How To Get Motivated When You Have No Motivation

This blog is a direct response to an email request that I got...

Hi Lisa,

I’d love to see something about getting your motivation back up when you’re super tired or stressed. I have a newborn at home as well as a three-year-old and some days it’s hard to get that motivation flowing so I can be there for them as well as take time out for me.

Thanks, Bridget

There are days where motivation is plentiful. You’re not sure why or how, but you feel motivated and it’s so much easier to get your workout in, to eat the salad to get the work done. But there are other days, when your motivation is completely depleted. You feel empty, tired, stressed ____(fill in the blank)____. And then it’s plain hard to muster up the energy to make progress in any area.

First off, give yourself a break. NO ONE is motivated all the time. We all have down days. And if you are a mom with babies and toddlers, then it’s like an actual drain of motivation from your body.

But if you don’t want to throw in the towel, then here are 10 tips to getting motivated when you have no motivation.

  1. Do something. A body in motion stays in motion. Whatever your goal is, do something towards it. If your goal is to go running, then put your workout clothes on. If your goal is to write a book, then write a paragraph. Your brain likes a win. So even taking a small step towards that win will get that body in motion. Just create some small action towards your goal. If once in motion, you still don’t feel motivated, then feel free to stop.

  2. Find inspiration. Listen to an audio book or podcast. Read something that motivates you. A book, a blog, etc. Basically, it’s like getting a coach in your ear. You get what you focus on. So if you listen or learn somehow each day, it will pump you up and motivate you towards change. Your brain believes what you feed it so feed it with something good!

  3. Get support. Needing to workout? Get a workout partner or sign up for a class so they are expecting to see you. This works even if it’s a solo project like writing a book. Choose someone to read your copy and tell them the dates to expect your writing. Or join a facebook group or a club for whatever it is that you want accountability with. There are groups for just about everything from running to business, from podcasts to weight loss. Peer groups and mentor groups are a great way to keep your motivation buzzing strong!

  4. Set up your environment. Music is amazing for motivation. Play some favorite music to get you pumped up. Put out your workout clothes. Set up your desk so it’s clear and ready to work. Clear out the clutter that may be distracting you from your goal. Light a candle or put on some aromatherapy. Your environment can ignite the energy you are looking for.

  5. Stop complaining. You think you have obstacles. Please, look at people who have overcome real adversity. From disabilities to incredible hardships. There are people out there who overcome such huge obstacles. See yours as small potatoes compared to those. Throw out your excuses. Stop whining and just start. Kick yourself in the ass a bit! You’re a badass so act like it!

  6. Turn off the distractions. That’s right. Turn off the tv, close Facebook, instant messaging, your phone. If you want to get something done, stop letting squirrels grab your attention. Your brain gets tired every time it has to deal with a distraction. So when you limit your distractions, you expand your motivation. Your goal deserves your focus!

  7. Make it routine. How can you make your goal part of your routine? For instance if you are wanting to start running, make it your routine to put your clothes out at night. If you are wanting to write each morning, have your desk cleared and your journal and favorite pen out. If you have to make a decision about whether to do XYZ, you are less likely to do it.

  8. Use a mantra or powerful quote. Advertise to yourself. Put it as the home screen on your computer and your phone. Put it on the back of your medicine cabinet or bathroom door. Find something the inspires you and encourages you to move forward. It should totally pump you up about the thing you want to move towards.

  9. Exercise. Now this one might sound funny if you are trying to get motivated to exercise. But movement is motivational. It will get your endorphins running and help you move towards just about any goal. So no matter what your goal is, please do exercise.

  10. ) Think about the end result. Really, get a picture of it. How will it feel to accomplish this goal. What will it look like? What are the benefits to your life? The more you feel it, the more it will draw you towards action. Make it so powerful and so positive that not moving towards your goal would be painful.

Remember, none of us are motivated all of the time. I’m sure even Tony Robbins has an off day. The thing is that I know he takes rest and days off on purpose which will also help manifest your motivation. Respect ebbs and flows of life. If you have been pedal to the metal,  give yourself time to recover and recharge.

Side note...Also, consider that maybe you aren’t motivated because your goal isn’t that important to you. I mean maybe you want to run that race or lose that weight but you don’t really want it bad enough to do the work.. If that’s the case, re-sort. No reason to waste your life feeling bad about not doing something that really isn’t that important.

By the way, all of these tips work for kids too. Think about them next time your son doesn’t want to do his homework. Or your daughter doesn’t want to go to practice.

Please do share what YOU do to pump up your motivation!