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21 October 2017Last updated
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Ask the expert: I don’t have any motivation

I want to be thin and fit, but I struggle to motivate myself

Russell Hemmings.
1 May 2015 | 12:00 am

I seem to be lacking motivation to do anything. I’m tired and unable to move myself to do even the simplest of tasks. I want to be thin and fit, but I struggle to motivate myself. Please help me.

It looks to me like you have two things going on here. First, it sounds as though you are overwhelmed by life at the moment and perhaps some perspective might help. Motivation is a fluid thing. It’s not an “on/off” process, but if, as you say, you are struggling to complete the simplest of tasks, then perhaps there are more complex feelings underlying your sense of apathy?

Depression can kill energy, enthusiasm and the ability to focus, and so, perhaps what you need to do is to set the bar lower to start with. There’s no point in dreaming of doing a 10K run if you’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning. So start small.

Have one thing you want to achieve every day. It might be going for a 10-minute walk or cutting out one thing from your diet that you know is not doing you good. Every journey starts with a single step; looking at the bigger picture is sometimes too daunting and you begin to feel it’s easier not to start, so break everything down into a series of more achievable challenges. It’s better for developing a positive attitude to tick off four small targets than to fail at something that is too big to start with.

Second, your desire to be thin and fit is not uncommon. That could be the underlying reason that you feel demotivated. What you need to do is break the cycle by doing something different. Change takes time, but if you follow my advice and start small, you will find that your motivation is self-fuelling and you’ll begin to see your mood lift, as you become more able to have a feeling of control over your own life.

One of the first small steps you could take is to gain an objective overview of your diet. Keep an honest food diary for a few days and then look at where you could make healthy adjustments.

Learn to focus your mind on the positive feelings of control a task like this can generate. Try to relax, live in the moment and enjoy the combined power of many small achievements.

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Russell Hemmings.

Russell Hemmings

Life coach, and clinical and cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist. More info: www.russellhemmings.co.uk / 04 4273627 / 055 2867275