Motivation is complicated.

We sometimes find ourselves fired up about something and have so much fire inside our bellies that it feels like nothing can stop us. Then, out of nowhere, that spark, vanishes, and we end up feeling down, or almost even depressed. What happened? Our motivation disappeared.

Motivation can be defined as:

“The reason for people’s actions, desires, and needs. Motivation is also one’s direction of behaviour, or what causes a person to want to repeat a behaviour. An individual is not motivated by another individual. Motivation comes from within the individual.”

That last sentence is important. “Motivation comes from within the individual.” If you think about it, every single one of us has motivation within, but we can’t access it on demand. With this logic, I would think motivation is not a phenomenon but a feeling. Think about it. Motivation, just like happiness, anger, and sadness, is the same. You can’t force yourself to be happy or sad. You can, however, change the environment around you to force those feelings…

For example, if you force yourself to watch a sad video online, you’d probably feel sad. If you forced yourself to watch a hilarious video of puppies online, you’d probably feel upbeat and joyful, right?

Motivation is the same

But for some odd reason when people fall out of motivation, they feel upset, depressed, or even angry because their passion and drive stopped. We can’t all be motivated 100% all the time. If we can look at motivation as a feeling instead of a state we have to be in 24/7, we would have a better understanding when it comes to outcome goals. Throughout this challenge, you’ll probably lose motivation and feel lost. But remember, that’s okay, that’s part of it. To be successful, you need to learn how to grind it out and continue forward until you hit your motivation feeling once again.

There are some tips and tricks you can implement to force feed your motivation and continue striving to be successful for this ORA 90 Challenge!

1. Remember Why You Started!

Remind yourself of your goals. Usually, before devoting time to any specific endeavour, we tend to make short and long-term goals. Remember to keep your goals realistic, that way you wont be disheartened if you don’t reach them. If you decided your goal for the challenge was to lose 60 lbs in three months while you took on a new project at work or have a baby on the way, that goal might not be the most realistic goal. That doesn’t mean you can’t push and challenge yourself though, if you don’t challenge yourself, then it’s not really a goal. If you start to lose sight of your goals, then you may be less motivated than if you were always checking to see how much closer you are getting throughout the whole process. Keeping track of your goals and checking your progress can help keep you motivated day in and day out.

You should always reflect and remember why you started in the first place. If your goal was to move and feel better, sit down for a second and tell yourself why you committed to this challenge. Visualize how great it would feel to reach your goal. Your initial spark will come back, and you’ll have that rush feeling once again to get back on track.

2. Track Your Progress!

Make weekly checkpoints to track your progress. Everyone needs to see how they are keeping up with their goals if they want to stay motivated. If you see that you are on track or even excelling every time you check your progress, you will be motivated and happy that you are getting there. If you see that you are lagging on your goals, it may be the kick start you need to help get you back on track. A simple way to track your progress is to make weekly goals on a calendar and check them off if you completed them. For example, this next week coming up, maybe you want to make sure you get an extra 30 minutes to sleep during the week. You’d write this down on your calendar, and check it off every day. Then, at the end of the week, when you see those check marks on the completed goal, you’ll continue to feel motivated and ready to add another goal the next week.

3. Reward Yourself!

Make sure to reward yourself every time you achieve your weekly goals. This reward could be as simple as going to the movies after a long, hard week of work and working out or as rewarding as a trip to the spa for all your hard work. Whatever rewards will keep you going are the ones you should be giving yourself. It might sound silly, but just because you’re focusing on your health doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reward yourself. Fitness and health are challenging, and for us to keep going, small rewards can go a long way. Book a massage, take a vacation day from work, tell your spouse to take the kids out of the house so you can nap for an hour, whatever you want that will help destress you, go for it!

4. Take a Break!

Give yourself breaks. Sometimes even the most determined people get overwhelmed. You may be burning yourself out, and a much-needed break might be just what you need. Going to the gym and eating healthy day in and day out can be tiresome. Taking a break for a day or two can go a long way to ensure your consistency. Think about it. When you’re at work, staring at the computer screen, how long does it take before your mind wanders off and you can’t even focus on the task at hand? You can only put in your full 100% for a certain amount of time before your brain and body need a quick break to recharge. Same goes for fitness and health, your body and mind will need a break from time to time. Listen to your body, and you’ll be successful in the long run.

5. Give Yourself Some Grace

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone falls short sometimes. If you fail to meet your goals for the week, take it as a lesson. Try to complete your next target next time. This way you stay right on schedule even if you have taken a hit. It’s not always about how hard you hit, but how well you can take a hard hit and keep moving on. Don’t dwell on failure; just accept it as a human occurrence, and continue working towards your goals.

Now, with these tips and tricks mentioned above, you should be bulletproof for success for the rest of this challenge. Remember, motivation is a feeling that can’t be forced, but we can change our environment to influence our feelings.

Good luck challengers!