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Lost your motivation? Here are 17 things you can do about it.




A man sitting in front of his laptop looking tired and unmotivated.
A man sitting at his laptop looking tired and unmotivated.

“One day I was thinking and I realized that if I just had someone behind me to motivate me, I could make a big difference. No one came around like that, so I just became that person for myself.

Staying motivated until you achieve your goals and dreams isn’t always easy.

There are often roadblocks, plateaus and valleys along the way where you can get into a dip. Or a rut.

And feeling like you’ve lost your motivation somewhere along the way.

That’s why today I’d like to share 17 tips, strategies and habits that I’ve used to regain that motivation.

I hope you will find something useful here.

1. Refocus on doing what YOU really love to do.

If you really enjoy doing something, the motivation to do it (usually) comes naturally. And if you really want something, it simply becomes easier to break through the inner resistance you feel.

So when you lose your motivation, ask yourself:

Am I doing what I really want to do?

If not, and if possible, refocus and start working on that very important thing instead.

2. Make a list of positives.

Write down all the benefits you get when you achieve something, such as getting in better shape or making more money.

Save it and take that list out of the drawer when your motivation is lacking again and look at it. Or put it somewhere where you will see it every day until you achieve your dream.

This is a powerful way to reconnect with your motivation and reasons for taking action.

3. Make a list of disadvantages.

You can combine this with the list of positives to give yourself even more motivation to get moving and get things done.

Ask yourself:

  • What will my life be like in 5 years if I stay on the same path I am now?
  • How is life likely to get worse for me and maybe even for the people around me?

Try to visualize the negative consequences as vividly as possible in your mind, so that your motivation to go for that positive change again gets a boost.

4. Spend 3 minutes remembering your successes.

When you lose your motivation, you can easily get stuck looking at your failures and stay stuck in that slump.

So instead, sit for three minutes and remember only your successes. Let them wash over you and refuel your inspiration and motivation.

5. Go for a bigger purpose.

Set a big goal that inspires you, even though it may seem a little unrealistic at the moment.

If you have goals that are too easily achievable, you will find that they don’t give you that motivational spark and drive. When you start thinking a little bigger, you get motivated and your mind starts looking for the solutions that will help you achieve that goal.

Thinking too small can leave you feeling “meh…” or feeling like you can do it later.

6. Or go for a small or small goal.

If having a medium goal doesn’t feel too inspiring and a larger goal feels overwhelming, try setting a smaller goal. Or even just a little one.

A smaller goal could be to exercise for just 15 minutes today or spend 5 minutes working on your essay for school.

And a small thing – if the little one leads to procrastination – could be, for example, to simply exercise for 1-2 minutes.

When you’re standing still, the most important thing is to get moving and build some momentum forward. So do this first with one or a few small steps, if that works for you at the moment.

7. Remember how far you’ve come and compare yourself to yourself.

Comparing what you have and your results to what other people have and have achieved can really undermine your motivation.

There are always people in front of you.

So focus on you. On your results. And how you can and have improved your life and results.

This is important because it is a great motivator to see how much you have improved and how far you have come. You can often be pleasantly surprised when you do such a review.

8. Reconnect with optimism.

How you perceive what you are doing or going to do makes a big difference.

The positive and constructive way of looking at things gives you energy and inspiration. It makes it easier to keep going even when you hit roadblocks.

So ask yourself questions like:

  • What’s one thing that’s great about this situation?
  • What can I learn from this and what is an opportunity in this situation?
  • How can I or we solve this and what is the next small step I or we can take to get started?

9. Exercise.

I like this one because even if you’re feeling too frustrated and down to ask yourself the right questions, you can still drag yourself to the gym or wherever you exercise.

And if you just do your pretty mindless repetitions, your body will do the rest.

Endorphins and other chemicals are released. Inner tensions will release and leave your body.

Your negative emotional pattern will be broken. And new energy is added to your body.

10. Talk about it.

Sometimes you just need to get it out there and talk to someone about your motivational low point. Letting go of everything can release a lot of pent-up emotion and give you a new, more positive, and healthier outlook on things.

We often turn our own small or medium problems into big scary monsters in our minds.

By letting the monsters into the light and letting others see them, we can realize that we were making too big of a deal out of it.

It allows us to lighten up a bit, not take things too seriously and move forward and find the lost motivation again.

So talk to a friend or family member. Or try an anonymous internet forum with like-minded people.

11. Don’t forget to have fun.

It’s easy to get caught up in the seriousness of a task and the stress and tension that comes with completing it.

So remember that you can have fun while you’re doing it.

There is no rule that says you always have to take it seriously.

Whenever you can, enjoy a task. Compete with yourself to finish it even faster than the last time, whistle a nice tune while you work or have fun and joke with your colleagues and classmates.

12. Start exercising and let the motivation overtake you.

Often I have found it better to just do it and start working instead of motivating myself to get started.

In the beginning, what you do can really suck and be difficult. But after a while, inspiration and motivation seem to catch up with you.

Things will be easier and your work will be of higher quality.

13. Get accountability from one or a few people in your life.

Putting your goal, dream or new habit you’re working on out into the world can make a big difference to your motivation level.

So tell some friends on social media what you’re going to do. Or speak to one of them on the phone or in person and ask her to check on you and your progress regularly.

By putting a little social pressure on yourself and getting some follow-up once a week or twice a month, you’re less likely to give up at the first obstacle or try to back away from your commitment.

14. Let the motivation of others (near and far in the world) flow to you.

Spend more of your week with the people in your life who are enthusiastic, motivated, or optimistic.

And allow motivation from around the world into your daily life and mind through:

  • Listen to positive podcasts.
  • Visit uplifting websites.
  • Watching inspiring online videos or movies.
  • Exploring motivational books and biographies about the most successful people in history.

15. Have a little friendly competition.

Engage in a friendly competition with a colleague or school friend, for example, to see who can complete a boring or routine task first.

The winner can receive a free ice cream, fruit bowl or something else that is small, but a motivating reward from the other person.

16. Take a break.

Yes, sometimes you just need a break.

Maybe your time plan for your goal or new habit is just too optimistic?

Maybe you’ve worked harder than you can handle right now. Then take a break.

A few hours or days of rest and recovery can change how you feel and recharge your batteries in a remarkable way.

17. Go into nature.

There are few things in life that give me as much new motivation and energy as being in nature.

That’s why I often go for walks in the nearby forest and concentrate on taking in all the sights and smells and breathing in the fresh air without thinking about anything in particular.