Why your motivation with goals is unsustainable

The reason my clients occasionally start neglecting their goals and relapse and kind of lose sight of what they’re working on is because they fail to do something I call pacing.

Now let’s say you set yourself a goal like working out every day, with the intention of building strength.

On some days, you’re going to have more inner resources to work with on that goal than other days. You won’t have a consistent increase in things like energy, motivation, or even physical strength.

You might have been able to bench 100Kgs last Monday, but today, due to lack of sleep and some mood problems and not eating right, your max is going to be 80Kg, even with the same arms. In which case you should only try to do 80Kg!

When you pace yourself, you go, “Okay, given how I’m feeling today and what I can handle today, this is where the level of my goal needs to be”, and you adjust to today’s limitations or opportunities. When you’re doing well, you push yourself, when you’re struggling, you back off a bit.

Some days, that even means just going to the gym, cracking out 10 pushups and a quick jog and then going home.

With this sustainable approach, you sacrifice the dream of daily improvement and replace it with the much more realistic strategy of staying on track long term. You’re much more likely to stick with a goal that adjusts to real life barriers.

Frequency is the key to sustainable growth, much more than intensity or quantity.

If you pressure yourself to keep upping the levels, no matter how you feel, it’s only a matter of time before you simply cannot do what you ask of yourself, and that is the beginning of the relapse.

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One Response

  1. Another main reason is losing track of why you have the goal in the first place. Try to practice reminding yourself of the Why before every attempt

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