How to Motivate Yourself When You’ve Lost Momentum

I have a confession to make. A few weeks ago, I lost my momentum.

After months spent powering away at finishing and publishing my book, and the thrill of receiving positive responses and sales coming in, I was ready to turn my attention to some other lofty goals I had put on the back burner.

Or was I? Despite my excitement of moving forward with other projects, I found myself procrastinating and making excuses. Way too many days were slipping by with way too little getting done.

As much as I hate to admit it, I seemed to have lost my drive and motivation.

Ironically, SparkPeople asked me to write an article on How to Overcome Momentum Killers During the Weight Loss Journey. After 30 years of working with clients and talking with my community, I know what stalls weight loss success. The article practically wrote itself.

And then it dawned on me—those momentum killers were precisely the same no matter what the goal. Once I stepped back and examined my situation and identified what was killing my momentum, I knew what to do.

Happily, I am back on track for my next big project (stay tuned)!

Do you have big goals or projects that have stalled because you lost your momentum?

See if any of the following have stood in your way and if the strategies suggested get you moving again.

Boredom – No matter how badly you want something, there is usually work involved. And often it feels tedious. You will need to lean in and remind yourself it is OK to be bored at times, but you need to finish to get on to more exciting parts of the project—even if that is only the completion!

  • Fix it: Chunk the project into small, bite-size pieces, and build in a pleasurable break for each time you complete a step. If possible, change the environment where you work. A change of scenery can reignite your enthusiasm. Partner with someone who is working on a similar challenge, or perhaps join forces. Two heads are better than one!

The Dreaded Plateau – You are making enormous progress and then suddenly it halts. You get stuck and can’t seem to move past the point you are at.

  • Fix it: Sometimes all that is needed is a short break to refresh your mind. Take a day or two to walk away, but set a specific deadline to get back to work. Otherwise, a few days could turn into months of neglect. Try showing the work to a new set of eyes who may see something you can’t. Attending my bi-yearly mastermind is how I got my momentum back!

Changes in Routine – You’ve been working diligently on your goals, setting aside time each day, and then suddenly your routine is disrupted. That’s life! Now too many days are escaping and no progress has occurred.

  • Fix it: Time to head back to the drawing board because failure to plan is planning to fail. Despite life being busier, crazier, and upside down, you need to figure out when you will continue plugging away. Block out the time on your calendar, even if it is a lesser amount of time. Small continuous progress is better than none.

Fatigue and Lack of Sleep – Nothing will kill momentum in any area of your life as quickly as a tired body and brain.

  • Fix it: Sleep must be a priority if you want to excel in all that you do. Resist the temptation to burn the midnight oil to get more done. Efficiency and effectiveness rapidly decrease when you are sleep deprived. Going back to fix your mistakes will take more time. If your fatigue is not related to lack of sleep, just too many hours working without a break,15-20 minutes of time away from work will do wonders to refresh and rejuvenate.

Progress is Too Slow – You determined a date for accomplishing your goals, and it is taking way more time than you ever anticipated. It’s discouraging, and you are growing impatient.

  • Fix it: Almost everything takes longer than we anticipate. Give yourself a break, and drop the “should” be done by now attitude. It is a good idea to set specific time frames on completion, but be prepared for the many unexpected events that come up. As long as you are moving forward, you will get there.

Lack of Support – You decided to put your heart and soul into working towards a dream. However, those you live with and care the most about don’t understand, aren’t interested, or don’t support you. You feel like throwing up your hands and giving in.

  • Fix it: Be true to yourself and steadfast in your desires. It is time to sharpen your communication skills and make your needs known. No one is a mind reader, so you must be specific about what you would like, or not like, from those around you. Even if they find it difficult to stand behind you, they don’t have the right to sabotage your efforts. Look for outside support from others who are going after similar aspirations by joining meet-up, networking, or social media groups.

Self-Doubt – You continually find yourself doubting your abilities, hear too much negative self-talk, struggle with fear of failure or fear of success. Your inner voice is stopping you in your tracks!

  • Fix it: It is common and normal to doubt yourself when you are trying something you have never accomplished before. Do you need to learn a new skill, work with a mentor, hire or delegate some parts of the project to others with more expertise? Remind yourself of other times you successfully accomplished difficult goals. However, if this is a pattern you find yourself stuck in often, not just when working on something new and challenging, it is time to reach out for some professional help. Working for a short while with a great coach or therapist can help boost your self-esteem, teach you skills to surf through doubt, and get your momentum going once more!

Were you able to identify what is stopping your momentum and holding you back from reaching an important goal? What will you do differently moving forward? Share your thoughts in the comments box below, so we can all learn from and support each other.

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