Motivation is a process that includes biological, cognitive, social, and emotional forces that activate goal-oriented behavior. It causes a person to act, regardless of whether we are talking about small actions such as getting a glass of water or more elaborate endeavors like writing an essay or completing a task at work.
This driving force behind human actions can sometimes be weaker than usual or even completely fade away. There is even a condition called avolition, which means a total lack of motivation. This condition makes it difficult to finish even everyday tasks.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to kickstarting this driving force for acting. But, if you look carefully into the reasons why you are feeling unmotivated, it is possible to find a solution to your problem.
Research has shown that chronic stress impacts the decision-making process and is associated with a lack of motivation. This is not “positive stress” – moderate pressure that can stimulate motivation – but rather intense stress, often paired with anxiety, that makes you lose creativity and concentration. Living in a constant state of stress impacts both your physical and mental health. This is not a situation that will improve if left alone.
Solution: Ease the stress
There are ways to cope with everyday stress and ease its effects. First, make sure to eat a balanced diet and be physically active. Some non-competitive workouts or yoga and Tai Chi can help boost happiness hormones and improve your overall health. It would also help to practice other relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation.
Another way to effectively relieve stress is to get your feet soaked. A nice soak in warm water can give you much-needed relief, and it’s an excellent way to alleviate stress and boost your energy. There are numerous foot soaking benefits, so don’t hesitate to pamper yourself to feel the relaxing sensation. It can be the ultimate relaxation to feel revitalized and ready for another day.
2. Lack of Sleep
Sleep deprivation affects every aspect of your life. Simply put, lack of sleep dumbs you down. It hurts cognitive processes, impairs attention, and therefore reduces your motivation for taking action of any kind. Not getting enough sleep also puts you at risk of heart conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, and developing symptoms of depression.
Solution: Improve your sleep habits
Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule can reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle. So, try to go to bed and wake up at the same hour every day, including the weekends.
Next, pay attention to the environment in which you sleep. Make your bedroom a restful place by getting rid of any electronic devices, using neutral paint colors, and decluttering. The most important piece in your bedroom is the bed, so make sure you choose a good mattress that fits your sleeping position and preferences.
The de-stressing tips we’ve talked about in the previous section will also help you improve your sleep. However, if your troubles persist, contact your doctor to identify and treat any underlying causes that may mess with your rest.
3. You Don’t Know What You Want
Some people feel unmotivated due to a lack of purpose. When you are not sure what you want out of life, it’s difficult to find the will to get things done. If you don’t have goals or just something to strive for, it is natural that you find it hard to get up and do anything.
Solution: Find your spark
Think about your work, relationships, and hobbies. Do you have a meaningful connection with any of them? If not, maybe you need to evaluate your attitudes and actions. Find something you really love doing, and the spark will appear.
4. Setting Unrealistic Goals
Sometimes we do know what we want, but we set the bar too high. Very often, that bar is outside of our reach. When that happens, we don’t believe that we can accomplish the set goal, or we feel overwhelmed by the mere size of it. In these cases, it’s much easier to avoid doing anything regarding our goal.
Solution: Set realistic goals
Naturally, the solution for this issue is setting goals you can actually accomplish. Motivation comes from setting challenges that are somewhat hard to overcome but still achievable.
5. Lack of Structure
Motivation may seem like something coming from the inside, and, partially, it is. However, even when you have that little spark pushing you to do something, it’s difficult to achieve anything if you don’t have working habits. Lack of routine is often the culprit behind the lack of motivation.
Solution: Establish a routine
Don’t just wait around for motivation to come. Get up and do something, and your actions might generate motivation. Establish a routine that will help you finish your tasks even when you don’t feel like doing anything.
6. You Are Not Focused
Do you often jump from one assignment to another? This may seem like great multitasking, but it actually keeps you in a perpetual state of doing everything halfway. When you are not focused on the task ahead of you, time drags on, and completing the task feels much more difficult than it actually is.
Solution: Find your focus
Motivation comes more easily when you get things done. Doing one action at a time helps you be more effective. If you are struggling to stay focused, use techniques that can help you zone in on the task ahead. It would help to get rid of distractions, make a to-do list, and be more mindful.
7. You Keep Doubting Yourself
You may lack motivation because you don’t believe in your abilities. When you doubt yourself, it’s difficult to even begin a task because you’ve already decided that you won’t be able to do it and that it will be an utter failure. This happens because, deep down, you are telling yourself that you are not good enough, and you are putting your trust in that inner voice.
Solution: Tell yourself something different
Just like you believe that voice when it tells you bad things, you will trust it when it says good things. So, try to tell yourself that you are good enough and that you can be successful at whatever you set your mind to.
8. You Can’t Imagine the Future
When you can’t imagine the outcome of your actions, it may be difficult to find motivation. You can lose sight of the bigger picture and forget why you are moving forward.
Solution: Visualize the outcome
Stop for a moment and visualize the long-term outcome. What are you trying to achieve? Why does it matter? How will you feel when you accomplish your goals? Sometimes, all you need is to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
It’s normal to get in a rut and feel your motivation slumping. However, we can’t allow ourselves to dwell in this rut for too long because the longer it drags on, the more difficult it gets to find that spark of motivation once again. So, stay calm and collected, roll up your sleeves, and try to figure out the reason behind your lack of motivation first so that you can then use our suggestions to tackle it. You’ve got this!