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Lack of motivation in my routine and goals


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I've never wrote on a self-help forum ever but i think this is a good time to do it, so here we are, I am kinda trying to fit into the personal development comunity but i never had like a contact with a social group interested in the same stuff, Lately i have noticed a lack of motivation to follow my routine and doing my responsabilities or doing daily habits, things like doing homework, working out (this is weird because i really love exercising), going to classes, or simple habits like taking a shower or getting up early, i know all of that is important and it's going to improve my life but it's like when i have to do all of that my brain says no and i can't get out of that.

It's not all the time, but i feel like i am in a vicious circle of trying to stop the laziness doing what i have to do, and a period when i have zero motivation of doing everything and relapsing in bad habits, i'd like you to give me some advice on how to recover a good motivation for doing these habits and achieving my goals, and also having a strong discipline so i can break this cycle as soon as possible, maybe i need to do introspection of what is going on with my life or something? or maybe i need to find a purpose so i can stay motivated with what i have to do? (which i have been trying to, but i can't find it), anything that can help me please reply and thx.

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How old are you? Do you work? Go to school? Do you live with parents?

See a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Rule out physical causes for the inertia, lassitude and malaise.

Get involved in sports and fitness. Take some classes and courses that you sign up for and enjoy. 

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If this has been going on for more than a week or so I'd call your physician and explain what is going on. I have to fill out a form every year at my annual that in part looks for signs of depressions and asks questions about daily routine etc.

In the meanwhile this is what I would do.  Exercise even if you don't "feel" like it.  Get all your clothes ready the night before plus water bottle and sneakers for a "no excuses!" experience (I'd actually switch to working out first thing in the morning -if at all possible -get it over with -it's what I do, works well).  Also are you getting enough sleep? Are you drinking at least 8-10 glasses of plain water a day and avoiding sugary drinks/too much caffeine? Did you recently have mono or covid? (I'm not a doctor -just common sense questions).

Do you have friends? Do you do any volunteer work? Also -again in the meanwhile until you can see your doctor- I'd look up books by Martha Beck. She's one author who writes a lot on self-motivation and I respect her writing.  

Good luck and good for you for reaching out.

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It could be simple "burnout". Or start of something like depression. I hate that word because a lot of people self-diagnose with it. And its far more serious than just "being bummed out". And if its that you would really need a doctor.

However, maybe its just burnout. Do you have any specific goal? For example do you exercise just because or do you have specific body figure in mind? Do you study for good grades or have a specific goal there? Because identifying and reaching those goals would maybe help you get motivated to achieve them.

Also, what is your "release"? Do you go out with friends? Have somebody special in your life? Having a good routine is great, but you would need a good healthy release also. Without it, its easy to get into burnout with routine or to even fall into bad habits.

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Know that most people are stuck in a rut.  Most people work, take care of their households / families, some people exercise regularly, students do their homework, repeat.  Life is not an everyday party which is a reality check.

Continue showering, getting up early, etc. 

Strike balance in your life.  Make time for friends; mutual schedules permitting.  Take a break from exercise once in a while, do what you enjoy whether it's watching a good movie, reading a good book, engage in enjoyable hobbies and relax.  This will recharge your batteries and you'll resume your routine once again just like everyone else. 

Are you faith based?  Some people have religion in their lives as their anchor and it gives them a sense of purpose and strength to carry on.  Some people are comforted amongst their brethren and enjoy camaraderie.  

Most people become tired and bored.  Mix it up for variety.   

What has helped me is turning my PC OFF, learning to walk away from my cell phone and taking a lot of long breaks from technology.  I'm no longer on standby nor on call.  Too much 24 / 7 information is fatiguing for the brain and body.  Create time and space for yourself.

I enjoy old-fashioned, homey activities such as cooking, sewing and immersing back to basics which has grown to be quite refreshing. 

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Take care of yourself first, and then you might consider going back to your old routine. Homework is something you have to do, but exercise is something you might prefer to do, for exemple.

Continue doing your homework, showering and, of course, doing the things you have to do.

For exemple, you said that although you like to exercise, you don’t want to do it right now, which shows that this is not what your body wants right now. While you are resting yourself, you can find other activities at the same time. Good books, skin care, study with a good coffee, etc. Will give you motivation.

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I never ever let my feelings dictate whether I exercise because every single time I exercise when I don't feel like it I then feel like within 10-20 seconds of starting.  I skip exercise if I am sick with a fever or that sick that I might as well have a fever, when I've had procedures done like oral surgery where I'm not allowed to exercise for a few days and when I fast which I do a few times a year for religious reasons (because I also then dont' drink water). 

Not feeling like it is typical with exercise for most people (these days I always feel like it but sometimes anticipating getting up so early -I don't feel like it). and I would never read into it anything other than not feeling like it without also being in intense physical pain or sick etc.  Before I knew I was pregnant I felt incredibly tired - I did exercise but took it easier.  Once I learned a week later I was pregnant I modified my exercise routine but did not stop which was a really good decision.  

I've been exercising regularly since 1982.  It's been a great way to stay mentally and psychologically healthy as well as physically.

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How long have these cycles been happening?

What kinds of goals or interests once motivated you but don't anymore?

Can you pinpoint any recent life events that have caused you to feel drained or anxious?

Have your sleeping habits changed?

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20 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

How old are you? Do you work? Go to school? Do you live with parents?

See a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Rule out physical causes for the inertia, lassitude and malaise.

Get involved in sports and fitness. Take some classes and courses that you sign up for and enjoy. 

I am 19 years old, I have no job, i am studying a career, and yes i live with my mom and my grandparents but i am not so connected with them, I am still involved in sports because i do track in my college, i go to the gym and i stretch 5 times a week, maybe i am more worried about failing with homework or classes than with my workout because is weird that i miss a training session but when it happens i feel bad.

For example the last week i only went to 2 sessions and missed the rest of the week because of a little injury so i had a good reason to rest a little bit maybe for a couple days, but when that time passed i still didn't train and i know that was bad because i had missed a lot, this week i feel with the energy to not miss a session like it should be, i just hope to not have that low motivation again so i can be consitent, if i work on myself a little i know i can i just need to hear advice

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16 hours ago, Batya33 said:

If this has been going on for more than a week or so I'd call your physician and explain what is going on. I have to fill out a form every year at my annual that in part looks for signs of depressions and asks questions about daily routine etc.

In the meanwhile this is what I would do.  Exercise even if you don't "feel" like it.  Get all your clothes ready the night before plus water bottle and sneakers for a "no excuses!" experience (I'd actually switch to working out first thing in the morning -if at all possible -get it over with -it's what I do, works well).  Also are you getting enough sleep? Are you drinking at least 8-10 glasses of plain water a day and avoiding sugary drinks/too much caffeine? Did you recently have mono or covid? (I'm not a doctor -just common sense questions).

Do you have friends? Do you do any volunteer work? Also -again in the meanwhile until you can see your doctor- I'd look up books by Martha Beck. She's one author who writes a lot on self-motivation and I respect her writing.  

Good luck and good for you for reaching out.

My sleep and my diet are pretty fine at the moment but it's not bad a reminder to keep those habits as well so i can intensify them, no problems with covid btw.

About my friends i have noticed my social life is starting to decay slowly, its something that i have to work on too, i am not saying that i am 100% alone, i do have meetings with friends but rarely. I'll consider about those books too!

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13 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

It could be simple "burnout". Or start of something like depression. I hate that word because a lot of people self-diagnose with it. And its far more serious than just "being bummed out". And if its that you would really need a doctor.

However, maybe its just burnout. Do you have any specific goal? For example do you exercise just because or do you have specific body figure in mind? Do you study for good grades or have a specific goal there? Because identifying and reaching those goals would maybe help you get motivated to achieve them.

Also, what is your "release"? Do you go out with friends? Have somebody special in your life? Having a good routine is great, but you would need a good healthy release also. Without it, its easy to get into burnout with routine or to even fall into bad habits.

I don't really know if it could be burnout i have not a really stressfull routine actually, and i am aware that depression is something more complex and needs to be diagnosed by professionals so i'll keep it in mind.

Everything that i do i do it for a reason even if i am not always aware of that reason but then i should remind myself about what is my purpose with what i do everyday? Well i know that i want to become a better person and improving in school or in sports is the best way to do it, also i know that i want to have good habits and erase the bad ones, being a good athlete and get a better physique, having good grades,etc. Should i start thinking more frequently about why do i want all of that? because i know that its going to improve my life in general i just wonder if it's as simple as saying "I do it because is good for me".

I replied to someone about my friends and social life is decaying and i know that i have to work on that too, and no, i don't have someone special in my opinion right now, i mean yes i love my mom for example but i don't see her as someone who i could tell her everything, trust issues? i am not sure but its the way i see the things

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Do they have counseling services at your college? I'm sure they'd be happy to assist you. Counseling really helps! Provided that the counselor is competent, of course.

And as others have suggested please see a physician.

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6 hours ago, Ariel Figueroa said:

For example the last week i only went to 2 sessions and missed the rest of the week because of a little injury so i had a good reason to rest a little bit maybe for a couple days, but when that time passed i still didn't train and i know that was bad because i had missed a lot, this week i feel with the energy to not miss a session like it should be

6 hours ago, Ariel Figueroa said:

About my friends i have noticed my social life is starting to decay slowly, its something that i have to work on too, i am not saying that i am 100% alone, i do have meetings with friends but rarely.

I think that at 19, you're taking your first steps into the next phase of life. It's normal to feel a little rudderless. It's normal for friends to drift away as they go forth into their own next steps.

I think it will help you to stick with your athletic routines. First of all, it's good for you physically. Secondly, it's a consistent structure that you are pretty familiar with, and thirdly, there is a social aspect available to you.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Ariel Figueroa said:

  i know that i want to have good habits and erase the bad ones, being a good athlete and get a better physique, having good grades,etc. 

Decide if perfectionism (not good) is burning you out or there's just a slump in your motivation. Can't hurt to go to a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Rule out physical causes for inertia and lassitude.

Good grades and being a good athlete are not particularly difficult or hard to achieve. Especially if you aren't working and are still living with parents.

Maybe you need to set the bar a bit higher? Get a part time job. Start focusing on living independently and having your own money.

If everything is done for you and handed to you, yes demotivation will become an issue.

What exactly are your "bad habits"? 

Edited by Wiseman2
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6 hours ago, Ariel Figueroa said:

Well i know that i want to become a better person and improving in school or in sports is the best way to do it, also i know that i want to have good habits and erase the bad ones, being a good athlete and get a better physique, having good grades,etc. Should i start thinking more frequently about why do i want all of that? because i know that its going to improve my life in general i just wonder if it's as simple as saying "I do it because is good for me".

Maybe a good idea is to come up with smaller goals -daily or weekly -so that it's not vague/abstract and you can feel more of a sense of accomplishment -and motivation.  For example my daily goal today includes - getting my son to the school bus stop in one piece and finishing part one of a challenging work project that's stressing me.  Both of those goals have to do with larger goals - being a good parent and feeling competent/confident about my work and career.  At night I very often think of three things I am thankful for and get very specific.  Like I'm thankful for avocado on toast. 

Also -this occurred to me -my 13 year old son mentioned yesterday he likes when I compliment him.  I think it's because I don't gush and I give very specific compliments. He said this to me after I told him I thought something he'd done was "very conscientious".  So remember to be genuine with yourself -give yourself small, specific compliments as you do things you might not feel like doing -at least notice those things specifically. 

Good luck! 

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7 hours ago, Ariel Figueroa said:

Should i start thinking more frequently about why do i want all of that?

Well, not frequently, but specific goals and reaching them would help. Having a good grades or good physique is fine, but its too vague. Its better to have a specific goal to work to. Instead of "good grades" have it maybe be "passing the semester or year with good grades". It gives you more immediate satisfaction and a way to move forward. When the goal is too vague, you are running the risk of falling into routine without something to push you forward. So try to center yourself with specific goals and working toward them. 

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Hey Ariel!

 

Sometimes we just need to cut ourselves some slack. We’re not all Superman, and we can’t be all the time. Most of the time, we’re gonna be Clark Kent! 
 

Sometimes, modern life can get so full, we always feel like we need to be “doing things”, “chasing goals”, socialising, planning, doing doing doing! Always improving! That we forget, we need rest. Alone time. Time to thank and breathe and get in touch with ourselves. 
 

Some people don’t need too much of this, others need loads. Might depend where you are on the scale of things. 
 

Be kind to yourself. Everyone goes through dips and troughs. The important thing is that eventually, you get back up. Whatever your up may be.

 

If you are not happy, think of ways to maybe tweak your routine, goals, social life and activities more to how you are feeling, what you really want at this moment, right now? What’s important too you? What do you feel is lacking? What do you need less of?

 

I always remember watching a wildlife documentary about Gorillas. The alpha male, he had been unchallenged for a decade, then a new hot shot came and they fought, he was half dead and had to retreat. He was kicked out of the whole band of Gorillas and disgraced, to die. The new young male took over. But something so inspiring happened. He was gravely wounded, but curled up for two weeks amongst leaves, hid. Let his broken bones heal. He had no finger left on one hand. He limped back out of the depths of the jungle, and knew he had to face the new male in order to regain his title. 
 

He was still badly hurt, but he blagged strength. He squared up, made himself huge. The new male backed right down. If he had to fight him again, he would have died. He slumped back into his sitting position, the females went back to sitting next to him, the new male was outcasted. He took his place once again. And that is the difference between being on top. It’s the getting back up which is the main part, takes the strength, the courage. It’s nothing to sit there and receive goods, but what is the true test, is when things go wrong.
 

I saw that documentary years ago. It always stuck with me. What a metaphor for life. For anyone who is on top. 
 

You have to take your time out, your body is telling you you need it. But believe in yourself, change some things you want to change. Come back better. 
 

Sorry if this post seems intense. You have caught me in a very introspective mood! Haha!

 

x

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Make lists.  Sounds pretty simple, but they work for me.

I have an issue with avoidance. I have a tendency to put off things I need to do and difficulty making decisions.  If I let this rule my world, it would interfere with my work performance.  (it's a symptom of my anxiety issues)

At work I had a larger post it pad, 4x3.  I preferred this over a note pad because it would stick to my desk and not get shuffled under something else I used to distract myself.   When I felt distracted and unmotivated, I'd make a list of everything I needed to do.  I could feel such a strong resistance to doing them, but I'd buckle down and methodically do each task, crossing them off as I go.  In the end it felt rewarding and the strong avoidance I experienced felt rather silly. 

It's the reward for having completed a job well done that motivates you do more.  You can't always wait for the motivation to strike you.

I keep meaning to by a dry erase board for home. But I keep putting that off too . .lol 

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Fear of not doing well is ever-present as a student and also at that age. Do things with purpose and meaning and find friends who do the same or like the same things. Friends play a big part too as you share stories or help each other stay on track or can talk about similar issues or problems in class.

I'm not sure so much about procrastination as I don't seem to have that. Things get done very quickly so my problem is consciously pacing myself.

I'd look at working a part time job at least and that might jumpstart you into thinking outside the box quite a bit and lend more of a challenge or put your studies in perspective. 19 is not too young to be working or thinking about work experience or applying for an internship. You may be in second year going onto third and the last two years of a regular or standard degree go by very fast. I didn't feel a shortage of anything to do or be involved in during those 17-24 university years but it went by so incredibly fast in the blink of an eye. If I think back to that time there is still more that I had wanted to do and didn't or didn't think of at the time (now reliving my youth so I guess it works out!). 

Anyway, try thinking up of things you'd like to try or things you'd want to do and work towards those things. 

 

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4 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

Make lists.  Sounds pretty simple, but they work for me.

I have an issue with avoidance. I have a tendency to put off things I need to do and difficulty making decisions.  If I let this rule my world, it would interfere with my work performance.  (it's a symptom of my anxiety issues)

At work I had a larger post it pad, 4x3.  I preferred this over a note pad because it would stick to my desk and not get shuffled under something else I used to distract myself.   When I felt distracted and unmotivated, I'd make a list of everything I needed to do.  I could feel such a strong resistance to doing them, but I'd buckle down and methodically do each task, crossing them off as I go.  In the end it felt rewarding and the strong avoidance I experienced felt rather silly. 

It's the reward for having completed a job well done that motivates you do more.  You can't always wait for the motivation to strike you.

I keep meaning to by a dry erase board for home. But I keep putting that off too . .lol 

That souns like a good idea, like using a calendar or something where i can write my activitites through out the day, i'll definitely do that

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22 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

Know that most people are stuck in a rut.  Most people work, take care of their households / families, some people exercise regularly, students do their homework, repeat.  Life is not an everyday party which is a reality check.

Continue showering, getting up early, etc. 

Strike balance in your life.  Make time for friends; mutual schedules permitting.  Take a break from exercise once in a while, do what you enjoy whether it's watching a good movie, reading a good book, engage in enjoyable hobbies and relax.  This will recharge your batteries and you'll resume your routine once again just like everyone else. 

Are you faith based?  Some people have religion in their lives as their anchor and it gives them a sense of purpose and strength to carry on.  Some people are comforted amongst their brethren and enjoy camaraderie.  

Most people become tired and bored.  Mix it up for variety.   

What has helped me is turning my PC OFF, learning to walk away from my cell phone and taking a lot of long breaks from technology.  I'm no longer on standby nor on call.  Too much 24 / 7 information is fatiguing for the brain and body.  Create time and space for yourself.

I enjoy old-fashioned, homey activities such as cooking, sewing and immersing back to basics which has grown to be quite refreshing. 

Thanks for the advice Cherylyn and no, i am not faith based but i think that rethink what are my goals in a specific way is going to help me, also if i get a balanced lifestyle i am sure that is going to make a huge change so i can pull of the routine for a little bit.

I was thinking the same thing when you talk about cut off devices like my cellphone or pc, that could be a problem as well but i don't think that it's going to be too difficult for me stop using my phone that much, actually i was doing some research about how the social media, cellphones or stuff like that affects on the dopamine system in the brain 

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19 hours ago, catfeeder said:

How long have these cycles been happening?

What kinds of goals or interests once motivated you but don't anymore?

Can you pinpoint any recent life events that have caused you to feel drained or anxious?

Have your sleeping habits changed?

A few years ago i had these little laziness cycles when i have no motivation of doing anything but it was rarely, but in the last months its been more frequently, my goals are still there and i know that i want to achieve them but it could be for example: Getting a good physique, Getting good grades in school, being disciplined, creating good habits, stuff like that.

I don't think there is something that caused me to feel drained or something but i am noticing that my social life is decaying that might as well be part of the problem.

I have good sleeping habits so that's not a problem, same with my diet i always try to eat healthy.

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 Hi Ariel, Thank you for your kind words.  It sounds like a good idea to have balance in your life.

I agree, turning constant technology OFF and taking a break from it is refreshing for your brain and body.  Completely relax without any distractions.  Cell phones, social media, PC and TV are huge time traps.  The day gets away from you when you could've otherwise been more industrious and productive.  

Yes, there is a scientific reason to take long breaks from cell phones, social media, PC, TV, etc with regards to negative effects on the dopamine system in the brain.  Good point!

I wouldn't psychoanalyze why you do what you do because it's not out of the ordinary.  What you're doing is sustaining life with daily normalcy such as getting up early, showering, homework, exercise and taking care of your responsibilities.  There is nothing unusual about it.  The more you pick apart what you do, the less you're apt to do it and it will throw you off your schedule.  People generally thrive on routine (including children). 

If your social life is decaying, perhaps work on that because having a healthy social life within reason is psychologically and physically healthy for you.  Human beings are tribal by nature and living like a  shut in or hermit crab is unhealthy.  It's not good for the mind and body.  Granted, don't over do it but find time to squeeze in some semblance of a social life somewhere and somehow.   It could be meeting a friend for a walk, meeting for coffee or tea, meeting for lunch or snack, shop together, etc for example.  Try to meet a friend or friends at least once or twice a month.

Regarding exercise, if you want to take an occasional break from it, do it.  Even professional athletes don't exercise 365 days per year.  I exercise a lot and every now and then, I'll take a day off.  Keep in mind, for some people, there are microfiber muscle tears from exercise.  Taking a day off here and there is actually GOOD for you.  Taking days off will give your body a chance to recover and mend those microfiber muscle tears and improve for your next exercise day.  If you want to do something else that day, do what you enjoy or prefer.  Don't think you have to exercise. 

Some people exercise 7 days a week and that's ok.  Others prefer to take a break here and there and this is fine, too.  Stick with your preference. 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/2/2022 at 1:14 AM, Ariel Figueroa said:

i'd like you to give me some advice on how to recover a good motivation for doing these habits and achieving my goals, and also having a strong discipline so i can break this cycle as soon as possible, maybe i need to do introspection of what is going on with my life or something?

I don't believe in relying on motivation. It's great when it's there. Embrace it, make the most of it. But let's be real: sometimes life kicks you down, rubbish hits the fan. Motivation then becomes useless. So, what actually sticks with you day after day?

What do you automatically do every morning when you first wake up? Some drink a glass of water, others go to the bathroom, some check their phone. It's an automated response. Your brain has been trained to engage with that same action over and over again every morning. So your body responds and does it. Regardless of how you feel that day.

Find a way to train your brain with a positive trigger and make, say, "taking a shower" an automated response. For example, wanting to try out a new coconut body wash simply because you love the scent. It's an irresistible action where your brain goes "Hey, I'm looking forward to having a shower today" and eventually taking a shower will be part of your daily ritual, irrespective of how you feel.

My two cents.

Edited by greendots
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