8 Ways to Overcome a Lack of Motivation

By Preston Roach

Are you sitting there staring at your phone right now? You know you’re supposed to be doing something productive, but you can’t find the motivation so you’re googling it to see if other people have the same problem and what they have done to fix it.

I get it. Motivation is a crazy thing that comes and goes as if it has a life of its own. Once you find it, nothing can stop you. Once you lose motivation, you just want to scroll through Instagram for 30 minutes until your newsfeed runs out of new stuff.

So how do you capture that magical feeling? Where do you turn when the motivation is so far gone from your soul that you can’t picture putting any effort towards anything?

I developed this list of 8 ways to help you to overcome a lack of motivation. You may have seen some of these before, but they’ve all helped me at one point or another to get something done that I really didn’t want to.

1. Understand why you are doing what you’re doing.
Take a look at your foundation. What is internally driving you to be great? Have you developed your whys?
If you haven’t taken the time to know the reason why you are working towards your goals, then it’s going to be really hard to get anything meaningful done. We aren’t designed to stay motivated all the time.
We have ups and downs. Our emotions are powerful and they can knock us off course if we let them. Our emotions will tell us to stop sometimes, but that’s why we have to use our brain to overaacome those emotions and keep pushing.

2. Eat the elephant
Sometimes we are scared to start something because we know how big of a task it is.
Break it down into bite sized chunks as if you were eating an elephant. Just take it one bite at a time. If you look at the size of the thing, you will never believe that you can get it done.
Take your task and turn it into easy to accomplish steps. It shouldn’t take too much effort to break it down into manageable tasks.

3. Turn to your inner fire
You turn to yourself. You know there’s something deep inside of you that is going to carry you to great things, but you are just lacking motivation right now.
Dig deep and uncover that internal hunger for more. It’s in there somewhere, you just have to find it.
Don’t let this momentary lack of motivation knock you off the path that you are on. Because you know how easy it is to turn this single day of wanting to be lazy into a week of being lazy and then a month of being lazy.
Push yourself to be the person that you are really wanting to be.

4. Check your mindset
Why are you lacking motivation right now? Is it because you are worried about failing whatever task it is that you really should be doing?
Failure is OK. It’s important to understand that. You need to have a growth mindset if you want to turn yourself into the person that you’re dying to become.
Being afraid of failure is natural for us. We don’t want to look stupid in front of people. We don’t want people to think less of us.
But what do you think of yourself? You’ll feel better for trying and failing than you will for sitting there and doing nothing. Turn yourself into a person who tackles every task with courage.

5. Quit avoiding things
The more you avoid, the more you will continue to avoid. It’s a learned habit. This goes back to number 4 and your mindset. If you’ve been avoiding certain things in your life, then you will tend to avoid other things as well.
It doesn’t matter how important the task at hand is. It could be life altering or just scheduling your day. If you avoid one thing then you’re likely to avoid others.
Tackle the task that you’ve been putting off for the longest time. Tackle it right now. It’s going to give you the momentum and motivation to take you through to the next task.

6. Be proactive when dealing with change
How many times have you caught yourself dealing with change by just putting it off? You really aren’t sure how to deal with it, so you just do nothing, and then before you know it you are overwhelmed by the change which totally kills any motivation you might have had.
One of the best tips I have ever received was to be proactive. Jocko Willink calls it “default aggressive.” The more aggressive and proactive you are, the less things will take you by surprise.
Change is something that we all have to deal with at different times in our lives. There are 6 categories in your life that should be on the top of your mind, and any one of them can throw you off if there’s major change.

7. Keep your goals in mind
It’s really easy to be motivated to create goals. It’s fun. There’s something about it that just makes it really attractive to do.
But when it comes to follow through on those goals, sometimes we fail because we aren’t motivated. That’s when your time creating goals will really help you push through. You can look back at your goals and get yourself up and moving.
You can make short term goals and long term goals. Then refer back to them any time you need an extra boost.

8. Have discipline with your time
We all have a finite amount of time left on this earth, and we’re not getting any more of it. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. You can never get more time.
Time management is one of the most important skills to develop. Even if you lack motivation, if something is on your calendar then you just do it. You’ll feel better for having it done.
Learn to value your time. We all waste too much time doing the things that we are “motivated” to do like scrolling through our social media or binge watching Netflix, but we lack motivation when it comes to the things that we know we need to do.
Discipline helps with so much more than being productive. It helps you build confidence and turn yourself into the person that you were meant to be.

Wrapping it up
Motivation is not always going to be there, but you still have to do the things that you need to do. That’s why we all need to have our own ways to overcome a lack of motivation.
These 8 ways to overcome a lack of motivation have helped me personally to make it through tough times. Do you have any ideas to add? Let me know in the comments below!

Preston is a personal finance, self improvement, and mental health blogger. His passion is to help others make choices that will help them be more fulfilled, happier, healthier, and educated about money. He strives to write with honesty and integrity. His hobbies include reading, writing, traveling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and spending time with his wife and dogs.
Contact Preston at progressninja.com