Do you fully understand what is needed to be motivated and remain that way?
Motivation is an essential aspect of our personal, business, or career.
Several factors might make it difficult for one to stay motivated.
Sometimes, these factors are intrinsic in that they are from within.
Whereas, at other times, they might be extrinsic, i.e., factors that come from the environment or others.
Whatever the case, these things can sap your motivation level and can affect you personally or professionally.
Areas of Life Where Staying Motivated is Essential
When it comes to being motivated, there are so many life situations and events where this is needed.
Let us consider some examples:
As a Business Owner
It could be that you sometimes have work to do and see the need for it.
However, the drive to carry it out is not there.
If you are running a business, this can greatly affect your productivity and output.
This is so because the level of output you get out of your business is directly proportional to the input.
Therefore, if you are not putting enough time, energy, and attention, your output would be low.
As an Employee
Similarly, if you are an employee working for an organization, a lack of motivation can also adversely affect your productivity.
You can find your job performance dwindling, and before long, you start bringing in little or nothing by way of value to the company.
This can eventually cost you your job if not addressed.
In Everyday Personal Life
In terms of personal life also, there are many scenarios where it is important to stay motivated.
Take, for example; you might be on a workout routine where you have a target to reach.
Sometimes, there might be a lack of motivation to see it through, and it can make you slow down or even stop completely.
As a Student
What if you are still a student? Do you need motivation?
Of course, you also do.
Students will tell you it is not always easy to give their studies the time and attention it demands.
Sometimes, you might want to slow down or get lazy, and you will need something to motivate you to continue.
Above all, there are many areas where you need motivation and why it’s necessary for an individual.
So, What Does it Mean to be Motivated?
Before we proceed with staying motivated as an individual, defining what motivation really means is proper.
We can define motivation as the process or force that initiates and maintain the behaviors of someone or something.
In simpler words, you can say motivation is the underlying reason one reacts, acts, or behaves in a certain way.
Also, in line with this article, it can be said that you are motivated when you have the needed drive or force to carry out an activity or do something.
In order words, you are motivated when you have the right factors stimulating you towards a goal.
We will consider these factors as we go further in this blog post on how to be motivated.
Sometimes, the word ‘enthusiasm’ is also another word to represent motivation, as it refers to having the passion and drive for something.
As you can see, it is not just enough then to know the importance of something or why you should do it.
You need to be motivated if you will act on your goals and get results from them.
In the corporate world, we refer to it as the incentive to perform an action or activity.
Types of Motivation
You might find many platforms that list many types of motivation related to the work environment especially.
However, we realize that all types of motivation fall under these 2 categories, which will be our core focus in this discussion.
The two(s) main types of motivation are as follows:
Intrinsic means internal or from within oneself.
This is the type of motivation that comes from the inside.
When you hear people talk about being self-motivated, they are referring to this type of motivation.
It means you carry out certain actions or make some decisions not to impress others or even for a reward but personal accomplishment.
When you are intrinsically motivated, you do things because you love to do them, and you get some personal satisfaction from them.
This is the opposite of intrinsic motivation, and it is majorly used in the business environment.
Many business owners use this for their employees, and many employees themselves get their drive from this.
This is the motivation that comes from the outside, so to speak.
What drives this is something else aside from personal achievement.
It could be compensation, salary, profits, reward, recognition, praise from others, bonuses, appreciation e.t.c.
Both types of motivation are essential either for use in personal life or your professional endeavor.
How to be Motivated – Causes of a Lack of Motivation
Lack of motivation doesn’t just happen. Neither is it a natural trait. Otherwise, that would be totally unfair on us.
There are some reasons you might lack the motivation to carry out a particular task or pursue your goals and reach your targets.
Recognizing these causes of lack of motivation is the first step towards identifying how to be motivated.
It’s pretty straightforward, you would agree.
Know why you lack motivation, and you are halfway there with the solution.
Hence, find below some of the reasons why you might be losing motivation:
Doing What You do Not Love
Unsurprisingly, this is the most common reason why many people today are unmotivated in their daily endeavors.
You find many working jobs that do not interest them or pursue a career they are not passionate about.
They might be doing this because of financial gains or being pressured into it by parents or peers.
The fear of “what people will say” has equally made many people continue on a path that gives them little or no joy.
Well, if any of the above describes you, you are likely to suffer a lack of motivation on that journey or job.
When we do what does not interest us and/or give us joy, we usually do not have the needed passion and drive to push it through.
Also, when we face challenges along the way, it is easy to slow down as there is no intrinsic motivation to continue.
Setting the Bar Low for Yourself
Another reason you might be suffering a lack of motivation is when you do not aim high enough.
This, though, is very dangerous.
The reason is that when you set the bar low for whatever it is you want to do, you subconsciously or even consciously lower your efforts.
Since your expectations are low, the amount and degree of effort you put into the project or activity will also drop, and when it drops, so will your level of motivation.
On the other hand, when you make your aims and expectations high, you will more likely find the needed motivation from within to push through.
Be careful, though, not to make the expectations or goals unrealistic.
This is because that also might have negative effects on motivation.
That is the next point we are considering.
Setting Unrealistic Goals and Expectations
It might sound counterproductive because doesn’t big expectations make you more driven to achieve them?
Well, big targets and expectations do, but not unrealistic ones.
Unrealistic expectations sap your energy and morale as a result of the unavoidable eventuality.
And what is the eventuality?
You are less likely to see progress or results, which can gradually drop your motivation levels.
As the word unrealistic also shows, it is totally impossible to achieve those goals and expectations, regardless of how hard you try.
It is this certain failure that would, in turn, affect your motivation.
When you eventually fail, which is a certainty, it can make you feel you are a failure, and as such, stop trying on other things.
That is how setting unrealistic goals and expectations negatively influences motivation.
Your Goals are too Vague and Broad
If we are to ask you, “What is your goal or what do you really want?” what will you say?
Many people make the mistake of making their goals in life or their work too broad and vague.
Worse yet, some do not even know what they really want.
That is a precursor for lack of motivation.
It can make the tasks appear too big for you to handle, or you might even start well and lose motivation in the long run.
That is why it is good to be specific with goals, as we will explaining when considering how to be motivated.
You are Stressed or Facing a lot of Pressure
Some problems with motivation come from external factors such as stress or pressure.
This stress might be about work, or it could be pressure from family responsibilities or other demands.
Whatever the source or cause of the stress is, weighing yourself down by stressful situations can drain your motivation.
You could see the need to go on with the task, and it might even be very pressing.
However, you lack the strength to do it.
This is because you are facing stress or overwhelming mental pressure.
Yes, just inaction on its own can sap one’s motivation and drive.
You lack motivation because you are not even taking the necessary actions in the first place.
Sometimes, you need to get the needed motivation to get up and start with the task or project already.
If you are generally inactive, you might think your lack of motivation is more serious than it is.
Hence, it is important to be active if you want to build motivation, as we will soon see.
Self Limiting Beliefs
This is similar to setting the bars low for yourself, but there is a difference.
Setting the bar low for yourself has to do with lowering your targets and expectations.
However, having self-limiting beliefs means doubting your skills and abilities.
You suffer a lack of motivation because you fix your mindset on not being good enough and not having what it takes to grow.
When you have self-limiting beliefs, you tend to accept your lot in life the way it is, believing that “it is what it is,” and there is no changing it.
This can also make you lack motivation, as you tend to feel no drive to do even the most important things.
In your mind, you can’t change the outcome as you cannot be more than what you already are.
Feeling Undeserving of Certain Accomplishments
Another reason we will consider why you might lack motivation is if you feel that you do not deserve the resulting accomplishment that comes after the task or project.
You might have the big picture right there in front of you and see how big the achievement is.
However, you might begin to feel that someone else deserves it more than you do.
In that situation, it is not uncommon to self-sabotage.
That means that you consciously and deliberately avoid taking needed actions that will make you successful, and that is where a lack of motivation creeps in.
The Fear of Failure
This is the kind of fear that stops from taking the necessary actions towards achieving success in life.
You can fear failure because of past ugly experiences, the consequences of failure, or other reasons.
Whatever the reason, this attitude or trait can sap your motivation.
It can make you stop trying in the first place because you are afraid of failing.
How to be Motivated – What you can do
Having considered some of the major factors responsible for lack of motivation, let us now see how to be motivated.
If you find that you struggle with being motivated regularly, these points will help you make improvements.
In turn, the increase in motivation that results from applying these measures will push you a step closer to your goals.
Here is how you can start working on being motivated today, be it in your personal life, business, or in the workplace:
1Identify what Demotivates you.
This is the first and most important measure of how to be motivated.
It is important that you first find out what is the cause of your lack of motivation.
We can compare this process to diagnosing a health problem.
The only way you can know what treatment to apply to a health problem is to find out the cause of the problem.
If you fail to do this, you might be given drugs for headaches for stomach pain.
Where are we driving at?
If you suffer from a lack of motivation to reach personal goals or work, find out what the cause is.
To help you in this regard, we have already discussed some major causes of lack of motivation.
You might find that one or two of these is applicable in your case.
Or it could be that there are other causes we didn’t mention here.
Whichever the case, it is good first to identify the cause of your motivation problems to pick the right solutions.
2Make your Goals Specific and Break Them into Milestones
One of the causes of lack of motivation we identified is setting vague or broad goals.
A solution to this is to break down your goals into milestones and make them as specific as possible.
For example, a broad goal might sound like this: “I want to burn my belly fat and have a flat tummy.”
Granted, you might know what to do to achieve this, maybe changing your eating habits or some exercise.
In the beginning, you might be very motivated to achieve this goal, but it is not sustainable.
The solution to that would be to break down this goal into milestones and make it more specific.
A more specific goal, in this case, can be: ” I want to cut down my weight to XYZ by ABC date, and also stay away from IJK foods.”
This makes the goal clearer in your mind, and you are more motivated to achieve it.
Also, when you set milestones, it helps you count your achievements in bits instead of waiting until you realize the entire goal.
When you can celebrate small successes, it will motivate you to keep doing more.
3Do What Interests You
This applies more in the corporate world, where many people have to wake up every day, dress up, and go to jobs that don’t interest them.
In such situations, where will the motivation come from?
If you want to stay motivated, especially in your professional journey, ensure you do things you love and interest you.
Going on a career path to please someone else or because another person asks you to do it will not help.
Your lack of motivation might actually be because of where you are, and a little change can make the difference.
4Visualize the End Results/Reward
When it comes to finding the motivation to do something, visualizing the results or reward also helps.
It involves using your power of imagination to see what it would feel like when you finally get that goal or result.
Let’s say, for example, your goal or target is to save a million dollars at the end of a specified time period.
You might struggle to find the motivation needed to set aside money from your income towards reaching this target.
However, when you visualize how it would make you feel when you eventually save up this amount, it can drive your motivation.
Thinking about what the money can do for you after the specified time period, probably buying your first house e.t.c. Can be a source of motivation.
5Be Positive in your Thoughts
Positive self-thoughts and self-affirmations have also been found to be very effective in keeping one motivated.
This means that instead of feeding your mind with negative thoughts and feelings and why something will not work, be positive.
If your mind tends to derail into listing 10 reasons you cannot achieve a goal, find 100 reasons to achieve it.
To be practical, some people have found saying; “I can try” to be more effective than simply saying, “I can’t.”
When you make positive self-affirmations, it can help you get back your motivation.
6Move with Positive People
While intrinsic motivation is essential in staying motivated, so is the one that comes from outside.
Sometimes, you might be struggling with staying motivated because the people in your circle are all about negative speech and views.
These might be your friends, schoolmates, colleagues at work, an employer, neighbors, or even family relations.
Such ones can make it a habit to tell you why your goals are too big or why they cannot work.
This, in turn, can demoralize and demotivate you.
On the contrary, positive people always talk about the positive side of things and encourage you.
Because of their positivity, you are also most likely going to be more motivated to pursue and achieve your goals.
7Set Realistic Goals and Expectations
One other reason why your level of motivation might be low is the type of goals you set or the expectations you have.
Usually, when your goals and expectations are unrealistic, it can make you frustrated and sap your energy and drive.
This is so because you end up expending so much effort and energy, but no fruitful result comes from it.
You might not be seeing any notable progress from all you do.
And this, in turn, can demotivate you from trying harder or doing more.
However, when you set realistic goals, the more you see your progress, the more motivated you are.
It is common knowledge that results and growth help to keep one motivated.
This is because the feeling of success is now so good that you want to have it again and again.
The way reward works in motivating an employee at work is the same way it motivates an individual on a personal mission.
There is the tendency not to appreciate the little milestones you can achieve.
This is because there is a focus on the big goal.
You might be thinking that you are not doing enough.
That would be wrong and can make you struggle for motivation.
Therefore, it is important that for every milestone you achieve towards your goal, you reward yourself for it.
The reward doesn’t necessarily have to cost you a lot of money or be too big.
No matter how little it is, it will keep you motivated and encourage you to do more.
9Exercise, Sleep, and Rest Well
All these are essential when the cause of lack of motivation is from stress, depression, and overwhelming pressure.
If you find that you lack motivation, take some time to unwind from the activity.
It could be in the line of work.
It won’t be out of place to get up from your desk and take a walk to return focus and motivation.
You should also exercise your body regularly and take enough sleep.
This reduces cortisol levels and helps you stay motivated/energized.
10Ask for Help
Sometimes, the key to being motivated or regaining lost motivation is to talk to someone you know and can trust.
This might be a family member or friend that you are sure can give you the positive drive you want.
You can also get a mentor, someone you know is great in the area of motivation, who can help you get back on track.
The help might also come from reading books that are for motivating people.
Yes, motivational speakers or writers still work wonders.
All you have to do is keep an open mind, and you will find one or two things that can motivate you or drive you on.
In rare cases, if your lack of motivation is becoming a serious health concern due to anxiety or depression, you can talk to a medical professional.
These can provide the needed help in terms of suggestions and/or medications if needed.
Wrapping Up on How to be Motivated
Are you struggling with finding the needed drive and passion to stay motivated in achieving a set goal or objective?
Do you find that you cannot complete projects and tasks because you suffer a lack of motivation?
Could it be that you always start great but along the line, you find your motivation level dwindling?
Well, whatever the case, this can happen to anybody and shouldn’t cause you to feel like a total failure.
We encourage you to clearly identify the cause of your lack of motivation issues and apply the suggestions given so far.
This will help you get your morale back up, drive your passion for success and keep you motivated.