Three Easy Steps to Overcome Your Lack of Motivation

overcome lack of motivationSo, I have a confession to make.

I haven’t always been the productive person I am today.

Truthfully, I’ve never been a person with an overabundance of natural energy. Some people are naturally energetic, like my wife. She’s up and moving with a smile on her face within 3 minutes of waking up… but not me.

Catch me before 10 am and its likely you won’t talk to me for the rest of the day.

I’m just a pretty relaxed kind of dude. Because of this I often used to struggle with staying energized and motivated, especially during the cold rainy months we often experience here in the midwest of the U.S.A.

But like a lot of people that read this blog, I’ve always had this idea in my head that I wasn’t going to just be another run-of-the-mill dude. I wanted to do something great, something that would change the lives of a lot of people, so when I started struggling with this kind of ‘demotivated’ state of mind, I knew I had to find a way to control it.

I had to come to terms that there was a myth, or an invisible script that I was fighting – that because I wasn’t a naturally high energy person, that I wasn’t “meant to” do something great.

Thankfully I figured it out.

Being a Little Too Relaxed

One of the biggest changes in my life in terms of how much I was able to get done was when I realized I had control over my state of mind. Because of my relaxed nature, I used to struggle with getting into productivity ruts where I wouldn’t feel like doing much of anything. I’d watch TV, play video games, and frankly just be lazy.

Even worse, I would rationalize my behavior by telling myself that I “just needed a break” and that “I’d get back to being productive in a few days.”

What I soon learned was that when you sit around and don’t do a whole lot for a few days, you’re much more likely to continue doing exactly that for a long time to come. See what Issac Newton has to say about this.

Soon, a few days would turn into a week. A week into a month. Before I knew it, I would go through three months of doing not a whole lot other than going through the routine of life.

It was a cycle of work, eat, sleep – and that’s about it.

It might work for some people, but to me, and I hope to you as well, that’s no way to live.

I’ve always been someone who has to do more. I’m not OK with just going through life on cruise control. But when I would get into this kind of rut, that’s exactly what I was doomed to do.

Getting Stuck in a Rut

One thing I learned throughout all of the struggle is this. When you’re in that state of mind, you typically don’t really think about how to get out of it, because you just want to keep being lazy. It’s not your fault. It’s just your body’s natural biology at work.

But here’s the thing. If you really know yourself and how you respond to certain activities, you can control your state of mind with just a little bit of discipline.

And that’s what I had to learn how to do.

Actively Controlling Your State of Mind

Eventually through a bit of experimentation I learned that I needed to do three things to get myself up and going again, and into a solid and productive state of mind. You can do these things as well.

1. Getting your blood flowing – Physical activity helps to stimulate the mind and raise cognitive activity. With basically all of my work being in an office environment, I don’t get a lot of movement outside of the gym, especially in poor weather. When I recognized what this was doing to my mental state, I developed a routine to make sure I got to the gym or at least did some sort of physical activity 2 – 3x a week. I would also randomly do things like pushups, situps, and jump rope when I felt a little sluggish. This helped keep me from getting too drug down by a lack of activity, and when I just felt randomly “blah.”

2. Finding a long-term project - The day to day of life, or as I like to call it, the hamster wheel of life, can sometimes cause a sense of stagnation. I felt this quite often, and I trudged through the days just kind of on auto-pilot. In order to feel like I was working towards something meaningful, I needed to find a long-term project where I could improve something. Whether it was learning a new skill, building a course on my website, or completing a project in my house, this gave me something to do other than just go through the normal routine of life. This really helped me look forward to each day and what I could accomplish to improve myself and the world.

3. Continuously staying inspired - My motivation comes from visualizing the result my actions can have on my life, or on the lives of others. To stay motivated, I needed to keep that picture in my head. Always visualizing the end result of what I was working on, and continuing to read and experience new things helped me to stay inspired to coming up with even more projects to work on. This was big for my state of mind because I didn’t have to search, or artificially create anything. I also learned to surround myself with success. This helped me stay inspired by seeing actual success stories in action every day.

For me, these three things together helped me go from a person who would often go several months without doing anything meaningful, to someone who has total control over my state of mind and level of motivation.

I know for a fact there are people out there who struggle with the same things I do. It may even be you.

Just remember – You have control over your state of mind at all times, even if it takes a few extra steps for you to get there. The difference between one person and the next isn’t the circumstances they are faced with on a daily basis, but how they react and respond to those circumstances. This was absolutely huge in being in control of my life, and it’s vital as well for you being in control of yours as well.

Your Call to Action

Next time you find yourself in a demotivated state, don’t just tell yourself that you “don’t feel like doing anything.” Recognize that you have control over yourself, get up and get your blood flowing, and get excited about something in your life. And always remember to surround yourself with success.

Only you can do that for yourself, so take control and do it!

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About Cody Wheeler

Hey there. I'm Cody Wheeler, founder of Academy Success, the place where people come to learn how to Behave Successfully. We all want to save time and money right? Well how about both? Right now, you can grab my Financial Automation Checklist Collection for free. I'll also send you my free weekly newsletter, packed full of personal finance and productivity tips.

Comments

  1. Great post and so true! I’ve recently found myself unmotivated after leaving a part-time job to work full-time on my business. I’m normally a pretty motivated person — with the occasional few days of laziness — but I found myself extremely unmotivated as soon as I had SO much time to devote to my business. I finally realized that I thrive when I’m extremely busy and juggling a bunch of things, but I lose motivation if I have too much free time. This post was helpful and I’ll definitely start using these techniques to get myself moving in the morning.

    • It’s a tough transition going from working for someone else, to completely working for yourself. It can be lonely as well. Something else to keep in mind there is focusing on what is going to make the highest impact on your business. It’s a different ball game than working for someone else, where they often make the rules.

      It can help to identify and isolate those things so you make sure to spend a good chunk of time on them, and also give yourself time to do the things that really bring you joy. One important lesson I learned in a former business I was a part of, was that it doesn’t always always have to be about making the most money possible. If has to be emotionally rewarding as well. If you lose that, you’ll eventually lose the business.

      Congrats on your new endeavor Christy. I hope Academy Success can help.

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