It’s frustrating, isn’t it? You’re crystal-clear on what you want to achieve. You have a detailed action plan. You have motivation to get there.
You want to be happy and healthy. You want a fulfilling career, a purposeful, balanced life.
So why, you don’t feeling like pursuing your goals anymore?
Why did you skip the gym session this morning and ate junk food instead of the healthy salad…or said yes to another project even though you swore not to take on anymore…or wasted time mindlessly browsing the Net instead of working on your business idea…
Of course, you still want to be healthier, happier and all that.
But you’re tired of having to constantly ‘motivate yourself’ and find ways to boost your willpower to keep going.
So why did your motivation fail you?
You’re wondering if there is anything wrong with it.
You’re fear there may be something wrong with you…
Stop beating yourself up about your disappearing motivation. The reason why you’ve lost it so quickly may be surprising, and easier to fix than trying to constantly motivate yourself.
Here are the reasons why you may lose motivation:
1. Because it is so
Psychologists have studied motivation flows up and down for years. Conclusions? Motivation is a dynamic process, day to day, through out life.
Surprising? Unsettling? Or maybe – reassuring?
If your motivation is low now, it means it may get better at some point, whether you do anything about it or not.
The key issue is not to rely on motivation. Yes, motivation is important in the overall direction- and goal-setting for your life, career, your business, but don’t depend on it in your day-to-day struggles.
2. Because you’re tired or hungry
If the goals you’re pursuing require you to control your impulses (such as to eat chocolate, be lazy, or spend money), or making multiple decisions (e.g. tasks to prioritize, projects to take on, healthy eating options), you’re likely to need a lot of willpower to carry on. And if you use your willpower, you’re at risk of willpower depletion at some point.
Willpower depletion is a state when you go for the easiest, default option. This is when you’re most at risk of reverting to old habits of unhealthy food, comfort-zone withdrawal and procrastination.
So if you want to keep it up, make sure you use your willpower wisely (prioritize the tasks you need it for!), allow it to recover (rest and restoration!).
3. You rely on one type of motivation only
You may have heard there are two types of motivation: intrinsic (internal, from within you) and extrinsic (external).
Extrinsic motivation may work very well, but only for a short period of time. That’s why the vision of yet another pay rise may not be enough for you to improve your performance. Students commonly struggle with it – yes, good grades are great and keep your parents happy, but if you’re only studying to keep your parents happy and graduate with accolades, it’s unlikely to last too long, and at some point you’ll notice you don’t care about it anymore.
Intrinsic motivation is what drives us through life, provides us with meaning and purpose. That’s why many people consider intrinsic motivation as essential to achieving your goals.
Both types of motivation have their roles to play. If you want to achieve your goals, you shouldn’t rely on just one type of motivational driver. Extrinsic motivation will peter out eventually. Your intrinsic motivation will go through highs and lows. The best way to avoid losing your motivation quickly is to make sure you have a mix of drivers to power you on your journey.
4. Because you’re following the wrong goals
Whether you’re trying to make someone else’s dreams come true, working on too small goals, or just spending time and effort on things that don’t truly matter to you – your motivation will inevitably die. If you haven’t invested in pursuing the goals you’re pursuing (or pretending to do so), you’re unlikely to succeed.
So when you feel you can’t keep working on getting better grades, or independent lifestyle, stop and ask yourself: do I really care? Is this my goal? Do I truly want to invest time and effort into accomplishing it? IS this what i really want?
5. Because your life circumstances changed
I am a well believer of breaking the constraints in life and moving ahead. No matter how hard it is, but sometimes you are struck. Life change, environment , people, CIRCUMSTANCES. You have to adapt to that. There is no other way.
If you feel your motivation for pursuing your dreams has dwindled and you don’t feel so strongly about it anymore, reassess your path. Look at your goals, your drivers – are they still relevant to you? Do they still fit in with your life?
Now, you know what may be causing your motivational low, next time you feel you can’t whip up any more energy for that workout, to say no to the wrong project, or simply to decline another slice of cake, pause to reflect on what may be going on. Once you clear, apply the appropriate strategy and see if it helps.
Don’t give up – your ultimate goal, your success is awaiting.