Get motivated again after you’ve lost your mojo

Get motivated again after you’ve lost your mojo

Do you start a goal strongly, only to lose your motivation after a few days or weeks? While this is a common challenge in goal setting, it is possible to get your motivation back. Angela Buttimer, MS, NCC, RYT, LPC, a licensed psychotherapist at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont, shares common reasons why goals fail and tips to get back on track. 

What causes people to lose motivation?

There are a few common reasons why motivation falters:

  • Not understanding your “why.” If you don’t know why you hold onto a harmful habit and why you want to change, it can be hard to make progress. You need to not only have a good reason to make a change in your life, but you also must address the root cause of the bad habit, such as boredom, loneliness or stress.  

  • Setting a goal to meet another person’s expectations. “Some people will set goals based on what their family or doctor wants them to do, but if they don’t want to do it for themselves, they won’t follow through,” says Buttimer. “You have to really want a goal for yourself.”

  • Burnout. “Some people go full force on a goal in January and are over it by February, whether that’s decluttering or going to the gym,” she says. “We have to remember that making progress on goals is a marathon, not a sprint.”

How to regain your motivation

  • Only work on a few goals at a time. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, consider working on only one or two goals at a time. It’s easy to give up when you are pulled in too many directions, because change requires significant mental energy.

  • Set small, doable goals. A quick way to get motivated is to set a micro goal you can work on right away. So, if you want to start cooking at home more regularly, your first micro goal might be to open your computer and research new recipes to try. Your next goal might be to choose one new recipe to cook that week. The next goal could be to make a grocery list, and so on.

  • Schedule your micro goals. Put small tasks on your calendar, Buttimer suggests. This could be 30 minutes or an hour a day or once a week. Scheduling a task helps hold you accountable.

  • Set an intention to be patient. Patience isn’t easy, but if you get into a mindset that you’ll be patient with yourself, you’ll see progress faster than if you’re hard on yourself. “Impatience is painful to the mind-body,” she says. “It doesn’t get us anywhere and usually makes more of a mess.”  

  • Surround yourself with motivation. Whether it’s a friend, a podcast or a book, surrounding yourself with positive, goal-oriented people and ideas can get you motivated to make progress on what matters.

Learn more ways to reduce stress and improve your well-being.


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