Are you a person who is always too quiet when everyone else is excited about going on a trip? Or, do you find yourself reactive instead of being proactive? You could be experiencing no motivation. You know, that drive to push you into doing anything. When you are motivated, you set your goals and pursue them. You perform better at work and home, grow as an individual, and live with a sense of purpose. Let’s explore how we gain, lose, and regain motivation.
What Motivates You?
Mark Twain, the great American writer once said, the secret to getting ahead is getting started. You only get started if you have a strong desire to make the first step and push until the end.
Often people mistake ‘no motivation to do anything’ for laziness. Laziness shows an unwillingness to work towards a task that you must do. In contrast, an unmotivated person does not care about the task that needs to be done. You see no value in it. So, what do you value?
When you find purpose in the things you do:
- Your behavior changes, and how you relate with others.
- You develop competencies like leadership, teamwork, and results-orientation, necessary for success.
- Your creative side begins to show.
- You grow your talent.
- You will set goals, make plans, and stay engaged to accomplish them.
Motivated people have a ripple effect on those around them. That’s how coaches can lead athletes to win gold in the Olympics. Or parents who raise children that improve their grades to achieve their full potential.
Why Do You Lack Motivation?
Do you struggle with low motivation? Here are some common reasons why you could be feeling that way.
1- The ‘WHY’ Is Not Strong Enough
Whether you set goals or do a task as part of your job, if you cannot justify why you should stay committed to the stretch, you will struggle to the end. That’s how people find themselves cutting corners in the workplace.
Do you want to sign up for a new task? Ask yourself what you want to accomplish. For example, enroll for a new course, with a clear objective of what the additional skills will do for you. Will it be worth your time and effort? If your “WHY” is strong enough, go ahead and do it. If not, don’t do it. It is okay to turn down a job offer when it adds no meaningful value to your career. If you accept it for its pay, you will end up being a disengaged employee.
2- Your Goal is Unrealistic
Often, we want to push our abilities to the limits by setting ambitious goals. But, there is a thin line between an ambitious goal and an overwhelming one.
Anytime you set a goal and make you feel like you are about to tackle a monster, get back to the drawing board. A good thing to do is to start from a point where you are comfortable. Then, scale up your goals as you tick off your milestones.
3- Your Goal is Too Small
Are your goals too easy to accomplish? They will not inspire you to push yourself to your limits. Goals that are too small give you the false impression that you don’t need to overexert yourself. Yet, motivation is about getting out of your comfort zone, so having a big goal that is achievable is important.
- If the goal does not excite you, chances are it is too small
- Be specific on what you want
- Set the goal, then double or triple it to make it challenging
- Aim for a big goal that is doable, not an impossible goal
- Handle one goal at a time
4- You Doubt Yourself
Do you struggle with an inner voice that tells you, you can’t make it? That’s self-doubt right there. Self-doubt shows your lack of confidence. You worry about what might go wrong or get out of control. A motivated person normally has a lot of energy and confidence in themselves.
To build your self-confidence:
- Know yourself – What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Think and act positively – Read books on positivity and personal development, meditate, surround yourself with positive people.
- Work on your self-image – Groom yourself, dress to impress, exercise, practice clean eating
- Replace negative thoughts with positive ones – Reprogram your subconscious mind through positive affirmations and self-hypnosis.
What are your fears? Did you know that some of us not only fear the unknown, we fear to succeed? Fear results in procrastination, having too much anxiety, resisting any change, and worrying about what others think of you.
To overcome fear:
- Put your goals in writing
- To get over procrastination, find an accountability partner
- Visualize your success
- Celebrate your milestones
- Be grateful for the small wins
- Let go of your negative past
6- You Are Too Tired
Working when exhausted is an almost impossible task. The same applies when we have burnout from juggling family, work, and school. These three areas can drain all your mental and physical energy.
To re-energize yourself:
- Rest, exercise, eat healthy foods
- Have quality uninterrupted and enough sleep each night
- Avoid or reduce the stressors in your lifestyle
- Aim for a work-life balance
7- You Have Health Challenges
How fit are you? Do you have a medical condition that makes you feel tired or sluggish? Are you on strong medication that impairs your vision or movement? Only a healthy body can maintain the drive to do something.
- Go for regular medical checkups
- Limit stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol in your diet
- Give yourself time to heal
- Finish the medication prescribed
- Be mindful
8- You Are Not Patient Enough
Staying motivated requires patience. If you are the kind of person who gets discouraged after failing on the first attempt, or if the task takes longer than expected, you will give up too soon.
- Know that great things take time
- Anticipate the things that get you impatient and force yourself to wait
- Practice deep breathing
- Accept to be uncomfortable sometimes
9- Your Bad Habits Are Getting in The Way
Your habits trigger your behavior so having better habits is very beneficial. In turn, your action can excite or dishearten with you. A bad habit like wanting to be perfect, comparing your achievements to others, and never forgiving yourself when you make a mistake, can make you have no motivation to do anything.
- Know that perfection is unreachable
- Aim to be happy
- Detox your social media presence and accept how far you’ve come
- Look at your mistakes as learning experiences
- Read, think, network to come up with new ideas
- Go through this every single day, always reminding yourself so you are aware of your bad habits
10- Poor Time Management Skills
Finally, poor time management skills will leave you demotivated. Do you have a plan? What are your priorities? How long will it take you to accomplish your tasks?
- Avoid distractions from social media, TV, and unnecessary meet-ups
- Always work with specific goals and timelines
- Get in the habit of working in manageable chunks
- Focus on important things
- Pick what you want to do and do it well
Do you have an online support group you can join? Use it to get motivated by other like-minded people. Use such forums to share your wins and losses. Start now and always remember that an unmotivated person is no good for anybody, so that is why it’s so important to always be aware of your situation, and work on whatever you need to keep yourself motivated.