STAYING Motivated = The Hard Part
You tend to start things, but have a difficult time finishing them.
We have all experienced this to some degree.
Motivated, excited, encouraged…and then it slowly goes away after a few days, weeks, or maybe months.
Motivated to lose weight and eat healthy after signing up for a gym membership and getting a personal trainer.
Motivated to start an at-home side business, but then other things begin to take precedence a month later.
Staying motivated is and will always be a struggle UNLESS you figure out the secret formula to overcome de-motivation syndrome.
Youth athletes: the struggle of staying motivated to practice their sport, go for a run on their own, get to the gym.
Staying motivated to get their school-work done and in on-time. Motivated to study for exams.
Adults: the struggle of staying motivated to NOT eat close to bed time.
Staying motivated to work out intensely.
Staying motivated to cook dinners opposed to eating out.
What causes Initial Motivation?
Avoidance of pain or pursuit of pleasure
Motivated by avoiding pain
Your child received a bad grade on a test or report card, received some sort of punishment from you, a coach, or the school, and in response they decided, “No more! I never want to feel this pain again. I am now motivated to work harder, study more, and get my work in on time.”
But the time next report card comes out, it happens again.
They go to tryouts for a sport team. They have not done the conditioning or strength training needed during the off-season. They show up to tryouts and are embarrassed (pain). They can’t keep up, they don’t play well, the coach barely notices them, and maybe they don’t make the team.
“That’s it! I am going to work my tail off from now until next season. I am going to go to the weight room every day, run, practice my skills, eat healthy, etc.”
1 month later, they forgot about it all. Why?
Pain is temporary, and with each passing day that the pain dwindles away, so does the motivation. As soon as the pain is no longer felt and forgotten, we subconsciously give ourselves permission to give up all motivation and quit.
The same is true for adults.
Pursuit of Pleasure
Your child is 15 years old and goes to a camp or a tournament and sees college coaches there. A few of his/her teammates or peers are being recruited to play. The thought of playing “on the big stage” is SO exciting at the time.
Your child says, “I want to play in college! That would be so cool (pleasure). I am motivated. Mom, dad, I am going to do whatever it takes.”
They start working on their game. Running on off-days. They take school a lot more seriously because they know that grades and SAT scores matter a great deal to college coaches.
15 years old is 3 years out from college. A lot can happen in that time, a lot of roller coasters of motivation and lack there of it. And you as the parent may even say, “Let’s see how long this motivation lasts before we invest in his/her development.”
The pursuit of that pleasure gets your child going for a little while, but then it wears off. Does that mean that they are NOT serious about playing in college? Not necessarily.
Why 1 month later do we stop pursuing the pleasure? Whether it is college sports, weight loss, etc. the 4 reasons are consistent:
4 reasons we LOSE motivation
- We do not adequately prepare for or think about the roadblocks and challenges that would inevitably come up during our pursuit
- We do not have a guide/coach/mentor there to continue to motivate us and inspire us
- We are not being reminded about WHY it is that we started this in the first place. And the WHY is deeper than what we may think it is on the surface level.
- We have zero accountability
There are a lot of reasons why we start out motivated, only to see the motivation dwindle away.
Here are the 5 ways to stay motivated even in the most de-motivating of times:
- Surround yourself with other people who are pursuing similar goals/dreams as yourself. We all need a community of like-minded people collectively pursuing success.
- Know your REAL WHY, have it written down, be reminded of it frequently by your coaches, Set mini-goals along the way to create “mini-wins”--> doses of motivation as I like to call them.
- Seek accountability: partners and coaches that will hold you accountable and tell you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear.
- Schedule the things that are going to help you work towards your goals. Don’t leave it up to chance, put them in your calendar. For Youth, I teach an in-depth Time Management lesson in my Mindset Performance Coaching Program. Time Management is one of the hardest things to master and understand, for youth AND adults.
- Don’t Give Up. Motivation swings happen to everyone. Do not feel like you failed. The most important thing you can do is commit to that thing, and commit to never giving up no matter what. The only way you can fail is to quit.
This is what PFP is all about. A community of like-minded, positive people holding one another accountable and working to improve their lives everyday.
Send me an email to Andrew@pfpfit.com if you would like help getting and staying motivated.
Dedicated to your success,