I think everyone struggles sometimes when trying to feel motivated to something. For some people, that unmotivated feeling seems like a weight that just won’t go away.
I had long periods where I felt so unmotivated that I just felt stuck. I wanted to make a change, but just didn’t have the willpower to do anything about it. I’ll be perfectly honest – I hate that feeling.
If you feel unmotivated, don’t worry, you’re far from alone. However, I’m going to share with you some great ways to wake up your inner cheerleaders and feel far more motivated.
1. Look At The Consequences
There was a time in my life where I either had to find motivation or face the fact that nothing was ever going to change. If you feel like you might be at a crossroads yourself, make a list of the consequences of not finding motivation now. Also look at the positive changes that might happen if you do take action. For me, it was an eye-opening exercise. I’ll bet it will be for you too.
2. Find A Motivating Blog, Video Or Person
When I’m down, I love looking at inspiring or cute videos. I may even read those warm, fuzzy news stories. The same works for motivation. Find some motivating blogs, videos or even people to follow. When you feel unmotivated, go to your motivation source. Sometimes just getting that extra boost from an outside source is enough to energize you.
3. Just Do Something
I know it sounds more like a Nike slogan than real advice, but it’s actually true. I’m not saying you have to do whatever you don’t feel motivated to do right now, but don’t just sit there, staring blankly as Netflix serves you up one show after another. Do something. Don’t want to go to the gym? Clean house, cook dinner, go shopping or just call a friend. Whatever it is, just do something and it may be enough to motivate you to do more.
4. Step Away From Social Media
Social media can actually help motivate you, if you use it right. I, for one, think it’s one of those toxic motivation killers that just makes you feel like you have to be perfect. Instead of getting motivated, you spend hours scrolling through posts, comparing yourself to everyone else and feeling like you’re coming up short. Social media only tells a fraction of the story, but it’s damaging effects can leave you feeling unmotivated. So, take a break when you feel unmotivated and you just might feel better.
5. Do One Thing That Makes You Happy
Forget whatever it was you were supposed to and instead do one thing that makes you happy. A University of Warwick study found that happiness actually makes you 12% more productive. This means doing that one happy thing could lead to the motivation you need to be more productive in life. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.
6. Take A Break For A Minute
I sometimes have to force myself to take breaks. When you push yourself too hard, it’s easy to lose your motivation and feel like you’re not making any progress. The problem is, you’re probably not progressing like you should be. It’s important to take breaks when you start feeling sluggish and unmotivated. A simple change of pace for 10-15 minutes is often all it takes to get you back on track.
7. Uncover Why You Feel Unmotivated
Ask yourself a question – why don’t you feel motivated? Is there a major life transition going on right now? Do you feel underappreciated at work, school or home? Do you really hate whatever it is that you need to do? Take a moment to figure out what you’re feeling the way you do. Getting to the root cause can help you find new motivation. Dr. Catherine Chen recommends asking yourself why you can’t and then rephrasing your answer to sound more motivational.
8. Remember Your Accomplishments
When you feel unmotivated, it’s hard to figure out any reason to try. I know, I’ve been there. It’s a quick sand moment, but I remember a friend reminding me about a past success and I suddenly felt like I was on more solid ground. You’ve worked hard to accomplish things in life so take a moment to brag to yourself about them. When you see what you’ve already done, it motivates you to keep working hard.
9. Set Up A Reward
Rewards are great. Just think about school and how great it felt to earn that coveted sticker on a test or homework. It was a simple reward, but it motivated you to keep trying, right? The next time you feel unmotivated, I highly recommend coming up with a reward for yourself if you do whatever task you’re putting off. I’m not saying you need a big reward, but something as simple as splurging on gelato from your favorite restaurant is enough to motivate you to take action.
10. Cut Down That To-Do List
Making to-do lists can be incredibly useful, but if you’re anything like me, it’s easy to go from to-do list to what was I thinking list. It took me a little while to realize that no matter how motivated I might feel, a list that had 100 things on it wasn’t going to happen in a 24 hour period. When I started cutting down my to-do list into something manageable, I didn’t feel so overwhelmed. In fact, knowing that the list was more than possible helped me get more done and feel more motivated.
11. Post Your Goal Publicly
Have a goal that you can’t get motivated to start on? Let someone else help you. I know I said skip social media, but in this case, posting your goal publicly to friends and family is incredibly useful in helping you stay motivated. Having those side-line cheerleaders gives you that extra boost you need to stay on track with your goals, even on days when you may not feel like it. In one study, people trying to lose weight actually lost almost one pound more per week just by posting their goal and progress publicly.
12. Get More Sleep
I’ve noticed something in life – sleep and exercise are tied to so many positive things. Both make you feel better, be more productive and surprise – feel more motivated. If you’re not getting enough sleep, this could be what’s causing you to feel unmotivated. If you can’t get enough at night, take short naps during the day. It’s not quite as effective as a full night’s sleep, but it will help.
13. Plan A Major Night Out
Forget whatever it was you needed to do and plan a big night out instead. Being in a social setting gets you out of your own head. I know how it is to lose motivation because of my own self-doubt and fear. Being around friends helps. Plus, having something to look forward to is sometimes enough to motivate you.
My name is Jess Brighton, a Minneapolis based Life, Adversity and Reinvention Coach. Learn more about me and my coaching services by visiting www.jessicabrighton.com.
If you have a question about this or another topic email me at email@example.com to schedule your complimentary 30 minute strategy session.
Image: Xavier Sotomayor