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An icon of a human head with a charging battery representing the brain with a teal background. How to get motivated when you aren't feeling it.
World Wide Group™

World Wide Group™

How to Get Motivated When You Just Aren’t

An open laptop next to an open book and a coffee cup.

“I’m not feeling motivated today.”  

“How do I get my motivation back?”

“I don’t know where my motivation went.”  

“I can’t seem to find my motivation.”  

Most of us have said one (or all) of these sayings at some point and might even think them frequently in our daily lives. 

Motivation is a funny thing. The way we talk about it in society is almost as if it has its own personality or that it’s a feeling all on its own. But motivation at its core (the general desire or willingness of someone to do something) comes from hard work. And often, the terrible thing about motivation isn’t when you have loads of it. It’s when you have none. Zero. Nada.  

Getting motivated takes energy—especially at first

Think about it: Any time you set a new goal, a large amount of energy is expended in gearing up to achieve that goal. Sometimes the planning and preparing stages are so overwhelming that we give up before we even start.  

Look at the example below: 

I want to lose 10 lbs. in two months. What do I need to do?  

  • Meal planning/prep 
  • Find a workout routine that fits my schedule and ability 
  • Mark up my calendar and schedule when I’m going to work out 
A white lite letter board saying "You Got This" on a wooden table top.

Stick with it, it gets easier!

Once you have meals prepped, the workouts scheduled, and you feel comfortable with your plan, you’re able to just do the darn thing. It’s like a train engine the amount of energy it takes to start is massive, but pretty soon the train is moving down the track. Thank you, momentum! 

 

What’s even better is that the more you use it, the less you lose it! If you’re thinking, “But, I don’t have any motivation now, and that sounds like a lot of work!” Don’t fret! There are LOTS of ways to help you build your motivation back up.  

Here are just a few things to try when your motivation seems to have run down the road without you.

Circled Check Box

Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Choose one goal and focus on it. What are you trying to motivate yourself to do? Don’t say “everything.” Narrow it down to one or two things. Write them down.  

Excitement Chat Bubble

Build anticipation for your goal.

In the midst of inspiration and excitement, it’s easy to say, “I’m going to work out TODAY!” Then you go too hard, you wake up sore, and tomorrow you give up.

If you delay when you start your goal, pick a “start date,” make a plan, and build excitement around that specific plan, you’re more likely to succeed. Make it fun and something you’re looking forward to starting! 

Target with arrow in the bullseye

Make your plan.

Use an app, a journal, or a piece of paper to plan out your week, month, year—whatever timeframe you’re looking at. Be as detailed as you possibly can (in the beginning it may not be as detailed as later on, that’s okay!).  

A person walking up steps

Understand that motivation doesn’t just happen.

There are days when it comes easily, and there are the days when you have to work at it, a lot. The days you have to work at it are where your progress happens. The important thing is that you stay consistent, especially when you don’t want to. Small steps are still steps! 

Balanced Scale

Don't compare.

Don’t compare where you’re at in reaching your goal to someone who’s years ahead of you in the same or similar goal. It’s not fair to yourself and will only make you sad … for no reason! Look up to people doing what you hope to do, of course! But don’t downplay your own achievements just because someone started before you!  

A hand setting a brick down on a brick wall

Build your goals.

Make small, achievable goals that build toward your one, big goal. By making steps toward reaching your goal, and using attainable goals, you’re much more likely to hit those milestones, see your own progress, and keep that momentum moving forward.  

A circle with two arrows on it and a person in the center

Create a routine.

Two chat bubbles with exclamation marks in one, the other is blank.

Share your progress.

Tell people what you’re doing! Find a friend or mentor you can keep updated on your progress. Check in daily, even if it’s just “I created my morning routine and did day one.”  

A profile of a person wearing a crown.

Daily affirmations.

Give yourself a daily affirmation on how far you’ve come. Don’t focus on perfection; focus on progress. Need examples of how to create your own positive affirmations? Click here.

A brain

Feed your brain.

Add foods to feed your brain: leafy greens, nuts, fish, seeds, berries, and yes … dark chocolate! Why dark chocolate? According to an article by Medical News Today, dark chocolate (70% or higher cacao) has antioxidants that may contribute to neuron and blood vessel growth AND stimulate blood flow! More blood to the brain? More thinking, more doing! It’s just another way to get that motivation moving forward! Want to read more about what to feed your brain? Click here! 

Circles around a question mark.

How do you get, (and keep) yourself motivated?

Let us know in the comments below!

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