As we turn the corner to the new year, we all feel a sense of refreshed hope and motivation. It’s time to set old habits aside and build a new you. But secretly, way in the back of your mind, you may feel as if you’ve been here before. Last year, didn’t you promise yourself to get to the gym? Didn’t you promise to improve yourself, your work life and your sex life? And how did that all work out?
Don’t worry. You’re not the only person whose motivation has flagged a bit after those first couple of weeks of January. We’re here to help empower men in Boston into the new year and beyond. The beginning of a new year is indeed the perfect time to make some changes, and we want to help you carry those through so that this year, you can truly become the best possible man it’s in your power to be.
Why Your Motivation Flags by February
As you start the new year, you have mental images of what the year could hold. You’re filled with adrenalin, ready to jump feet-first into what awaits you. Your inner soundtrack echoes with “Just do it!” as you head to the gym for the first time. This is the year you’re going to crush those goals. This is the year you’ll lose weight, get that promotion, bulk up and find the partner of your dreams.
But within a few weeks, all that motivation and energy seems to dissipate. You don’t see immediate results, so it’s hard to summon more motivation. So where did it all go?
Part of the problem is that you’ve been running on sheer willpower and motivation. And let’s face it — it takes a lot of mental and emotional energy to keep willpower fired up. Your goals for the year require you to train for a marathon — but you’ve blown all your resolve in a sprint. No wonder your motivation only lasts a few weeks.
Your willpower can get tired, just as your muscles tire after a long workout and you get tired by the end of the day. After all, you’re not meant to accomplish everything in a sprint, so you shouldn’t feel down on yourself because you didn’t see immediate results from your January push.
What you’re looking for is persistence. Instead of surviving on sheer willpower and motivation, your goals need to become habits. It would help if you learned to move toward your goals even when your motivation levels are low. Think of motivation as a vitamin rather than a shot of adrenalin. You take your vitamins every day (right?), trusting that they’ll provide the benefits you need when you need them, even if you don’t see the immediate results.
That’s what motivation can be like. So let’s look at some tips to help you rebuild your motivation.
Tips for Boosting Your Motivation
You don’t have to depend on the ebbs and flows of willpower to accomplish your goals this year. Instead, consider some of these techniques to increase your motivation and make 2023 a year of achievement.
Make It Public
It’s all too easy to let your goals slide when no one knows about them. But when you make them public, you have an extra layer of motivation to keep you going. After all, do you really want to admit to your partner, family or trusted friends that you’ve given up?
Consider posting your goals and your progress on social media. Men who do that are more likely to be successful. When you make your journey public, you’re making a proud statement that you expect to succeed — and that dramatically increases the likelihood that you will reach your goals.
If your goals center around how your body looks — maybe you’re working on getting shredded or losing weight — then post photos on social media. You might be surprised to learn that the pictures of your journey will be inspiring to others. As a bonus, you’ll have them to scroll through when you feel your motivation flagging.
Revisit Your Goals
If you want lasting change in your body and your life, you may need to rephrase your goals. First, remember the acronym SMART when you’re setting your goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound — and that’s what each of your goals should be.
Don’t say you want to lose weight; resolve to lose 15% of your body weight or achieve a BMI of 28. Don’t say you want to be in a relationship; plan to go on a specific number of dates each month until you find the right person. Don’t say you want to get in shape; decide to run a marathon by November or bench press 200 pounds.
The next step to turning your goals into reality is developing habits you can consistently commit to. For example, when you find yourself ordering water instead of soda without thinking about it, you’ve locked in a habit. Likewise, when your takeout order at lunch becomes a healthy salad instead of a burger and fries, day in and day out, you’ve developed a great habit that will make it easier to reach your goals. Look for ways to incorporate small habit changes into your daily routine on your journey to health and well-being.
Break It Down
Your goals might be big. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, at Boston Vitality, we love big dreams and aspirations. But big goals can feel daunting until you break them down.
Go for that huge goal. But don’t stop there. Now it’s time to figure out how your plan for the year breaks down into smaller increments. What will you do every month to achieve what you’re aiming for? How about weekly? The more specific and measurable you make each of these mini-goals, the more likely you will succeed. And don’t forget to celebrate and give yourself a pat on the back with each mini-goal you reach!
You’re more likely to achieve your goals if you don’t try to do it alone. Look, we totally get the appeal of being the lone wolf who forges ahead of the pack. But think about all the ways men have teamed up for success. Football and basketball players all rise or fall as part of a team. Soldiers have each other’s back when they go into combat. Building a house from the ground up requires a team of experts. Even Olympic athletes who head onto the field alone to run their race or ace their high jump have a whole team behind them.
And you need a team as well. That might mean a workout partner whom you don’t want to let down when an extra hour of sleep sounds so good. It might be your partner joining you for workouts, encouraging you to take bedroom play to a new level, or committing to healthy eating together. You could work with a trainer. It may be time to bring those baseball or hockey skills back to life after all these years by joining an adult league for fun. After all, there’s a reason that workout programs such as Peloton and CrossFit are so popular and successful — they make you part of a team.
Change Things Up
Some people love routine. Lifting the same weights in the same order every day (maybe just a little more each day) brings a sense of inner peace and order to their world.
But some people get bored. For example, drinking that same green smoothie for breakfast every day might drive you so crazy that you end up replacing it with a venti latte so packed with sugar that your head’s spinning for the rest of the day — all because you were bored.
If that’s you, consider changing how you approach your goals. For example, if you’re trying to write the great American novel or screenplay, maybe you should find a different place to work each week. If you’ve fallen into a “leg day/arm day” routine at the gym and your motivation is depleted, take a week off to do some running, mountain biking or martial arts.
Think about the things you found fun when you were younger. Maybe your best memories from childhood are riding your bike for hours, hiking through the hills, or hanging at the beach with friends. Incorporate that into your workout — and don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking forward to your alternate workout instead of dreading it. You’re even more likely to feel infused with energy when you return to your regular routine.
Focus Willpower on Getting Started
Sometimes you will need to summon up a little willpower to get yourself going. But that’s the real secret: use your willpower to get yourself going.
You know from long experience that getting started is the hardest part of anything. Cleaning the rain gutters is never as fun as sitting on your backside watching the game — but once you’ve gotten out the ladder and started the job, you know you’re going to finish it. Getting to work in the morning may not be appealing — but once you get there, you settle down to work. And getting yourself to the gym is also the most challenging part. But, once you’re there, you’ll fall into your routine, get your workout done, and feel better on the other end.
Use your willpower to get started. Don’t think about everything waiting for you at work. Don’t think about all the energy you’ll need for your workout. Just get yourself dressed and into the car. You only need enough willpower to get started. Once you’ve done that, the rest will all fall into place naturally. And you’ll feel great about it.
Pay Attention to Your Body
Sometimes your lack of motivation stems from your body trying to tell you something. If you can’t find the reason for your fatigue, the answer might not be that you’ve been pushing yourself too hard. And it’s certainly not because you’re lazy. Instead, the reason for your fatigue could be that something’s off-kilter with your body.
If that’s the case, you need to find out what’s going on. And at Boston Vitality, we want to help you with that search. Many men attribute increasing fatigue to aging or a moral failing on their part when, in fact, their bodies are changing in ways that are potentially unhealthy. For example, did you know that your testosterone levels decrease by 1% per year starting in your 30s? And did you know that testosterone deficiency can be a significant cause of fatigue for men in their 40s and older?
If you’ve also been experiencing weight gain, belly fat, loss of muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, or insomnia, then it’s definitely time to get your testosterone levels checked. So make an appointment with us at Boston Vitality today to see how we can help you get back into the shape you want — on the playing field, at the gym, in the bedroom or at work. We want your 2023 to be the best ever, and we have the solutions you need to make that happen.