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December 16, 2014
by Marti Wormuth, MA

How do I Motivate Myself When I Don't Feel Motivated?

December 16, 2014 04:55 by Marti Wormuth, MA  [About the Author]

We've all been there before. Times where we've felt like we can't even get out of bed, let alone do the things that we have to or want to do throughout the day. Motivation is hard sometimes, and trying to get ourselves motivated can be incredibly difficult if we aren't sure exactly where to start. But why do we have such a hard time getting motivated sometimes? What can we do in order to make sure that we are able to get on our feet and start our day in an effective manner? That's what we're going to look at today. 

Why Do We Have Difficulty in Getting Motivated?

This is a really difficult question to answer, because the reasons are different for everyone that is struggling with their motivation. First off, it's important to realize that there is a distinction between having a lack of motivation and losing the motivation that you actually have. By understanding this difference, you will be better able to understand exactly what you have to do in order to get back on your feet and get motivated once again. Either way, the tips in the next section will help you to get motivated, no matter what the core reason is. But know this - even if people try to tell you that you are "lazy," you cannot get that stuck into your head. This will just lead to deeper issues that you may not be able to get past because you start taking it in as part of your identity. 

If you don't have any motivation at all, there are a lot of reasons that this could be. Some people say that it is a personality trait, and that some people are just "less motivated" to go forward in their lives than other people may be. Others say that it is related to health conditions - if you feel too tired or you have some sort of disorder that affects your mental or emotional wellbeing, you may have a hard time getting motivated to do anything and everything that you want to do. 

If you have lost your motivation, there are a lot of reasons that this can happen. Sometimes, we're just exhausted and we can't push ourselves to be motivated to do something because we've been fighting so hard for so long. In other cases, an event may have happened in our life that discourages us and makes it difficult for us to push forward and start overcoming the negative feelings that are holding us back. In other cases, we may have had a failure or a loss that occurred, which made us lose our drive and our ability to push forward. 

In both of these cases, there are ways that you can find your motivation again, even if you didn't have it in the first place. Not all is lost, and that is perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind as we get started on this journey toward motivation and living the life that you want to live. 

What Can We Do to Get More Motivated? 

As with the question above, there is no one easy answer for how to fix your motivation. It all depends on you and how you react to certain types of stimuli. The good news is, there are some things that help a lot of people when it comes to motivation, and if you are looking to get more motivated, at least some of these suggestions will help you get off of the couch and get started with whatever goals that you may be trying to achieve in your life. Check them out and try them for yourself to see what works. 

Start to plan out whatever goals that you may be considering in the future. Even if you don't feel like you can start to move toward the goals that you have, sit down and start planning them out. This in itself can motivate you and help you to move forward in whatever you are trying to do in your life. Planning can also help you to get excited, because seeing your ideas and your goals down on paper can help you to realize how simple (or not simple) the task can be and what you need to do in order to start moving in the right direction in order to achieve those goals effectively. 

Make a public commitment to do whatever it is you may be trying to do in your life. Telling people what you plan on doing, even if it is something as simple as visiting someone that you haven't seen in years, can help with your motivation. It can help you because people will hold you accountable and ask you how it is going, and you may also realize that there are a lot of people who are behind you and want to help push you toward the goals that you may have. If you make public proclamations (I've found social media works awesome for this), you're more likely to actually follow through with it and live out your motivation well. 

Look for the support of other people if you feel like your motivation is starting to go away. Sometimes, things happen in our lives, and when we're working toward a goal, it can get hard to keep going. The friends and family in your life should want you to succeed (and if they don't, you may need to reevaluate who your friends are). That being said, if you need a little bit of a push or some encouragement so that you can keep moving forward with your aspirations, go ahead and ask for it. You may find a number of cheerleaders that are ready and willing to help push you toward the goals that you are looking to achieve. 

Make sure that you are the master over your thoughts; don't allow the negative ones to sneak in there at all. This is so hard, I know, because I struggle with it at times too. If you are the master over your thoughts and you have an idea of what is going on with them, you're going to be more likely to think positive thoughts, which will help to motivate you more. If you just let your thoughts run rampant, negative thoughts are going to sneak in there and you may become less motivated. So give yourself as much positive self talk as you possibly can and build up your confidence instead of letting your ego start tearing it down. 

Remember that it takes many steps to take a lifelong journey, so be sure that you start small. Some people have these huge ideas in their head, and that's great, but many times those huge ideas don't become a reality because people get discouraged at the small steps that they have to take. So, instead of allowing that to get you down, focus on the fact that every step - even the small ones - are there to help you work toward your goals and achieve what you are looking to achieve. Every single step counts, and every one is a victory. With that point of view, you're more likely to stay motivated and follow through with your plans. 

Don't give up if your motivation seems to be doing poorly for a day or two. Sometimes, our motivation absolutely sucks, and that's okay. We can't always get ourselves to do what we need to do. So it's okay to take a day off and relax, and allow your motivation to recoup a bit. That's definitely not a failure - it's actually a victory, because then you are fully aware that you are able to pick up again when you have the energy and the strength to do so. Don't let those "days off" discourage you from moving forward with the goals and dreams that you have. Instead, let them re-energize you so that you are better able to move forward with them in the future. 

Sometimes, a lack of motivation could be a sign of a deeper problem that you are trying to deal with - and that's okay. A lack of motivation can be related to anxiety, depression, and other emotional imbalances that cause us to have difficulty in getting through our everyday lives. If this seems to be your problem, there are lots of ways that you can get the help that you need. A therapist can help you work through these problems and learn how to help yourself become motivated again. So get up off your feet and get started on your journey toward motivation and overall well being. 


Babauta, L. (2007, August 30). Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump. Retrieved July 14, 2014, from

Brown University. (n.d.). Motivation: Lost or Just Misplaced? Retrieved July 14, 2014, from

Edberg, H. (2007). 25 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself. Retrieved July 14, 2014, from

Learning Fundamentals. (2013, December 21). How to motivate yourself at anytime. Retrieved July 14, 2014, from

Smith, R. D. (2014, April 15). How to Motivate Yourself to Do Anything. Retrieved July 14, 2014, from

About the Author

Marti Wormuth, MA Marti Wormuth, MA

Marti has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Master’s in Communication Studies. Her favorite activities include reading, playing games, and hanging out with the students at her church. Marti volunteers with the youth ministry at her church as a teacher and mentor. Because of this, she recently started another degree, her graduate certificate in student ministries. She considers her current graduate work to be a stepping stone to becoming a youth pastor or a published author.

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