What You Need to Do When You’ve Lost Motivation to Do Anything

what to do when you have no motivation

Let’s be honest. As positive and motivated as we try to be, that’s much easier said than done. Sometimes, stress, burnout, and depression just sap away any motivation we seem to have. If you’ve experienced this, you know how tiring and frustrating it is.

So, how do you get your motivation back? It’s difficult, but not impossible. Here are a few strategies to try.

1. Review Your Accomplishments So Far

Sometimes, your motivation can go south when you feel as if you aren’t making good progress towards your goals. When this happens, don’t let yourself remain in a rut.

Instead, take some time to remember, and acknowledge what you’ve accomplished so far. Simply remembering the progress you’ve made gives you all the motivation you need to move forward.

What you need to do is to apply the “Reverse Gap” thinking. Rather than constantly thinking about your future, worry about the things you lack, the opportunities you have missed, choose to focus on the progress you have made.

Like this article from LifeHacker said:

“You need to train yourself not to only think about the future but to also celebrate what you’ve accomplished in the past. Pay attention to your “reverse gap” the period during which you had successes but also difficulties that you’ve overcome. That’s how you create happiness and gratitude in the now.”

2. Engage in Self Care

Burnout is another issue that can lead to lack of motivation. You can’t do well if you don’t feel well.

It’s very important that you get enough sleep, eat right, see a doctor when you need one, and otherwise take care of yourself. Sometimes, you should even give your self-care routine a bit of a boost.

Get a massage, meditate, take a day off to relax and recharge, reward yourself with a spa day. Even a planned day of doing nothing but binge-watching funny shows and napping can go a long way towards getting your lost motivation back.

You can’t produce great work if you’re tired and in a burnout state. If you want to be productive and motivated to get things done, you must first make sure you have the energy.

After you have worked long hours, take a break. Recharge your body, mind, and soul consistently so that you can go farther.

Do you know that your willpower works pretty much like your phone’s battery level? Whenever you work, make decisions and take actions, you’re using your willpower.

And as you go through the day, you will use up all your willpower. And when that happened, you will find it difficult to focus and you need a break.

This is why taking a break is important. You recharge your phone every day, right? Why don’t you do that to yourself too?

3. Let Your Habits Move You Forward

Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what gets you going.

Motivation can lead to accomplishment. There’s no doubt about that, but the opposite can be true as well. There’s nothing like making progress towards your goals to make you feel even more motivated.

What does that mean? In the moments where motivation is fleeting, don’t use that as an excuse to stop trying.

Instead, fall back on your habits.

Whether that’s going to the gym every night, studying in the evenings, or just waking up in time to make it work, the habits you have formed will serve you well when motivation is in short supply.

Once you have developed the habit of taking action, it becomes sort of automatic. You don’t need that much energy, willpower, and motivation to act on your habit.

Think about brushing teeth each morning, do you spend time doubting and feeling resistance to doing it? No, you just brush it without thinking much about it.

The reason is simple – it has become a habit. And so you execute your habit without much effort.

You don’t really have to rely on motivation once you have built up the habit. To learn more about habit building, read Atomic Habits from James Clear, the habit expert.

4. Try Setting a New Goal

Boredom is another factor in lack of motivation. If you’re only working towards one goal, it can be easier than you think to lose interest when you just aren’t as interested as you once were.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should give up on that goal. What you can do instead is diversify a bit. Challenge yourself by setting another goal that you can work towards.

You may find it helpful to establish a new goal in an area that is entirely unrelated to your existing goal.

For example, if you’ve been working towards a fitness goal, try setting an academic goal instead.

Next, give yourself a running start towards your goal by listing some action items you will work on. These might include blocking out time to study, getting information on the best paper writing services and tutors, enrolling in a class, and joining a study group.

According to Tony Robbins, the world’s famous success coach once said that humans are driven by 6 core needs. Variety and growth are two of the six needs.

This is why you need diversity to live a happy life. And to feel that you’re really making a difference, you need growth too.

So don’t just limit yourself to set a goal in just one area of your life. Try something new. Try something fresh that will spark your creativity once more.

5. Get Physically Active

Physical activity is unique in that it’s tiring, yet motivating at the same time. Exercise increases endorphin production, which rewards us nearly instantly with a euphoric feeling.

There’s also the feeling of accomplishment that we feel when we have been active. If you’ve been feeling less than motivated, try incorporating a bit of exercise into your daily routine.

When you exercise, your body will release a natural hormone called endorphins that make you feel happy. In other words, exercise improves your mood.

Thus, whenever you feel a lack of motivation, move around, exercise, or hit the gym. After that, your mood will improve, you feel better, and you’re ready to take on the world again.

6. Start a Competition

An uncompetitive person is always a loser. A competitive person is always a winner.

If you can’t motivate yourself, reach out for a bit of help by way of some friendly competition. When you do this, you make achieving your goals a social activity.

You create motivation by tapping into your competitive side. You also build in a bit of accountability. That’s a great combination to rely on when your motivation has begun to wane.

Think about it, what makes athletes wake up early in the morning to train? Well, they are motivated by the competition and they want to win.

In 2016, professor Jillene Grober Seiver conducted research and discovered that archers whose main rival was present at the event scored significantly higher than when their main competitor wasn’t present.

She said in an article, “When we see someone else just like us being able to complete a task and gain the recognition we seek, we up our game to achieve these outcomes for ourselves.”

Hence, create the competition. It can boost up your motivation to win and to work hard to do better.

7. Let Nature Restore You

When your energy reserves are tapped, and nothing seems inspirational, take a bit of time to get out into nature.

Take a hike. Spend a weekend camping. Go to a local park. You can even do something as simple as spending 20 minutes each day walking around your neighborhood.

Your body, mind, and spirit need natural light, fresh air, and exposure to the sights and sounds of the great outdoors.

Sometimes your body and soul need a break and engaging yourself in nature recharges you. Plus, being with nature gives you a sense of hope that whatever you want – your dreams and goals – are possible to achieve.

Nature gives you hope again. Imagine waking up with the sunrise. Feel the cold morning breeze and the warm sunshine on your face. It refreshes you and gives you hope that it is a brand new day.


It’s perfectly normal to lose your motivation. The important thing is how you choose to handle yourself when that happens.

Will you give up, or will you continue pushing forward? If you choose the latter option, the tips here will most certainly help.A

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