941-462-4807 meg@megyounglcsw.com

motivation Sticking with a new behavior or life style change is incredibly hard. Many people each day give up on their goals because change is so difficult. Many people think “It’s not worth it” “I can’t do it” “Never mind” “It’s too hard” or one of a million other negative self statements.
Unfortunately, when we live life believing that change is impossible, it affects our lives in numerous ways. We start to second guess ourselves, start to believe we’re not good enough, and start to feel badly about ourselves. This negative self image might even trickle out to our friends and family who are trying to be supportive of us during the process.
Not only does living life believing that change is impossible affect our moods and thoughts, we start to fall into the trap of listening to the hesitations in our brain. We tend to stop doing the behavior change and “prove” to ourselves that it doesn’t work and we might as well have not even started it in the first place.
Many people will set New Year’s Resolutions. How many times have you set a New Year’s resolution? How many times have you stuck with it through the entire year? Many people will set a goal for themselves that they will lose weight, or go to the gym, or eat healthy. It sounds great. You even set a plan up so you will continue this goal. You talk to friends and family to get the accountability to continue.
At the time it felt great. You felt strong and empowered. You thought you could take on the world. You are going to be a new person and it will start with you getting up early and taking a walk first thing in the morning. Then packing a healthy lunch.
All of this, just to have the alarm go off early and you moan, hit snooze, and roll over. What happened?! Or maybe you got up and went for the walk. You even did it for a week. But today you’re tired and decided not to get out of bed. This was the beginning of your not following through. Or maybe you did great until winter when you realized you didn’t want to go out when it is dark and cold. “I’ll start again in the spring.” Did you?
As you start losing motivation to get up and tackle your goals, your brain kicks in and tells you all the reasons you should go back to old behaviors. You feel this throughout your body. You feel the motivation slipping away, but don’t even care right now. You’d rather go back to old behaviors.
Eventually you wind up right back where you started. You didn’t meet your goal and you feel frustrated, annoyed, and hopeless that you will ever be able to meet this goal. After all, how many times have you tried and failed?
The truth is, you are completely normal. The truth is sticking with our plans and goals is very hard. The truth is, it is not impossible. The truth is you can find what you need to meet your goals. It’s ok to get frustrated and fed up at times along this journey.
I know that you are feeling hopeless and frustrated that you’ll be able to meet your goal(s) as you’ve tried so many times before with no success. However, if we can put four tips into play, we can hack the motivation issue and make the changes we want in our lives. When we learn these four tips, it is entirely possible to never fail a goal again.
Keep reading for Four tips to Maintain Motivation
The biggest downside to not overcoming your problem with motivation is the downward spiral it takes you on. You start to feel worse about yourself and negative thoughts and emotions about setting goals start to take over. At the very least, you find yourself repeating the same cycle with your goals each time you try.
Living this way is tiresome. We want to be able to meet our goals and when we continuously struggle with that goal, it becomes tedious and dull to try again. All of our past “failures” come back to us.
Have you ever met a goal? Do you remember that feeling of accomplishment? Do you remember your beaming face? The friends and family who were proud of you? Or maybe you didn’t have the supportive family and friends, and you just proved to yourself that you can do it; despite what others think or believe.
Although you struggle with maintaining motivation at this time, you have the potential to meet all of your goals in life. You have everything it takes to continue to push forward despite obstacles. When we choose to add four tips to our day, there is a possibility you will never lose motivation again.
You have the opportunity to make this change and see results in your own life. You have the ability to be who you want to be and how you want to be.
Whereas it is true you may be feeling skeptical about this and hopeless that this will work for you, the truth is, it is possible for every one of us to always meet our goals. The key to achieving this is to be consistent with whatever it is that you do. Yes, that was the problem you were having with motivation – how to stay consistent.
However, staying consistent is not as hard as you may think. You just need to make a couple tweaks to what you are already doing and I know as much as you want to make these changes, these tweaks will not be too hard to do.
Take a look at these 4 tips to see how you can maintain motivation on your goals today
1. The first thing to tweak is your mindset about motivation. We tend to think that we will take action because we’re motivated to do so. And in some respects this is true. We get up to go to work (take action) because we’re motivated by the paycheck (motivation) or the consequence (consequences are very motivating)!
The reality is, this mindset is backwards. Action does not follow motivation…MOTIVATION FOLLOWS ACTION. Think about going to the gym. You don’t feel like it, yet you go anyway. You get there, do your routine, and by the end you’re walking out feeling pretty good and say “I’m coming back tomorrow.” Motivation to go to the gym happened because you went to the gym to begin with.
Nike has the best motto in the world “Just do it.” That is our first tweak. When you don’t feel like it, “just do it.” Stop hesitating, stop thinking about it, stop what you are doing and just do the first action. The rest will fall into place.
Now that you’re doing the action, it is helpful to stay mindful with that action. If you’re at the gym saying to yourself that you are exhausted and wish you never came to begin with, it’s not going to feel very good at the end. Just get lost in the activity you are doing in the moment.
2. The second tweak is to know yourself. When are you at your best? When are you most alert? When do you have the most energy to get stuff done? Some people are more morning people, some early afternoon, and some later evening is when they peak. Do you do better with small tasks or larger projects? Do you perform best when moving around or sitting still?
Knowing yourself also means knowing why you want to meet this goal. What big change will it bring for you? How will your life change if this goal is met?
Knowing yourself is something that may take time for you to really get a handle on. It by itself might be it’s own goal for awhile. But I promise you when you learn when and how you function best as well as your big result from this change, your motivation to continue to work towards it will be stronger.
3. Third is to schedule the change into your day. Don’t just say “I’ll do it today.” Schedule it. Put it as an appointment in your schedule. There is a lot of evidence showing how many more times something that is actually scheduled into our day gets done versus something that is just getting done at some point today.
Scheduling it into your day will also help you stay more accountable to it. There is always something better to do. This is a lesson I learned, and I still struggle to do what is in my schedule versus the something better at times. When it is scheduled, it is always there in the back of your mind, making you feel guilty that you’re not doing it until you do it. Well, it may not make you feel guilty, but it will still be there in your mind reminding you that you are not sticking to your goals.
4. The final tweak is to review your goal daily. What worked? What didn’t? How will you adjust what didn’t work tomorrow to make it more likely that you will do it tomorrow?
Reviewing your goal daily also helps to keep you accountable to your goal. When you take an honest look at your day and notice that you didn’t get done what you want to get done, but you did things that were more fun instead, there’s an accountability factor there.
When you schedule a session with Meg Young, LCSW, we work together to make each of these tweaks happen for you. We take a deep dive into you to find out what is holding you back and how to incorporate these tweaks to make your life go where you want it to go.
Maintaining motivation is not just for exercise and eating well. Maintaining motivation is for anything that you are doing. When you are working on getting out of fight/flight due to PTSD, the brain is on overdrive. I work with my clients to maintain the motivation to continue self-regulation and other techniques to turn off the fight/flight response so they decrease the symptoms of PTSD and gain back their lives, careers and families to where they want those parts of their lives to be.
Achieving your goals through maintaining motivation can be a positive experience. It does not have to be daunting and difficult. You absolutely can find the motivation and the mindset to make your life exactly how you want it to be. No matter what you have been through or are currently going through, you have what it takes to maintain the motivation to meet your goals.
Working with Meg Young, LCSW will help you achieve your goals faster than you thought possible. I specialize in first responders, medical professionals and court professionals, but I help many other adults with PTSD, depression, and anxiety meet their life goals.
I hope you choose strength and call me today to schedule an appointment at 941-462-4807. It does not matter how many times you have “failed” before. It only takes one time to succeed. This is your first success in a long line of successes yet to come in your life. You are not alone in this battle against motivation. Let’s work together to get it right this time so you have the frame work to do it on your own each and every time you have a goal in the future. Let’s do this together! Remember that motivation follows action. Take action and call me now. 941-462-4807.