Staying Motivated All Year Round

In our journey towards personal and professional success, staying motivated is crucial.

Motivation is the spark that gets us going and inspires us to achieve the greatest of features.

Maintaining motivation throughout the year is a very complex task. To be honest, most people will lose motivation on their goals at some point throughout the year.

It’s almost impossible to keep it going 24/7.

How do you keep motivation up throughout the year? Even if it’s not up throughout the year, how can we keep it up more than usual?

This post goes into the intricacies of motivation, exploring how it influences us, why it diminishes over time, and, most importantly, how we can sustain it through self-sourced motivation, smaller goals, and discipline.

Understanding the Psychology of Motivation

So What is Motivation?

Motivation is a psychological force that compels us to take action towards a goal.

It’s the reason behind our behaviors, desires, and needs. It can stem from physiological (e.g., hunger, thirst) or psychological (e.g., seeking achievement) desires.

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation

This comes from within an individual and is driven by personal satisfaction or desire to undertake a task. For example, reading a book for enjoyment.

Extrinsic Motivation

Driven by external rewards or pressures, such as money, fame, grades, or avoiding punishment.

Theories of Motivation

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

This theory suggests that humans are motivated by a hierarchy of needs, starting from basic physiological needs to self-actualization.

Self-Determination Theory

Focuses on the degree to which an individual’s behavior is self-motivated and self-determined.

It emphasizes the importance of autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

Expectancy Theory

Suggests that motivation is based on the expected outcome of an action, including the value of the reward and the likelihood of achieving it.

Motivation and Behavior

Motivation is closely linked to behavior. It not only triggers the initiation of a behavior but also influences its intensity and persistence.

Highly motivated individuals are more likely to pursue activities vigorously and persistently, overcoming obstacles and setbacks.

Psychological Impact of Motivation

  • Positive Effects: Increased motivation can lead to enhanced learning, performance, and personal satisfaction.
  • Negative Effects: Excessive extrinsic motivation can reduce intrinsic motivation, known as the overjustification effect. It can also lead to stress and burnout if not balanced properly.

Summary: The psychology of motivation encompasses intrinsic and extrinsic factors, various theories, and its significant impact on behavior and mental health. Understanding these aspects can help in harnessing motivation more effectively.

The Inevitable Decline of Motivation

Despite its power, motivation is not a constant force.

It’s natural for our initial enthusiasm to wane over time due to various factors like routine, setbacks, or a lack of immediate results.

Understanding the Decline of Motivation

Habituation and Adaptation

Over time, what was once novel and exciting becomes familiar and less stimulating. This process, known as habituation, can lead to a decrease in motivation.

For example, Initially, starting a new exercise routine can be exciting, but as it becomes a part of the regular routine, the initial thrill may diminish.

Unrealistic Expectations and Goal-Setting

Setting goals that are too ambitious or vague can lead to frustration and a sense of failure, which in turn diminishes motivation.

It’s crucial to set realistic, achievable goals and adjust them as needed to maintain motivation.

Lack of Immediate Rewards

Humans have a natural tendency to favor immediate rewards over long-term gains. When rewards or outcomes are not immediate, motivation can wane.

Breaking goals into smaller, short-term objectives can help maintain a sense of progress and motivation.

External vs. Internal Motivation Shifts

Over-reliance on external motivators (like praise, rewards, or fear of punishment) can erode internal motivation over time.

Focusing on internal drivers like personal growth, enjoyment, and alignment with personal values can sustain motivation.

Psychological and Physical Fatigue

Continuous effort without adequate rest can lead to both physical and mental exhaustion, reducing motivation.

Regular breaks, relaxation, and self-care are essential to recharge and maintain motivation.

Environmental and Social Influences

A demotivating environment or lack of support from peers and superiors can contribute to a decline in motivation.

Creating a supportive, encouraging environment can help sustain motivation.

Intrinsic Satisfaction Diminishing

Once the intrinsic satisfaction of an activity diminishes, it can lead to a decrease in motivation.

Finding new aspects of the activity to enjoy or revisiting the reasons why it was initially appealing can help.

Psychological Conditions

Conditions like depression, anxiety, or stress can significantly impact motivation levels.

Seeking professional help and adopting stress management techniques can be crucial in these scenarios.

Summary: The decline of motivation over time is influenced by habituation, unrealistic goals, delayed rewards, over-reliance on external motivators, fatigue, environmental factors, diminishing intrinsic satisfaction, and psychological conditions. Understanding and addressing these factors is key to maintaining motivation.

Achieving Sustained Motivation Year Round

Self-Sourced Motivation

One of the most effective ways to sustain motivation is by finding it within ourselves.

This involves understanding our intrinsic motivations, aligning our goals with our values, and reminding ourselves of the bigger picture.

It’s about cultivating a mindset where our drive comes from a place of self-understanding and personal commitment rather than external rewards or recognition.

Setting Smaller, Achievable Goals

Breaking down larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks is a proven strategy for maintaining motivation.

These smaller goals are easier to achieve, providing us with regular doses of satisfaction and progress, which in turn fuels our drive to continue.

This approach keeps the momentum going and makes the overall objective seem less daunting.

Creating a Supportive Environment

Being around others who are driven can help maintain your own motivation. 

That’s one of the main ideas we try to create at Blob Fitness. A community that will keep you motivated and help you keep going, especially in down times.

Regular, constructive feedback can boost motivation as well, especially when it comes from respected peers or mentors. 

Have people hold you accountable and hold yourself accountable.

Why Discipline Overrides Motivation

While motivation is a great starter and it’s possible to have it be sustained for longer periods of time, you must acknowledge it will dwindle at some point.

Discipline is what will truly get you where you want to be.

Motivation will start the formation of developing routines and habits but discipline will make you stick with those routines regardless of how we feel at the moment and that is what gets you results.

It’s about commitment and consistency, doing what needs to be done even when we don’t feel like it.

You can read more about discipline over motivation here.

I can’t talk about Discipline either without including this.

Summary: Discipline, more than motivation, is crucial for maintaining long-term consistency and achieving goals.


Staying motivated all year round is a challenge, but it’s not insurmountable. By understanding the nature of motivation, finding it within ourselves, setting smaller goals, and cultivating discipline, we can maintain our drive throughout the year. Remember, motivation gets you started, but discipline keeps you going.

Setting Realistic Fitness Goals

Let’s be honest, diving into the world of fitness can feel like navigating a maze blindfolded.

The key? Setting realistic goals.

Not just any goals, but ones that fit into your life and motivate you every step of the way. 

In this post, I’m going to walk you through setting achievable fitness goals, understanding what makes a goal doable, celebrating small steps, appreciating the little victories, learning from the bumps along the road, and keeping track of all your awesome progress.

How to Set Goals

Alright, goal setting 101 – it’s more than just saying, “I want to get fit.”

That’s like saying you want to travel without picking a destination.

Be specific.

For example, decide that you’ll run a 5K in under 30 minutes by the end of the summer. It’s all about making your goal SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Think of it as creating a roadmap for your fitness journey. Where are you now? Where do you want to be? How will you know when you get there?

Summary: Make your fitness goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. It’s like creating a roadmap for your journey!

Characteristics of Achievable Goals

Let’s talk about setting goals that you can reach.

Your goals should match your time availability and physical capabilities

Let’s go over both time availability and physical capabilities with powerlifting. 

Time Availability

Let’s say you are training 6 days a week but doing so is difficult due to your work schedule or other life circumstances.

You should realize this is not sustainable. Modify your program for fewer days a week and realize that hitting your goals may take a bit longer.

Physical Capabilities

Let’s say your goal is to reach a 600lbs squat.

But let’s also assume your circumstances are:

  • You are just beginning powerlifting
  • You weigh around 140lbs
  • Your current 1RM is 185 lbs.

Assuming the points above, achieving a 600lb squat would be rather a difficult task to achieve.

A more achievable goal can be something like 225lb for 3×5 or a 1RM of 285-315 lbs.

Summary: Achievable goals should fit into your lifestyle and fit your time availability and physical capabilities.

Importance of Incremental Progress

Little wins in your fitness journey are important to keep you motivated and keep going.

The goals can be super small.

For example, if you are doing a hypertrophy program, make it a goal for the next session to either increase the rep by a couple of pounds, do another set, or do more reps.

Another example, let’s say you are someone who is running, try running just 1 minute longer. Maybe try taking fewer breaks or controlling your breathing a little better.

These aren’t large goals, but these small goals will continue to build you up and help you achieve your goals in the long run.

It’s about building up slowly but surely. These small steps not only build your physical strength but also boost your confidence.

Summary: Small steps lead to big changes. 

Embracing Failures as Learning Opportunities

Guess what? It’s fine to slip up or miss a goal.

Everyone goes through it. 

The real magic lies in what you learn from these slip-ups.

Maybe that super-ambitious goal was a bit too much, too soon.

No problem.

Take that insight, tweak your plan, and set a new, more realistic goal. Each ‘failure’ is just another step towards understanding yourself better and setting better goals for the future.

Summary: Embrace your slip-ups. They’re not failures but lessons that help you grow.

Tracking Goals

Let’s talk about keeping tabs on your progress.

Are you a tech whiz? Maybe an Excel spreadsheet will be your best friend.

More of a pen-and-paper person? A notepad or journal works wonders.

There are also tons of apps out there that can track your workouts, remind you to hydrate, and even cheer you on. Find what clicks for you and stick with it!

Summary: Whether it’s a high-tech app or an old-school journal, find your favorite way to track progress and make it part of your routine.

Final Thoughts

Having goals is important to give yourself a map of where you want to be. Being over-ambitious can set you up for failure, however, within failure there are lessons.

The only time you truly fail is when you didn’t learn anything in the process and you give up completely. 

Keep working towards your goals and enjoy the journey that comes with it.