and ask yourself if it’s still important to you. It’s okay if the answer is no! Our goals, needs, values, etc. are constantly changing as we do, so if a goal that you set is no longer something you value or desire, it’s okay to let it go (and you’ll feel a huge sense of relief once you do).
Reassess Your Plan – Sometimes the problem isn’t our lack of motivation, it’s our lack of a solid plan. Were you specific about your goal and your plan for achieving that goal? Was your plan realistic? If you didn’t set yourself up for success the first time around, consider some ways that you can adjust your plan to ensure that it’s benefiting you instead of deterring you.
Self-Reflect – Do a self-inventory and explore what things may have led to this decrease in motivation/energy. What has been working well and what has not been working well in your pursuit of this goal? Are there logistical things that have been preventing you from staying engaged? Are there mental/emotional blocks you need to work through with someone? Taking a moment to honestly reflect on these things can help with the process of reassessing your goal/plan.
Redefine Your Why – Often times when we lose momentum/motivation toward a goal, it’s because we get disconnected from the reasons we set out to achieve it in the first place. Make a list of 10 specific ways that accomplishing this goal would positively impact your life and read it every morning, visualizing your future self having accomplished it. You’re bound to be more connected & intentional and therefore more motivated as a result.
Change Up Your Routine – Routines can help greatly with achieving goals as they add a sense of structure and automation to the process, but it’s equally important to change them up every now and then, too, especially if you’re feeling unmotivated or ‘stuck’. Think of some small tweaks you can make that will bring that sense of newness and excitement back to your approach and re-evaluate how your routine is or isn’t working on at least a monthly basis.
Change Up Your Environment – Similarly, changing our environment can bring some newfound inspiration. Consider the environment in which you’ve been working toward this goal and what changes/tweaks you can make that would help you feel more motivated or excited there. Perhaps it’s being in a new space entirely or maybe it’s just adding some new things to that space.
Set Daily Intentions – Sometimes a goal is so huge that it’s overwhelming to even think about achieving it and we therefore become a bit detached, causing us to lose motivation to even work toward it. Setting smaller, daily goals and identifying 1-2 intentional actions you can take each day will keep you building upon that momentum toward that huge, scary goal rather than hiding from it.
Celebrate Your Daily Wins – End each day by listing 2-3 ‘wins’ you had, which can be things you accomplished, smaller goals you achieved, good things that happened, etc. Knowing that you have some accountability at the tail-end of your day can help to keep you motivated (enough) to accomplish something you can add to that list.
Reward Yourself – Once you achieve that goal, aside from your list of 10 awesome ways it’s going to impact your life, what will happen next? Do you have something exciting planned to celebrate it? If not, think of a way you can reward yourself for both the big and small benchmarks, so that even on the really tough days, you can daydream about treating yourself at the end of it all.
At the end of the day, losing motivation & momentum is part of the process toward achieving any goal, so don’t let it deter you – instead, lean into it, figure out what’s going on & come back at it even stronger.
What do you do to regain motivation & momentum? I’d love to hear! And if you are feeling like you’re needing some accountability toward a goal you’re working, don’t hesitate to let me know.