If you estimate a realistic outcome, you are much more likely to get the result you really wish for. Actually so much more, that it is 99% sure. And that's just a lot of percentage!
Are you unmotivated, lack energy and constantly repeating the same patterns of behavior? Getting out of that is no easy business, but energy and motivation can be regained, the meaning of life can be restored. Motivation is like finances: it likes to attach to itself, hence more money leads to more money, that's how to 1% keeps getting richer and richer, meanwhile, inferior social categories seem to lose more and more terrain.
Motivation is also closely related to reward, the more your efforts get rewarded, the more motivated you become. The less you seem to accomplish, the less motivated you become, thus the less action you are going to take the next time. The less action you take, the less the chances are that you will accomplish anything... so on and so on. Seems like a circle made by the devil itself.
You must consider developing the habit of “I don't give a shit “attitude toward rewards. You give a shit that you do what the heck you want to do, no matter reward or not because you so much love doing it. The reward must not be expected to come from outside yourself. Educating yourself not to expect a shoulder padding from the society each time you do something is actually the best thing you can do for yourself. It will keep you on the tight road. The road that at certain points will seems not to lead to any spectacular result whatsoever.
Of course, that is not true. First of all, there is no such thing as nothing. Nothing actually doesn't exist. Anything you do or don't do has a consequence. The only reason why we feel like “nothing is happening” or that we accomplished nothing is, that results can come later as expected or may defer in amplitude. Most results are not so spectacular. Like if you make the tremendous effort of not indulging a huge dinner, the next morning, contrary to your expectations, you won't suddenly wake up as Naomi Campbell. It seems that you by fighting your own will and accomplishing not to eat a whole nut log or a pound of fudge was an effort in vain because nothing actually has happened as a result. No result, no achievement, no thousand dollar check, no orchestra playing only to praise you on your front porch... Therefore it seems that you accomplished nothing. And what is your natural, by the way very human response to not being rewarded for your tremendous effort? (Of not eating your bowl of ice cream?) That you discontinue allocating energy toward stopping yourself eating the huge bowl of ice cream the next evening. It is logical and human. (How we hate those utterly human things, right?) You came up with your conclusion: no reward, then why the heck to bother? Right?
Why is it logical and human being unmotivated to do certain tasks? (although you hate it, of course..)
Our own evolution is actually the proof why you act as you do. Do remember that knowledge and understanding the way you think is the way to alter the eventual outcome of your actions.
Humans always tested things. Explored. That's how we invented so many things. You test a theory you have, if it doesn't work you don't continue, you come up with something new. We have never evolved to the stage of civilization we are at if we have insisted on doing things that seemed not to produce any result. Of course, as with many other things, the case of us “living in a cave” status mindset is pretty detrimental. Our brain as it is still functions according to those prehistoric rules. For example, if the prehistoric dude wouldn't have tried to make a sparkle with a different object we might still don't know how to make fire. We do not how they came to know how to actually spark a fire, but let's just assume, for a second that it was not by accident. Let's assume, they wanted to have the fire but didn't know how. So, they tried different stuff, like talking to a salamander and convince it to mesmerize a twig to burst up in flames. The thing has some yellow spots and fire is also yellowish, so why not? It seems a reasonable assumption... The fire-god may be hiding in it too... let's assume also, that it didn't work very well..so, what did they do next? Went to talk to the salamander the next day too, maybe he is in a better mood? Maybe they did a few times but eventually gave up on the idea. They got unmotivated begging the lizard which seemed obnoxiously uninterested in helping them out and they searched new ways of doing it. And this is the huge secret and enormous difference! They felt that the action was useless so they seized doing it, but they searched for new ideas how to accomplish the task.
Why is it so tricky this thing nowadays? If we take weight loss, for example, you have a great advantage, that you are not a caveman anymore. You, with your evolved mind, can read and learn, so you can determine which are the actions that needs insisting upon and which are those that must be abandoned. But our mind still functions the same way: the input energy has to be rewarded otherwise our next input energy will have a far less zing, and playing that a few times you will end up with no energy, no action that will inevitably lead to no result.
Our cave man only abandoned the salamander, not the idea of finding out how to make fire. If you failed to wake up as a supermodel the next morning after skipping the cake one time the previous mind, that doesn't mean that eating no cake was utterly useless cause you will look fat with or without it anyway. It just means maybe that you should not torture yourself with prohibiting a cake, but maybe you could replace it with fruits, yogurt, and grated black chocolate as an alternative. You do not abandon the idea, your dream that would make your life feel awesome... you just re-rout, reorient, search alternatives. Some things just don't work. That's it, that's life. So, you invent something else.
So how you get motivated repeatedly not to indulge a huge bowl of ice cream in the evening? Knowing that the result won't be visible only after a long period of time?
Simple: like false expectation from a partner leads to deteriorated relationships the most important advice is not to expect immediate of far-fetched results. You have to be cognizant of the expectation you could possibly have. The enormous problem is that our environment, for example, commercials do not help, they make things actually worse: they drip false expectations in people's mind. They are so ignorant, they are capable of showing a fitness model, who have been working out and probably taking enhancer drugs for at least 10 years, as somebody who gets their six pack using a sauna belt. And people, who never stepped into a gym or were never interested how actually our body works may really believe that. Being gullible is not a crime, but has a harsh punishment upon who do not wake up from it.
Stop false expectations!
If you are heavily overweight or just struggling to get from average to lean we will all face the same issue. We want our result and we want it now! Doing one thing is an enormous step, but far from enough.
How to avoid exasperation and demotivation of not getting your result?
Again simple: do not gauge! What you do not know, it can not affect you.
Make a commitment that you won't get on the scale the next morning. Let's say you started dieting of some sort! Are you through one day? Awesome. But don't get on the scale the next morning. Hide the fat caliper, throw away the measuring tape and forget about it. Make the commitment to diet one month at least and only after that to get on the scale. One month of diet (let's don't over complicate things: if you eat slightly less than you should in order to only maintain your weight, that's a diet and will produce results unless you suffer from some kind of disorder). Let's say you eat 1500 -1300 calories alternating for one month. No way on earth that won't result in weight loss after a month if you actually stick to it. But what happens if you weigh yourself after a day? You will get demoralized cause you won't see that anything did happen at all as a result of your efforts. If you can't make your brain function otherwise, to be less result oriented, because that is the material and that's what we have to work with then use this technique. Rebelling why are we so stupid is a waste of precious energy, rather invest it on stopping yourself to measure how well you've done. Actually what I am asking is: please do less! And that's a pretty cool advice, don't you think?