Even the most motivated people can feel very unmotivated and need some help to find your motivation. Sometimes we feel so unmotivated, even the simplest of tasks and chores seem impossible to start. It happens quite often for me. In fact, I felt unmotivated to work on this blog post several times while writing it!
But don’t worry – there is hope. With just a few small steps and changes in your thinking, you can work your way through a lack of motivation, and come out on the other side to find your motivation and be productive again.
Most of us base our motivation to do something on the excitement we feel. When something is new to us, we have a lot of excitement for it. As the excitement fades, so does our motivation to do it. When we are faced with a daunting project or task, feeling very overwhelmed can also make us lose any excitement we may have had very quickly.
We think that we need motivation in order to do something or work on a project. The truth is, this view of motivation is the exact opposite of how we should view it.
Once you get started and make a little progress, you feel much better and the motivation starts to hit. Then it becomes much easier to keep going. Before you know it, you have completed more of the project than you initially intended!
Ok, but how the heck do we make progress without having motivation first? Well, I am glad you asked.
The 7 Steps to Find Your Motivation
- Break it down
- Remove obstacles
- Join a group
- Track your progress
- Reward yourself
- Take a break
- Get plenty of sleep
Break it Down
“There are no big problems, there are just a lot of little problems.”Henry Ford
One of the best ways to get started on a project or goal and make some progress is to break it down into really small steps. I mean, really small. Once you do this it becomes much easier and far less daunting to get started.
For example, if you are trying to write a new blog post the steps might be; pick a topic, write a working title, write the first couple sentences of the intro.
Maybe you are trying to go to the gym more often. These small steps might be; put on your gym clothes and shoes, drive to the gym, do a quick warm-up.
Focusing on completing one step at a time will make each project or goal much less daunting and will help build your forward momentum.
If you are still struggling to get started, break the first step down even more. Keep breaking it down into smaller and smaller steps until you can consistently start on each step.
“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”Barack Obama
By removing as many obstacles as you can, you are making the process of starting the projects and continuing to work on them much easier.
Many of you are trying to work on a side hustle project at home. I know I am! Take a look at what’s in your way of beginning – physically.
This might mean keeping a clean and organized workspace, including the files and applications on your computer. This also might mean finding a quiet place to work free of distractions. It is also a great idea to create a schedule or routine to help take the guesswork and decision making out of getting started on the project or goal.
This can also be mental obstetrical such as the fear of you or your work being judged by others or the fear of failure. Don’t let the fear of judgement kill your dreams.
Don’t underestimate the simple steps to remove obstacles – they often create great progress.
Join A Group
“Why won’t those stupid idiots let me in their crappy club for jerks?”Homer Simpson (Stone Cutters)
Connecting and networking with other people can make achieving your goals much easier. You can help each other with problems and roadblocks. You can also help keep each other accountable to your goals.
There are many ways to connect with people that have similar interests and goals. One popular way is through social media. You can join Facebook groups, or find people on Twitter and create lists of them to follow.
Another way is to find groups of people that meet in person. An easy way to do this is by using a website called Meetup.com.
Build on each others’ energy and excitement, and help each other overcome problems and obstacles.
Track Your Progress
“Progress is not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.”Khalil Gibran
Depending on what your goal is, it may be difficult to see progress if you don’t specifically track it.
When you see progress being made, you feel more motivated to keep going. For example, if you’re trying to meet fitness goals, you should track your body weight, your measurements, and/or the number of reps performed during the workout.
If you are trying to get a blog up and running, review some of your old posts to see how much your writing has improved, and keep track of page views and engagement.
By tracking your progress, you can see that you really are moving forward – even if it doesn’t seem like it sometimes. Quantifying your progress can go a long way towards gaining and keeping your motivation to achieve our goals.
Having something to look forward to after each step makes pushing through the tough spots a bit easier.Scott Winterbourne
Come up with various rewards that you can give yourself after completing each step of your goal or project. Some possible rewards for you could be playing your favorite video game or watching an episode of your favorite TV show.
For a lot more ideas about how to reward yourself, visit 155 Ways to Reward Yourself for Completing a Goal or Task.
In order for this method to really work, you do need to make sure you only reward yourself AFTER you have completed the steps/tasks that you promised yourself you would complete. Otherwise, the “reward” becomes another excuse to not work on your projects.
You will also want to make sure that the reward you decide to use does not completely negate the progress you’re making with the project or goal.
Take a Break
“Taking a break can lead to breakthroughs.”Russell Eric Dobda
We all need a break. Whether it’s a short break like taking a walk during the day to clear your mind or a long break like taking a couple of days off of the project after reaching a large milestone, breaks fall into the category of “self-care”. Don’t look at them as “being lazy” or “slacking”. They are critical to your success.
A new project can come with a lot of excitement. It’s great to take advantage of the excitement while we have it. However, building breaks into your schedule upfront can help keep a clear mind and help prevent rapid burn out.
Taking breaks can also help us reflect on our progress or solve issues that we are facing to help keep us moving forward.
And, you may also want to use breaks as part of your reward system. These steps work best when applied in tandem with one another.
Get Plenty of Sleep
“There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.”Homer, The Odyssey
This may sound obvious, but so many of us get caught up in the daily grind and just get used to feeling sleepy all the time. We need a reminder every now and then that sleep is very important for our body and our minds.
I don’t know about you but I sure as heck don’t feel like doing anything when I’m really tired! By carving out a little time to get some much needed extra sleep, you can greatly improve your motivation to start or to work on those projects and goals.
Give each one of these motivation techniques a real try and then decide which ones work best for you.
It may seem impossible to get over the lack of motivation. I get it, I have been there. I promise, if you seriously follow the steps laid out in this post, you will view motivation in a very different way.