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5 Ways To Stay Motivated When It Seems Like You’re Not Getting Anywhere

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One of the most challenging parts of being productive and successful all comes down to finding ways to stay motivated. If you are someone who easily gets and stays motivated, this skill can be one of your greatest tools. If you are someone who struggles with motivation, it can be one of your biggest obstacles.

It may seem hard to stay motivated when you keep working but feel like you are not getting anywhere. In these situations, it is more important than ever to find the strength and focus needed to push past the challenging time and to really stay motivated.

Here are five ways you can stay motivated, even when it seems like your efforts aren’t getting you anywhere:

1. Start by knowing your motivating force

Everyone has their own different motivating force or factor and they can vary from person-to-person. In order to stay motivated even in the most challenging of times you need to know what your individual motivating force is. You need to have a reason to succeed.

What is your reason for wanting to keep going? What is your reason to keep working even if you aren’t seeing the results that you want?You need to know what motivates you. What is your big picture goal that put you on this path in the first place? If you can channel what this is, then you will have the strength and vision to stay motivated no matter what comes your way.

“The experience of pain or loss can be a formidably motivating force.” – John C. Maxwell

2. Know what you can lose

Sometimes just knowing what you want isn’t enough to really motivate you. There are many people who react better to knowing what they can lose. If you are struggling to stay motivated because you aren’t seeing the rewards or benefits that you want, start focusing on what you could lose by giving up. What will happen if you don’t keep going? This outcome may just be the boost you need to push forward.

 

3. Get yourself organized

When you are extremely busy and are dealing with a cluttered over-stimulated brain, it can easily not only ruin your focus but your energy as well. It can seem almost impossible to stay motivated and push past certain challenges when you are dealing with a cluttered and organized brain.

Take a moment to really write out all of your thoughts and ideas and get them organized. Many times, just taking a moment to organize your thoughts can give you the clarity that you need to make the right decisions and to find the motivation to keep going.

Taking some pressure off your brain by moving your thoughts to a more organized list is a great way to unload, unwind and regain the focus you need to find the motivation you desire.

 

4Be ready with a backup plan

Many times people find they are not reaching their desired outcome, not because they don’t have the right skills or talents, but because they don’t have the right approach. Instead of getting down on yourself and losing steam when things don’t seem to be working out, try a new approach and come up with a new plan.

Be prepared to change courses. It doesn’t mean giving up, it means starting over with a different approach to the same problem. Sometimes a fresh perspective is all you need to find success and the renewed energy and motivation required to meet your goals.

Thomas Edison once said it best when he claimed he’s never failed he’s just “found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” You may not need to try out 10,000 approaches, but having a backup plan or two can only help you regain your feelings of motivation.

 

5. Let it go

In the words of the now famous Disney song, sometimes you just need to let it go. There are so many people that find a block in their motivation not because they don’t want to keep pushing on, but because something they are holding on to is getting in the way. If you find that you get easily upset or frustrated, or are worried about what other people are thinking about your shortcomings, let it go.

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” – Hermann Hesse

Feelings like this can only leave you feeling pre-occupied and unfocused. Don’t worry so much about what other people are saying or thinking about you and your situation and instead let it go. It can help you regain focus and help you get back to the motivated place you want to be.

How do you stay motivated? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Erik Wilson is a serial entrepreneur who is involved with many philanthropic endeavors and is continually devoted to making the world a more positive place. He is the founder and CEO of Pozify, a social networking app devoted to spreading positivity across the web.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Florian

    Aug 20, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Jo Eric,
    what an inspiring article! Nr 1 is hugely important. You see if you don’t know what drives you, what inspires you then you have no reason to improve your life. That´s why I have a why. My why pulls me up when I feel like I don’t have the strength to get up anymore. My why wakes me up every single morning. So I recommend to everyone to take out a peace of paper and define clearly what your why is and what you have to do to get back on your feet. It´s like an formula or an recipe. Every time when things get tough you read it and do the things you have written down. Make this a habit and your results will sky rocking. I guarantee.

    Greetings from Germany

  2. Thea

    Mar 22, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Hi Erik,
    Great article, all of the 5 ways mentioned here I’ve done them before but haven’t applied them much. After reading your post it made me want to do these again and be more motivated to the things I do or want to do. Thanks and keep it up. 🙂

  3. Evan

    Mar 21, 2016 at 5:12 am

    Erik,

    Nice article here! Number 2 is important because fear of loss or fear of missing out (FOMO) can be great motivators to our success. Curious to know what you meant when you said have back up plan. I think it’s important to go all in with your one thing.

    Thoughts?

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8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get Your Motivation Back

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Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.

Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.

Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:

1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side

Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.

2. Do something that you love

When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all? 

Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.

“If something is important enough, even if the odds are stacked against you, you should still do it.” – Elon Musk

3. Don’t overcomplicate it

Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.  

4. Get up and get moving

This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.

5. Reset your focus

It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do. 

One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.

6. Listen to your favorite music

Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.

7. Expand your knowledge

“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.  

“Work like there is someone working twenty four hours a day to take it away from you.” – Mark Cuban

8. Meditate

If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.

When we’re unmotivated, our momentum starts moving in the other direction. Slow down that momentum by trying one of the ideas above. Once you’ve slowed down the momentum, get it moving in the right direction and you’ll be well on your way.

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