What to do when motivation wanes

Helpful tips to inspire you in 2022.

Making New Year’s resolutions is easy. But keeping them throughout the year? Not so much.

One study found that by Valentine’s Day, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. The main reason is lost motivation. So the question then becomes, how does one maintain motivation all year long?

The good news is that even though sustaining motivation is tricky, it is not impossible. Here are a few strategies you can use to help you stay motivated while pursuing your goals.

Find the right ‘why’

More often than not, when we set our resolutions, we concentrate on what we want to do, rather than why we want to do it. However, the “why” is what will keep our enthusiasm and motivation going.

Michelle, a Best Health® coach, understands the importance of motivation and how to help others find it. “My role as a coach is not to convince or persuade people to change but rather to help them find what motivates them,” she says. “A great question to ask ourselves at the beginning of each week to prep for when (not if) our motivation wanes is, ‘What will I do this week to keep my motivation thriving?’ And if you’d like some support and accountability with that, why not give coaching a try?”

It’s important to find the right “why” for your health goal. Ask yourself this: Why did you decide to improve your health? For example, “I'm doing it for my family,” “I want to be a role model for my kids” or “I don’t want to develop diabetes.” Whatever it is, find your main “why” and every time you feel like quitting, remind yourself why you started.

Build short-term gratification into your day

We are more motivated by immediate rewards than by the ones we have to wait to experience. In other words, when trying to talk yourself into going to the gym at the end of a long workday, motivate yourself by thinking about the endorphin rush coming your way in just 30 minutes rather than the fact that regular exercise can add a few years to your life.

Set milestone goals

Smaller accomplishments are critical to maintaining energy and optimism that can keep you moving toward your long-term goals. Saving $10,000 may seem daunting, but if you break it down into smaller, more manageable and less intimidating milestones — like saving $300 a month — you will see the light at the end of the tunnel sooner.

Not only will your resolution be easier to achieve, but by reaching your smaller goals frequently, you’ll also feel accomplished more often. Neuroscience tells us that feeling accomplished after each small success prompts the release of the feel-good chemical dopamine. This helps with motivation and inspires us to repeat the action or take a similar step.

Build habits to sustain you when motivation wanes

Large goals, like losing weight, are often built on a series of new behaviors, such as adding 2,000 more steps to your day or cutting back on sugary drinks. Use the time when you feel the most motivated to frequently engage in new activities so you can strengthen them and turn them into habits. That way, when motivation subsides, you won’t need it — the new healthy behaviors will simply be part of your life.

Tap into your support system

Encouragement is a powerful tool to help spark motivation. Surround yourself with loved ones, a mentor or even a coach who can offer words of wisdom. For personalized support, connect with a Best Health coach for free, one-on-one sessions tailored to your needs.

Choose from five topics and benefit from the expertise of our personal health and lifestyle coaches. Topics include:

  • Healthy weight
  • Smoking cessation
  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • Stress management

You’ll learn how to set goals and plan ahead, work through difficulties and barriers, and get the motivation you need to inspire change.

Connect with a coach to schedule a phone consultation today.

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