How to Stay Motivated Even When You're Devastated after a Breakup


Gabrielle White

One of the hard things after a breakup is staying motivated to finish the goals you had when you were in the relationship. Yeah, you had plans to run that half marathon, but what's the point now that they won't meet you at the finish line? We sucks.

But, here's the good news: staying focused on your goals and making progress towards them is one of the best ways to escape that intense pain you feel. So as difficult as it is, you have to keep going. You have to keep polishing your Spanish for that trip. You have to keep writing your novel. You have to run that race. You owe it to yourself. To help you on your way, here's the trap to avoid when it comes to reaching goals after a breakup.

The Trap to Avoid

The challenge you may face is what a recent study in Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science confirmed: when some people break up and lose their cheerleader, the loss has an impact on reaching goals.

Over the course of 2-3 months, researchers tracked 372 students who were in some kind of romantic relationship. Of those 372 students, 45 would go on to experience a breakup during the study. Researchers surveyed the students about what their goals were, about the progress they had made (or not made) toward those goals, and how important their goals were to them. They found that when your partner supports and encourages you to attain a goal, performance without them suffers. But it doesn't have to!

How to Stay Motivated

You can still reach your goals if you replace the support you're missing from your ex with support from somewhere else. Find a friend or a family member who can help you stay accountable and let them know you need some extra encouragement. Let them know it will mean a lot to you, and ask them if they have any goals you can help them with.

You can also join a goal tracking app like Habitica or that will plug you in to a supportive community. There are so many specialized apps now to help you with goals, and most of them are probably better at doing their job (motivating!) than your ex - for example, if you have a fitness goal, Fitbit or Jawbone UP will keep you on track with notifications, specific suggestions and graphs of your own data.

You'll be amazed at how the world opens up when you ask for support. Thankfully, there’s support all around us,  if we just know where to look .

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