You started the year with big goals and big energy. But by now, some of that excitement and enthusiasm have started to fade. You might have even started to abandon some of your goals already. It’s easy to stay motivated when your goals are fresh and new. But figuring out how to maintain your motivation is the real challenge. And it’s tough to come by when the shine of the new year has worn off, and you do not see the results you desire.
Why aren’t you motivated?
Many things can cause a lack of motivation. Some of the underlying thoughts and feelings that are causing you to feel unmotivated could be…
- Procrastination. Feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, and perfectionism can make you avoid challenging tasks.
- Self-doubt. When you think you don’t have the skills or knowledge to complete the task, you are more likely to struggle to get started.
- Fear. Worrying about what others will think or what will happen if you complete the task can stop you from moving forward.
- Lack of commitment. If you don’t have any enthusiasm for what you are trying to do or feel obligated to do it, you are less likely to keep at it.
- Mental health challenges. Lack of motivation can be a symptom of a mental health issue like depression or anxiety.
Once you consider why you are struggling to stay motivated, you can develop a plan to address them.
Getting (and Staying) Motivated
Everyone is motivated by different things. What works for me may not work for you. Figuring out what motivates you can mean the difference between moving toward your goals or remaining stagnant. Here are a few tips to help you get unstuck and find your motivation.
Know your why
Being clear on the purpose behind the goal you want to achieve is key to maintaining your motivation. It will drive you to keep going when things get tough, and you want to quit. Take a minute to write down your reasons for wanting to achieve your goal. Keep it where you can see it every day and use it as a visual reminder of what success will feel like when you reach your goal.
Follow a routine
One way to combat a lack of motivation is to set a schedule and stick to it. The less motivated you are, the more structure you need. Having a daily routine makes you feel centered and in control. Choosing behaviors and developing habits that automate your day-to-day activities will help you remain consistent and focused. You’ll get so much more accomplished and feel better while doing it.
Clear your space
When you lack motivation, you may find that you simply need to declutter! This may involve cleaning your desk or completely clearing your mind of negative thoughts. Some people thrive in chaos, but most of us work better when our minds and our spaces are free of clutter. Relax for a few hours, clean off your desk, straighten up your space, then come back to the task at hand.
Repeat motivational affirmations
Motivational affirmations can help you shift your thoughts to see yourself, your life, and your goals in a more positive light. Incorporating them into your daily life can increase your motivation in times of self-doubt or procrastination. When you redirect your focus toward things you are confident about, it will improve your mental health and help you maintain the right mindset to achieve your goals. Here are a few affirmations you can repeat for an extra dose of motivation.
- I use obstacles to motivate me to learn and grow
- I finish what matters and let go of what does not
- Today will be a productive day
- I am intelligent and focused
- My ability to conquer my challenges is limitless, and my potential to succeed is infinite
Focus on short term goals
When you set long-term goals, it’s hard to see the finish line. If you have a goal that will take a while to accomplish, you’ll probably run out of gas before you reach it. Break down your long-term goals into smaller actionable tasks that are more easily attainable. This will help you stay motivated, increase your productivity, and reach your goal even sooner than expected.
Write down each of your goals, then make a list of everything you need to do to achieve them. Once the list is complete, be sure to set milestones to review your progress and adjust when needed to ensure your success.
Get an accountability partner
Sharing your goals with others can increase your level of commitment. Find someone who has the motivational qualities you desire for yourself. Connect with a family member, friend, colleague, or someone special in your life who has accomplished what you are trying to achieve or can be your cheerleader when you lack motivation. Having a solid support system will boost your confidence and provide knowledge, perspective, and feedback along the way.
Just feeling proud and pleased with your progress can be a form of reward. But having something to look forward to can boost your motivation and make it easier to follow through with your tasks. Rewarding yourself with a treat as you hit milestones or achieve a specific goal is a great way to celebrate your progress. The reward doesn’t have to be big or expensive to make a difference, but it should be something that truly motivates you.
Relaxation can also help you get moving, as strange as it may seem. Many people find that creativity and inspiration go out the window when they are stressed out or under immense pressure. This is also true if you lack sleep or are working long hours without a break.
Take a mental vacation if you find that high amounts of stress are zapping you of your motivation. Go shopping, read a book, or go for a walk. Taking a break may seem like the wrong thing to do, but your inspiration will likely come back when the pressure is gone.
When it comes to getting things accomplished, motivation can be hard to come by. Especially when things take longer than we like or think they should. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It happens. Once you figure out how to maintain your motivation, you’ll get on track, stay focused, and achieve your goals.