The 3 stages of motivation: Meet Noom’s motivation model

by | Jun 8, 2022 | Last updated Jun 8, 2022

Motivation stage 1: The hype | Motivation stage 2: The plummet | Motivation stage 3: The slips and surges

Some days, you spring out of bed raring to start your morning workout. Other days, rolling off the couch to grab a bowl of popcorn feels borderline impossible. 

If you feel like a different person from one day to the next, you’re not alone. Why? Motivation is not constant—not for anyone. Not even motivational speakers.

Let’s get to know Noom’s motivation model (and the three stages of motivation): the usual path your motivation takes when you’re chasing a (very worthwhile) goal. 

Note: This article is based on our Noom Weight curriculum. Learn more below.

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Motivation stage 1: The hype

You’ve set out to achieve your goal, and everything feels shiny and new. Your motivation is through the roof. This time will be different! Nothing will stop me! 

Peak 1: The honeymoon

Motivation keeps rising until it reaches an all-time high. You feel like you could do this forever. I’m on top of the world! I should get a second fridge just for storing kale!

This honeymoon period could last days or weeks…or just a few hours, if you’re really unlucky. Then comes the plummet.

Motivation stage 2: The plummet

The honeymoon’s over, and reality sets in. You realize this is actually really, really hard. Hey, wait a second! You mean I’m actually supposed to use my gym membership? Continually?

Your motivation, quite naturally, decreases. (Blah.)

Trough 1: The lapse

The lapse is your plummet’s rock bottom. Here, many people get stuck, and those dreaded thought distortions creep in. “I’ll never lose any weight.” “I’m so out of control.” “I’m a failure.”

We promise, there’s no need to be hard on yourself. This uncomfortable, no-fun-at-all lapse is completely normal—and another good opportunity to learn and grow. (And wear sweatpants.)

Ready to make a lasting change?

A healthier you, wherever you are.

Motivation stage 3: The slips and surges

After you get through your first lapse—and you will!—you’ll continue to experience motivational highs and lows. We call these slips and surges. 

During a slip, you might phone in your workouts, or skip them altogether. (Or refuse all foods that don’t have melted cheese on them. Been there.) During a surge, you might shop at a nearby farmers market on your lunch break, sampling snap peas and strawberries while sneaking in an extra 1,000 steps.

So remember: Don’t get too discouraged when you slip. Your next surge is right around the corner!

What phase of the motivation model are you in right now? If you’re having trouble navigating the ebbs and flows of motivation, remember that slips and surges are totally normal.