How To Get Back On Track After Losing Motivation: 17 Tips

In this new article you’ll learn how to get back on track after losing motivation.

Once you get motivated, the next step is to stay motivated when you no longer feel as enthusiastic as you did in the beginning.

Perhaps something new has come into your life and your previous goal is no longer as important. Maybe you took a break for a day or two, and now you can’t muster up the energy to get back to it. Maybe you made a mistake and got discouraged.

You will succeed someday if you just rekindle your enthusiasm and keep going. You will not succeed if you give up. You have the option of completing your goal or giving up.

Here’s how to avoid giving up and achieve your goal.

How To Get Back On Track After Losing Motivation:

1. Take a step back.

When you start a new fitness program, or any new goal for that matter, you are generally eager to get started, full of excitement and boundless energy. You have no concept of self-limitation and believe that you can do anything.

However, this continues until you realize you have limitations and your excitement begins to fade. Holding back when you have so much energy at the beginning of the program and want to go all the way is poor motivation.

On the other hand, allowing yourself to accomplish everything you want is not a good idea either. Instead, allow yourself to do only 50–75% of what you want, and develop a strategy to gradually increase your efforts over time.

If you want to start running, you may believe that you can run 3 miles (4.8 km) at first. Instead of allowing yourself to do that, start by running one mile.

Tell yourself that you can do more when you run that mile! But don’t let yourself fall into this trap. After this session, you’ll be excited about your next workout when you can run 1.5 miles (2.4 km).

Keep that energy in check, tame it, and you’ll be able to run even further.

2. Establish mini-goals.

Large or long-term ambitions can sometimes be daunting. We can lose motivation after a few weeks, even though we still have many months, if not a year, to complete a task.

It can be difficult to stay motivated over a long period of time for a single goal. The solution may be to break it down into smaller goals.

If you’re having trouble meeting the “exercise more” goal, for example, break it down into tangible, achievable mini-goals to keep the momentum going.

“Take 10-minute walks three times a week” and “Run with a friend three times a week in the afternoon” are more focused and achievable goals than larger, more general objectives.

3. Simply get started.

Some days you don’t feel like going for a run, going to the health club, or doing whatever it is you’re supposed to do for your goal that day.

Instead of focusing on how hard it is or how long it will take, convince yourself that you just have to start. Don’t put off doing what you need to do until you “feel” like it.

For example, just put on your running shoes and close the door behind you. After that, it will all happen on its own.

It seems hard when you are sitting at home, thinking about jogging and feeling exhausted. It’s never as hard as you imagine until you start. This advice is always effective.

To start, you can use an “if-then” strategy. If I feel the urge to sit down and watch TV, I’ll go for a 10-minute run first, for example.

4. Take ownership of your actions.

Be accountable for your words if you have made a public commitment through an online forum, blog, email, or in person. Make a commitment to report your results daily and stick to it! Since you don’t want to be considered a failure, this accountability will motivate you to do well.

Consider using even more extreme steps to force yourself to commit. Give someone a certain amount of money, and they can only pay you back in small portions every time you go to the gym, for every pound you lose, or for every mile you run.

You might even be able to draw up a contract!

5. Make friends with people who share your interests.

It can be difficult to stay motivated alone.

However, if you meet someone who has similar goals as you (running, dieting, budgeting, etc.), see if you can partner with them. You can also partner with a spouse, sibling, or close friend on goals that they are pursuing.

You don’t have to pursue the same goals as long as you both push and support each other to succeed. Other helpful options include local clubs (such as a running club) or online forums where you can meet people who have similar goals.

It can be difficult to accomplish something alone. It’s important to find your support network, whether in the real world, the online world, or both, whether you’re quitting smoking, running a marathon, or writing a master’s thesis.

SEE ALSO: How To Develop Productive Habits: 11 Most Useful Strategies

6. Track your progress.

This can be as simple as putting an X on your calendar, making a simple spreadsheet, or using online tools to track your progress.

However, looking back at your progress and seeing how far you’ve come can be really rewarding and can motivate you to keep going-after all, you don’t want to go too long without an X! There will now be some red markers on your graph.

That’s okay.

Don’t let a few poor marks spoil your progress. Instead, work hard next time to get high scores.

According to research, documenting your progress makes you feel more competent. People who are confident in their abilities are more motivated.

7. Give yourself regular rewards.

Celebrate your accomplishments (1) and give yourself a reward for each step you take toward your goal.It’s a good idea to set yourself appropriate rewards for each step so you can anticipate them.

When we say appropriate, we mean that they 1) are proportional to the size of your goal (don’t reward a 1-mile run with a luxury store purchase); and 2) don’t sabotage your goal (don’t celebrate a day of good nutrition by eating dessert if you’re trying to lose weight). 

8. Get rid of procrastination.

Some days it’s just easier to say, “I’ll do it tomorrow!” You might mistake procrastination for laziness, and you’d be right.

But in many cases, it’s about setting a goal so ambitious that you know you’ll never achieve it, so you don’t want to try. Instead, try one of the following strategies to combat procrastination:

Look at the details. Don’t think of a huge term paper as a “big term paper” if you’re having trouble completing it.

Break it down into manageable chunks, such as “research,” “writing an introduction,” “editing paragraphs,” and so on. Taking on one of these is much less intimidating than taking on a “huge term paper”.

Remember that anything you can do, try to do the best you can. If your goal is to “get all A’s,” you may be so terrified of that that you never get started. Rather, set a goal of “doing your best on all assignments”.

Please forgive yourself. According to research, those who punish themselves for procrastination spend more time feeling guilty and less time actually working.

You let go yesterday, and now you have extra things to do, but you can get through it.

9. Hire a coach, or take a class.

They will inspire you to at least show up and perform. This can be used to achieve any goal.

This is one of the more expensive methods of self-motivation, but it works. And if you do your homework, you may be able to find some cheap courses in your area, or you may know someone who can coach or mentor you for free.

10. Negative ideas should be removed and replaced with good ones.

This is one of the most important motivational skills to master, and it is critical to do it regularly. The key is to start paying attention to your thoughts and recognizing bad internal dialogue.

Spend a few days being aware of every unpleasant idea that comes into your mind. After a few days, try to remove these negative ideas like bugs and replace them with positive ones. “This is too hard!” should be replaced with “I can achieve this!

It’s simple, yet it works. It really does.

Use affirmations. Try reminding yourself that “I don’t feel super-athletic today, but I am strong!” I am confident that I can complete this exercise.

SEE ALSO: How To Avoid Miscommunication With Others: 14 Top Tactics

11. Think about the advantages.

For most people, imagining how something is difficult is a major problem. Getting up early seems really hard! Just thinking about it exhausts you. Instead of focusing on how something is hard, think about what you will gain by doing it.

Make a list of all the reasons why you want to achieve your goal and what you will gain by doing so. Instead of focusing on how hard it is to get out of bed early, think about how good you will feel when you are done and how much better your day will be because of the extra time you have.

The benefits of anything will make you feel more energized.

12. Rekindle your enthusiasm!

Consider why you lost your enthusiasm, and then consider why you were enthusiastic in the first place.

Is it possible for you to get it back? What inspired you to pursue your goal? What sparked your interest? Try to bring it back, redirect your attention, and energize yourself.

Consider reading motivational stories (2). Others who have achieved or are currently doing what you want to achieve can provide inspiration.

Other blogs, books, and magazines should also be read. Search for your goal online and read success stories. You will quickly discover that you feel more enthusiastic than ever.

Look for a place that inspires you. Some people work best in a coffee shop, while others prefer to be isolated from the rest of the world. Try to find something that makes you feel energized and try to incorporate it into your daily routine.

13. Build on your accomplishments.

Every small step forward is a victory; be glad you started at all! Then repeat this for the next two days. Every small accomplishment should be celebrated.

Use that sense of accomplishment and build on it with the next small step. For example, add 2-3 minutes to your workout program. With each step (each step should take about a week), you will feel more successful.

You won’t fail if you keep each step as small as possible. After a few months, your small steps will add up to big growth and success.

14. Push yourself toward a set goal.

Motivation is not something that is constantly available to you. It comes and goes, like the tide, and then comes and goes again.

But remember that while it may fade, it doesn’t disappear forever. It will return. Just hang in there and wait for the motivation to return. While you are waiting for your motivation to return, learn something about your goal, ask for guidance, and do some of the other activities recommended below.

One way to achieve this goal is to stop thinking of your failures as “failures.” This magnifies and prolongs a short-term lack of motivation, weakening the desire to try again.

Instead, “Today I had a bad day and didn’t feel like accomplishing my goal.” you tell yourself this: “It’s okay to have days like this from time to time. Tomorrow I can start over. I don’t have to live with the consequences of today’s failure tomorrow.

15. Use visualization techniques

Create a detailed mental picture of your successful outcome. Close your eyes and imagine how your success will look, smell, taste, sound, and feel.

When you achieve success, where will you be? How do you think you will look? What are you wearing?

Create as clear a mental picture as possible. The next step is to do this every day, for at least a few minutes. This is the only way to stay motivated for a long period of time.

Visualization by itself is not enough to keep you motivated. You have to put effort into it as well. According to research, people who combine imagination with actual work are more likely to succeed than those who do only one or the other.

16. Develop contingency plans in case something goes wrong.

Develop a strategy for when the impulse to give up on your goal hits. Write down your strategy because you won’t feel like making it up when the impulse to act arises.

One of the most effective things you can do is to become aware of your action strategies. 

Once you learn to write down your action strategies, you will be able to choose when to use your contingency plan.

For example, if you notice that your energy level drops after 5 p.m. and you’re considering dropping your exercise routine, put your backup plan into action: exercise right after you wake up, before work!

17. Reclaim your joy.

If something is unpleasant, no one can stay with it for long when the reward only comes after months of toil. According to research, if there is no fun, pleasure, or joy in it, you will not want to do it.

Find the pleasant things in life, such as the beauty of a morning run, the pleasure of letting others know you’ve completed another step on the path, or the deliciousness of a nutritious dinner.

Focus on the now. Then think about your future and how you can make your ambitions a reality at any time.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to get back on track after losing motivation. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here