4 Ways to Stay Motivated When You Don’t See Results
Think back to a time when you know you put forth a ton of effort to achieve a goal, but the results showed otherwise. How did you feel? Defeated… Angry… Frustrated… Hopeless…Like you just wanted to give up? When you don’t see the results you envisioned for yourself after all that hard work, you are going to feel those emotions.
However, giving up isn’t the answer.
“Don’t cry to give up. Cry to keep going.” -Eric Thomas
I just finished week 5 of an 8 week workout challenge I am completing this Summer. It’s intense. This is by far the most I’ve pushed myself at the gym. I’ve gone up on weight in my exercises. I also do exercises that I probably never would have done, especially by myself. I incorporate cardio into my workouts. I go to a yoga/pilates class once a week. Sometimes I’m at the gym for two hours. I leave there drenched in sweat, looking a hot moss. I have cut back significantly on my sugar intake. I have transitioned to a vegan lifestyle. I eat meals that are healthy and light. With all that being said, I still don’t see the results I desire.
Just to make this clear, I definitely see results. I feel the results and know I’m getting stronger each time I go to the gym. However, I have high exceptions for my physical goals. Lately I’ve been hard on myself about a lack of results in shedding the small bit of belly fat I have left. I’ve started to think, “What more do I need to be doing? What else do I need to remove from my diet?”. I’ll be honest, sometimes I get emotional about it because it’s so frustrating. I could accept the lack of results if I was slacking in my workouts and diet, but I’m not.
Lately I’m learning to appreciate the journey and recover from these mental setbacks.
Here are 4 ways to Stay Motivated When You Don’t See Results
Look at What You Have Accomplished
When analyzing goals, it’s easy to look at what you lack. You also have to consider what you have accomplished though. You might start to think that all your hard work has gone to waste and you don’t see the point in trying any more. Yet, there has to be at least one thing that you have seen progress in. There was some benefit to your dedication.
My lack of abs is just one aspect of my body. My arms are killing it and my legs are toned. I’ve lost 10 pounds since last Summer. These are all exciting achievements, but sometimes I forget about them as I focus on what I lack. Be grateful for what you have excelled in and use that to fuel you to accomplish more.
Try Something Different
If you keep doing the same thing, you can’t expect different results, right?
If you spent hours upon hours hibernating in your room preparing for an exam and then failed the exam, maybe you need to try something different. Did you just make flash cards and memorize the answers? Did you read all of your notes aloud 25 times while zoning out? If your method didn’t produce the results you desired, then try something else. Maybe there’s a more effective way for you to study.
I did some online research about belly fat to find different methods I can try. I am going to implement those things I learned into my workouts and diet. Just because you try something different does that guarantee the results? No, unfortunately, but try something else until you do get the ultimate results.
Ask for Guidance
Find someone who has achieved the results you seek. Find someone who is an expert in the area you want to improve upon. Ask him/her for guidance and advice. Tell him/her exactly what you are looking to accomplish and what you have already tried. Perhaps, you just need to change something small. Maybe they will see something that you didn’t even notice.
I told myself that if I don’t see the results I want in one year, then I’m most likely going to find a personal trainer or coach that can help me. Keep in mind, it’s not going to be fun to hear all the things you are doing wrong. Once you know what you are doing wrong though, you can correct it in order to gain results.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
This right here is probably the single most difficult thing to not do as a human. Think about all the ways we compare ourselves to others. With social media, it makes it that much more challenging to NOT compare yourself to others. You see people with the results you so badly want and you wonder why you aren’t there yet. You feel a bit of jealousy and maybe self loathing, self pity, or inadequacy.
I say all this because I’ve been there. I follow so many fitness girls on YouTube and Instagram and to me they have these perfect bodies. I can’t even fathom what it would feel like to look like them. However, I try to stop comparing myself to them because it won’t help me move forward. I can’t look like anyone else; I can only look like me. I can learn from those girls to see what they are doing to be so fit. Some of them have achieved their body after years of hard work in the gym and now they just maintain it. Some of the girls have had plastic surgery. Most of the girls didn’t go to college, so they had time to work on their fitness goals at a younger age. Most of the girls have a career in fitness, so they can spend more time on their body. Whereas, I work full time at a career totally unrelated to my goal and that consumes most of my time. I don’t say this to make excuses. I say this to put things into perspective. We are all at different places in our lives.
Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20.
You have already come so far and already put so much time, effort, and heart into something you want. Why give up? You will struggle. You will continue to feel defeated at times. Use that energy to push you to get back up and try again. I refuse to believe that I will inevitably never have the abs I desire due to genetics or other factors. If you are willing to do what it takes to chase the results, you will get there. It will take time, but all great things do!
You’ve got this, keep moving forward.