How many times have you sat around waiting for motivation to kick in? Spending time detracting yourself, until you felt that elusive spark of energy increase your desire to take action? When you have no motivation, how do you get motivated?
Let’s be honest, it could be day’s, weeks, months, (or in my case), years, before you find the motivation to start working towards the things you want to achieve. So much time stuck in your current situation, waiting for the stars to align and finally push you to take steps towards your goal.
There’s no doubt life can be hectic and it can feel like we have no control on what’s happening – let alone find the motivation to follow through on what we want to achieve personally. Lack of motivation could also be rooted in not knowing what you actually want. The overwhelm of having too many goals. Not knowing where to begin or even the plain fact of being exhausted!
Without being too general, there is nothing most of us can do to force ourselves to feel motivated. In fact, the surprising thing about motivation is that it often comes after starting something – not before.
If your energy levels are low, chances are you’ll find lots of excuses and distractions for little or no action on the things you want to achieve. However, by incorporating the simple steps below you can still get motivated even when you have no motivation.
HOW TO GET MOTIVATED WHEN YOU HAVE NO MOTIVATION
1. Be Clear on Your ‘Why’
Whatever your goal, you need to have an honest conversation with yourself about the reason you want it. Your ‘why’ has to be bigger than any of your current excuses for not getting started.
In 2018, I finally decided I could no longer live in continued debt. My ‘why’ was not; “be debt free and buy all things I wanted”. Even though that was (and still is), a big reason to change my financial situation. However, my biggest reason was stronger than the possession of material items. The financial ‘why’ which kick started my debt free journey, was my desire to sleep comfortably at night. I wanted to go to bed without the constant stress and worry of having enough funds in the bank for the payments due the next day. To sleep comfortably knowing I would not be greeted by letters demanding payments in the morning.
My financial ‘why’ was a stronger emotion than my desire or excuse to treat myself to another pair of shoes to feel better! When I’d find myself about to buy something I didn’t need, the thought of buyers remorse and nights filled with money worries was enough to step away from the till. Nearly three years later, I’ve paid off over £12k in debt and sleep so much better!
2. Make it Easy
Before you can get the motivation to attempt any goal or make steps to change a lifestyle habit, you have to acknowledge what your barriers to success are and organise your actions to eliminate those barriers.
I set goals so I am clear on what I want to achieve. However, it’s the systems I have in place which make it easier to avoid the barriers, take action and get motivated. Especially when I have no motivation! In fact, the only way I get anything done is by finding ways to make it easier to start. Take my physical health for example.
Do you really think each and every morning I want to exercise? Of course not. But over the years I have removed the barriers which allowed me to hit the snooze button and roll back over for a few more minutes. I know how easy it is to fall back into ‘comfort zone’ habits. So, although most morning I have no problem getting up early and moving my body, I have to ensure my old habits do not creep back in.
In order to move my body each day, the following rules will probably apply for the rest of my life;
Alarm clock placed far away – so I have to ‘get up’ to turn it off. After three years, the post-it note by the alarm clock still says, “Do you want it or not?” My work out clothes are laid out by my bed, in the exact way I would put them on. The work out routine of the day is scheduled on my phone. All barriers are eliminated – I have no excuses! Guess I might as well workout!
When you have no motivation to do the actions needed for your goal, eliminate all the barriers (which are actually excuses).This will enable you to take action, without the need to dig into your willpower reserves.
3. Break it down
The momentum of motivation only needs one tiny action to get started. If your idea, goal or task seems too difficult or big to achieve, break it down into small manageable actions to get the motivation you need to start.
It took me over nine months from the desire to start a blog site, to actually posting my first blog. With all the information I was researching about blogging, I was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start! Breaking down the things I had to do and planning when I would do them, made the whole process less scary. Giving me the motivation which kick started the momentum. Having smaller tasks and actions gave me the freedom to not focus on my ‘blog launch’ finish line. All I had to concentrate on was completing the task I set myself for the day. Whilst enjoying the process of learning something new.
When you take a step back to see where you are after breaking big goals into bite size actions, you’ll be amazed at the progress you’ll have made. It’s this progress and feeling of accomplishment that will help keep you motivated to continue pushing forward.
4. Track Your Progress
Achieving a goal or changing a habit can be a long process. While you wait for the long term rewards of your effort, finding the motivation to keep going can be helped by tracking your progress during the journey.
There are no quick fixes to a life time of bad choices or poor life style habits. As the experts say ‘you have to trust the process!‘ I use tracking as a way to get motivated if I have no motivation – even after I’ve taken small actions. Hey, sometimes, you just get frustrated! So, whilst I’m waiting for my desired results to appear, I love to track everything! Money, sleep, fitness, hair regimes, business stats – EVERYTHING! I’m currently tracking the progress of My 30 Day Vitality Challenge as we speak! Three weeks into my challenge and I’ll admit I’ve had days where I’ve not been intentional with what I’m doing. However, because I am tracking my actions each day, I can see those occasions are few and far between. Being able to review my completed actions over the last few weeks, keeps me accountable and makes me feel good to see how dedicated I’ve actually been. The difference I see and feel in my mind, body and overall vitality, gives me an added boost of motivation to continue.
Habit formation or achieving new goals is a long race. While you’re waiting for the long-term rewards of your efforts to accumulate, you need a reason to stick with it in the short-term. Tracking gives you some immediate feedback that shows you’re on the right path.