how to get motivation

How to Get Motivation When You’re Feeling Down

Whether it be procrastination, or something deeper, sometimes motivation is hard to find. For instance, even though I love writing, sometimes I just can’t quite bring myself to sit down and write something. And advice for this predicament is abounding; everyone from your best friend to your mother to Pinterest seems to know how to fix your problem (though, of course, Pinterest could also be a source of procrastination).

But in case it’s something deeper, if, for some reason, you just can’t get into the right frame of mind, I’ve got a list for you. Since I’ve been where you are, I can honestly say I know it’s not always easy, and sometimes you have to take a step back. But your fight is there, and I’ve got everything from the simple and mundane to the thoughtful and more aggressive on this list.

How to Get Motivation

  1. Listen to music

Perhaps a clichéd way to start this list, but no less effective—music can truly be a powerful motivator. I’m not going to tell you what to listen to because everyone has different tastes. Instead, I’ll just tell you to listen to whatever your heart desires; listen to whatever you think will help put you in a mood or place you want to be. If you can, or if it’s not distracting, I also suggest listening to music and doing your task simultaneously.

  1. Read a book!

This one deserves an exclamation point because reading is awesome (!!!) Books take us away and show us truths and possibilities; no matter what kind of story—fiction, poetry, or nonfiction—motivation can be found. I especially recommend this if you’re not a big reader. Pick something that interests you, or something you’ve been meaning to read, and get started—you just might make the right connection. Plus, reading is good for the mind and the soul.

  1. Talk about it with a friend(s) or family member

One of the many things friends are for is to be your confidant and your Dear Abby. Even if they don’t completely understand, it’s good to have someone to listen, and to bounce opinions off of. In discussing why you’re lacking motivation, you may uncover an underlying reason, and maybe even the best solution on how to get motivation.

  1. Read some inspiring quotes

Sometimes you just need to hear the right thing, the thing that speaks to your heart and identifies with your struggle. Life is stressful, and it’s easy to let all that get you down; sometimes you need a little positive reinforcement, and the right words can turn the right switch. I find that Pinterest is always a good source for inspiration, and of course, there’s inspiration right here at Motivation Grid.

  1. Meditate

Sometimes you just need to clear your mind. Meditation is great for this, because it promotes mindful awareness, as well as relaxation. De-stressing can help you re-energize, and with new energy and awareness may come new motivation.

  1. Exercise

Okay, obviously if exercise is what you need motivation for, this may seem like weird advice. But exercise is renowned as a motivator; getting out and being active raises energy levels and moods, promotes a good night’s sleep and healthy living, and more, so it may be a good idea to take an exercise break. If you need motivation to exercise, try working your way up to it with simpler exercises, or simple workouts at home.

  1. Write a to-do list

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, a simple to-do list might be what you need. Writing out everything you need to do will help you stay organized, and allow you to check items off your list as you complete them, which will give you a feeling of accomplishment.

  1. Make a list reminding you why you want to do what you want to do

Yes, another list, and no, not the same as a to-do list. This list is a reminder-list for when you start to drag a little, or get down and start to forget why you started in the first place. Don’t just write down your goal(s)—write down why you have them so that you can look at them whenever you need to (or better yet, put them somewhere you’ll see them every day) to keep your motivation alive.

  1. Watch an inspiring movie

I don’t know about you, but watching a totally epic movie inspires me. Watching a movie may be like reading a book in that movies also tell stories, and stories and characters are full of motivation.

  1. Just do it

Seriously. Just do it. The more you procrastinate the harder it becomes. Sometimes you just need to dive right in and hit the ground running. (And no, this not a Nike promotion).

  1. Post a goal on social media

If you say you’re going to do something on social media you’re more likely to actually do it. Why? Because the fear of public humiliation speaks for itself. It also allows you to let others know how you’re doing, and giving updates holds you to the goal you made.

  1. If it’s something you’re not ready for, gear yourself up

When in doubt, prepare. Or at least prepare as much as possible. Gearing yourself up may be as simple as looking in the mirror and repeating some positive affirmations—it all starts with believing what you want is possible.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

We all have to ask for help sometimes—it doesn’t make you weak, or a failure, or any less of a person. In fact, I think it makes you more of a person. So if you’re not getting anywhere, just reach out to someone you think could help.

  1. Get out and do some service

There are lots of reasons to help others; but no matter your reason, motivation and inspiration are plentiful when serving. There are also a lot of ways to serve: Extensive things, like a mission trip, or simpler, more local things, like helping out at a homeless shelter for a couple hours. No matter what you do, you’re sure to gain a new perspective, and maybe even discover something about yourself.

  1. Take a walk/ enjoy nature

Nature is very restorative—a simple walk, sitting outside and taking in your surroundings, driving around town, maybe getting some coffee. Just get out and soak it all in. If you can’t get into meditating, nature is a great alternative. A change of environment is bound to shed some light.

  1. Set a routine

Add this to the organization team. Establishing a routine for yourself gives you something to look forward to and complete each day; especially with things like exercise, maintaining a routine helps you develop a habit.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings

Perhaps the most important advice I can give you in this, or any, situation, is to acknowledge what it is you’re feeling, and know that those feelings are valid. We’re human, and being human means we’re often complex; but that doesn’t mean we can’t be understood. Denying what you feel is unhealthy; once you understand that you feel what you feel and that’s okay, you’re on the road to overcoming any negative feelings dragging you down.

There’s no one right way to get motivated; life is messy, but motivation is there to be found if you’re willing to look. Hopefully my pointers on how to get motivation have at least given you some ideas. We’re all different people, so find what’s right for you, and get moving!


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