Even when life’s demands seem challenging, there are easy activities that can boost your mood and get you back in the game.
Motivation: Sometimes, it comes to you easily, and other times it can seem completely out of reach.
Feeling motivated to complete a task or check an extra item off the to-do list can be very satisfying. But when you can’t find the motivation to get up and go, it can feel like you’re in a slump that you just can’t climb out of.
You might let chores pile up, push deadlines to their limits, or find just enough effort to get through things that you’d typically enjoy.
Feeling unmotivated can be a challenge, but slumps and ruts don’t have to last forever. Easy, daily tips can boost your motivation and get you back to feeling like you’re ready to take on the world.
Motivation is the desire or drive to accomplish a goal, change a behavior, or complete a task. When you feel motivated, you typically prioritize actions and behaviors that lead you to complete a goal.
People who are motivated:
- are often focused on their task
- can silence outside noise and distractions
- can overcome obstacles that might impede their ability to obtain the desired result
Motivation is personal and unique — what it looks like and how it is initiated are often specific to you. People can be motivated by all kinds of internal and external factors, like:
- changing their personal health plan
- supporting their family’s well-being
- a need to find their true calling or passion in life
Rewards and motivation
Research from 2018 shows that rewards also play a major role in motivation. The anticipation of the reward can sometimes be all the motivation that some people need to push a little harder, pick up that extra shift, or put in those extra few minutes at the gym.
These rewards can either be intrinsic, an internal sense of accomplishment or excitement, or extrinsic, an external reward like a long-awaited job offer or a cash prize, and both can motivate you to strive to do your best.
The trick is finding what motivates you specifically and how you can tap into that motivational impulse.
When you become overwhelmed at work or in your personal life, it can be easy to want to do just enough to make it through a task. But when we just exist and let the days and hours slip by us, we miss out on opportunities to learn, grow, and enjoy the blessings that this life provides.
If you want to say goodbye to your lack of motivation and find new ways to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, here are some quick lifestyle changes you can make today to help get you moving in the right direction.
You probably already know about the physical health benefits of routine exercise, like weight management, a decreased risk for high blood pressure and cholesterol, and increased strength and endurance. But exercise can also benefit your mental health, too.
Exercise releases endorphins that interact with the receptors in your brain that produce positive thoughts and boost your mood. It can be easier to become motivated and tackle what lies ahead when you’re on a natural endorphin high.
A little healthy competition can do wonders for sparking your motivation. It could be as simple as a quick pickup basketball game after work or playing an intense round of monopoly with your family.
Getting those competitive juices flowing will certainly increase your drive to win. And the more you win, the more likely (and motivated) you will be to come back to play again.
Disorganization at home or work can put a damper on your motivation. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed or procrastinate when:
- life feels scattered
- your home is messy
- you’re having trouble keeping deadlines in order
The larger the problem grows, the harder it can be for some to get motivated enough to start chipping away at their mountain of tasks.
So, if you have difficulty staying organized, consider starting a journal or daily planner. Not only can you use it to track your schedule and commitments, but it can also be a great way to hold yourself accountable for your self-care, too. If you find it hard to make time for yourself, schedule some “you” time in your planner and check it off the list when you’re done.
Nutrition and sleep
It’s no secret that poor sleep and inadequate nutrition can affect your energy and motivation throughout the day. When your body is functioning without adequate rest and nutrients, you can become lethargic and have trouble staying alert during the day.
If you are tired and feeling unmotivated, a good night’s rest and a nutritious breakfast might be just what you need to try tackling that task again in the morning.
Turning up the tunes
The driving beat of the bass or the thrilling riff of a guitar can help get you in the mood to get things done. Music can help motivate you to run that extra mile or better focus your thoughts to push through the last page of that essay.
Thankfully, due to the vast music libraries available for streaming, there are endless genres and playlists to explore and find out what kind of music works best to get you grooving and up on your feet.
Sometimes, you are the company that you keep. If you’re in a slump and trying your best to get out of it, consider the influences around you and what they are contributing to how you see yourself. If those around you don’t believe in your success or say things that shake your confidence, it may be time to consider a new support system.
By surrounding yourself with supportive doers and go-getters, you can build a support system of people that want to see you succeed and who will also celebrate your victories. It may even encourage you to draw inspiration from them and see what motivates them toward success.
If you’re losing motivation and just can’t seem to get things done, consider trying to identify why. Could it be that you feel low energy due to poor eating and sleeping habits? Is it because you’re not prioritizing exercise and feeling lethargic throughout the day? Are your tasks piling up, and you just don’t know where to start?
When it starts to feel like you can’t pull yourself out of a rut all by yourself, it is OK to ask for help. Look to family, a friend, or even a co-worker who can help take off some of the stress or share their advice on how they get through a rough patch.
Getting motivated often takes work. But if you’re stuck in a slump that you just can’t get out of it, it might be time to talk with a medical or mental health professional. Underlying conditions, like depression, can often curtail a person’s ability to complete daily tasks.
An unknown health condition may result in a lack of motivation, masking something else beneath the surface. If you feel that there could be something more going on, a phone call to your doctor might be in order. They can order the appropriate tests or refer you to a trained mental health care provider.
We all get stuck in a slump, get knocked down, or worry that we can’t recover our motivation and drive to succeed from time to time. For whatever reason, whether it be the daily demands of life or the anxiety that others don’t believe that you can succeed, a lack of motivation can impact your overall well-being.
But those negative thoughts are usually a false narrative that we tell ourselves, which works only to further keep us down and out.
The truth is, there are daily, actionable activities that can turn your lack of motivation into a desire for success, and asking for help, whether from a friend, family member, or a medical professional, can provide you with the extra support and guidance for getting back your motivation.