Motivation well-springs are not everlasting, unfortunately. But I have found a few things to be true: momentum begets momentum, once you start the ball rolling it is easier to keep it moving, rather that starting and stopping and hopefully starting again. So the initial motivation is important to nurture and cultivate, in order to get that ball rolling. Next, it is easy to become distracted by things that we claim to be more important, but in reality are not as important than our goals. When we start to make excuses for why we are not working toward or accomplishing our goals, it is important to regroup and find a way to focus on the original goal. Sometimes this is a good stopping point for that goal, and instead of feeling guilty about not working on it, you can reevaluate the situation and say that it needs to be put aside for now, and it will be revisited when the current situation changes. Now you have made a conscious decision about the goal, rather than letting it slip away, neglected and unfinished and feeling guilty.
Sometimes having too big of a goal, either in scope or unrealistic expectations due to money, time or other resources, can quickly kill any motivation. Biting off more that you can chew can be so damaging to motivation, that it blind-sides any possibility of reevaluating and downsizing the goal to a more attainable level. It’s the mentality of believing that if you couldn’t accomplish the “huge” goal, then anything less will never be satisfying, rather that the “shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars” idea of going for the big goal, but achieving anything at all toward the goal is also productive. I’ve compiled a list of common excuses and their solutions of why we can’t accomplish our goals.
- I don’t have time
Ok this may be a valid excuse, but in the idea of setting a goal, you need to evaluate what the time commitment will be. So, make the time available to work toward your goal, just like you make time to go to work or eat or sleep. If your goal is important it should be part of your daily routine
- I don’t have money/resources
In the case of a fitness goal, this excuse is thrown right out the window. You don’t need money to join a gym and get a personal trainer. If you have two feet and two arms and access to the internet you can plan a workout that is just as effective as one you’d get in an expensive gym. It doesn’t cost anything to run around the block or do pushups in your living room. Heck there are countless blogs devoted to fitness on a budget, both money and time budgets.
- I don’t know how
This is also easily debunked. With information so readily available there is no excuse for not being able to learn. If you don’t have the drive to learn how to achieve your goal, you may want to reconsider your goal.
- This isn’t working as fast or in the direction that I wanted, I’m just wasting my time
Being impatient with the results of your goal can kill it prematurely. It’s like throwing a temper-tantrum that halts any further progression. You remember the rolling ball from earlier, well this type of attitude is equivalent to trying to push a giant boulder uphill, and then crossing your arms in disgust because it’s hard, and “you’ll never get to the top”. Then the boulder starts to roll backward, smashing you and your goal. Don’t give up, make adjustments, find smarter ways to do things but don’t go backwards.
I hope you found a few good tips on how to stay motivated, as well as some helpful ways to debunk excuses. We all need to nurture our motivation, no one else is going to do it for us. How do you stay motivated, I’m always looking for new tricks and perspectives on motivation. Leave me a comment below or follow me on twitter @julesackerson