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How to keep motivated when you really want to quit?

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

How often do you say to yourself that if you only were motivated you would do something?

Maybe you’re counting on your motivation to exercise more, stick to your diet, develop better sleeping patterns, consume less alcohol, or finish that project you’ve been working on?

How many times have you heard yourself saying that you’re just not motivated enough to take that leap, go for a run, cook a healthy meal or look for a better job?

Sometimes, the wait to feel motivated may seem pointless and the vision of wanting to quit it’s all that you can see.

Don’t beat yourself up. Not feeling motivated is a very human experience. We’ve all been there. But there are ways to overcome the moment of low level of motivation and bring it up to the surface again.

So, let’s dive in.

But why?

Before you emerge on any journey of change, either be it with your eating habits, exercise habits, sleeping patterns, improving your mental health, and shifting your mindset, you need to have a strong reason as to why you want to do it at all.

I’m sure you’ve heard stories of heroes who went through challenging times, maybe encountered some setbacks, but managed to pull themselves up and kept on going. All their stories have a common link: they had a very clear reason as to why they’re doing it.

This is a starting point for you too.

Tapping to your inner wisdom and your core reason as to why you want to make that diet or lifestyle change will keep you going when the road turns rough. Have a very important conversation with yourself to understand why you want to put yourself through some discomfort (because let’s be realistic here, any change at some point will push you from your comfort zone to the unknown and things may get a little uncomfortable for a while). And in that dark moment of low motivation or even feelings of defeat, you need to be able to pull up your reason to stay in the game.

So, why is it important for you to make that change?

Are you confident?

Figuring out why you want to make a diet or lifestyle change is vital to get started and keep your motivation level in check. But with importance comes confidence. To be motivated you need to be confident that you can achieve what you said you would.

Self-confidence will guide you through the forest when you may think you’re lost. It will help you to believe that you are capable of doing what you intended to do.

Building confidence is not as hard as you may think. There is a way you can increase your confidence aka motivation and stay in the game.

First, you need to check how confident you are that you can make that change, to exercise, improve your health, eat better or whatever else you set yourself to achieve. Noticing that your level of confidence is low, doesn’t mean you have to quit. Once you know the level of your confidence you can adjust it and work on getting it up higher.

If you feel like the change, you’re about to make, is too scary for you, you need to scale it down. Break it down into smaller, more doable pieces, so it doesn’t look like you’re about to climb Mount Everest without the oxygen tank. The smaller the change to begin with, the more confident you will feel that you can make it. Keep on expanding the piece until it’s the right size for you.

So, how can you break down your big change, so it doesn’t look scary?

The kernel of truth

To feel motivated is to feel always vibrant, zestful, and wanting to go ahead with what you planned to do. However, the hardest kernel of truth about motivation is that you will never feel like it. There is no magic fairy who will sprinkle some pink dust and you will feel motivated to go to the gym, to eat broccoli instead of chocolate, prepare for that work presentation or go to bed earlier instead of watching TV.

You will never feel like it. Period.

Now, thanks to this awareness you can have the real breakthrough.

You know that you will never feel like it so waiting for motivation is like waiting for Godot from Samuel Beckett’s classic story. When you are faced with a choice of going ahead and acting on something or staying in your comfort zone, your default mode is to stay in the comfort zone. This is the way the mother nature designed us. And when you’re put on the spot, fighting your natural instinct can be challenging.

But you see, if you know that you will not feel like exercising, eating healthier, sleeping more, drinking less, developing a better coping mechanism for stress, then why leave this to chance? Have a contingency plan to use when your motivation level is low. Your contingency plan doesn’t have to be complex, it can be as simple as scheduling your activities ahead of time. Book yourself into the gym session, so on the day you will have no choice but to go. Remove all the chocolate from your pantry and put some apples on the counter. And when you feel afternoon cravings, all you will see is the apples, so you will reach out for them. Schedule in your calendar when you’ll work on that presentation, so when the time comes it’s already decided that that’s what you will do.

So, how can you plan what you need to do to avoid the fatigue of motivation?


I would love to wake up every day and feel motivated to do everything I want to do. But motivation is not something natural that occurs for us. Mother Nature equipped us with a function that protects us from danger. It means that it may take us some time to warm up to any novelty. But be assured that you can build up your motivation.

You can increase your motivation level by making sure that you know exactly why you embarked on the journey of change. The ‘why’ is important. Because once you know why you’re doing something, and why it’s important to you, you’ll find the needed motivation to keep going.

If your confidence is a little shaky, check the size of the change you want to make. Do you want to make a big change and it scares you? Find ways to scale it down, so it’s still challenging but now, it’s also doable.

Because motivation is not something that occurs naturally for us, you will never feel like it. But by scheduling and making a contingency plan ahead of time, you make the decision that you will do something, so when the time comes, you’re ready to go. Thanks to your plan, you won’t talk yourself out of going to the gym, eating better, improving your sleep, or preparing for that presentation.

So, how are you going to increase your motivation level today?

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Having problems with keeping motivated? Go on: to find out more about Anna Doktor Wellness Coaching and how I can help you to build your health and wellbeing. Alternatively, send me an email at or call to have a chat to see how we can work together tel: 0498016440.

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