Are you in a slump? Some task is waiting for you but you just can’t motivate yourself to do it? Then this list is for you: 25 tips on how to get motivated and tackle your goals!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
How do you get out of a slump?
When you feel low on motivation and like you just can’t seem to get moving for anything there are two main topics you need to tackle:
If your head is not in the right place, all the physical energy in the world will not motivate you. And the same is true for the other way around.
Even if you are mentally pumped and focused, you need at least some basic physical energy to back that mental game up! So let’s look at the first part of the answer to the question you are asking here: How do you become motivated and energetic?
Get motivated through a motivation mindset
1. Realize that motivation is up to you
The first thing you need to realize is that motivation is in your head. Yes, someone paying you more to do something might help. But in the long-term, you need intrinsic motivation.
Stop relying on other people, wages or prestige to provide inspiration. Decide, that you will take it into your own hands to get motivated!
2. Find your why
Once you stop waiting for other people to provide incentives to you, find out what makes you tick. Or, as Simon Sinek would put it, “find your why“.
Related: 9 books that changed my life
This is the moment to be honest with yourself. Sometimes the things that drive us are not necessarily the things we want to drive us. Think about the moments in which you feel super accomplished. Is it when you feel needed? Or is it when you feel free? Empowered?
It doesn’t matter if you want to get motivated to workout, to clean, to lose weight or to start a company. This works for small and big goals.
Remind yourself why you want to do it. “Because I have to” does not qualify as an answer. You have more reasons than that.
3. Visualize the heck out of your goal
Alright, now you know why you actually want to do “the thing”. You have a reason and you have a goal. Now it’s time to visualize.
Imagine in all detail and with all senses. What does it feel like to have accomplished your goal? Are you super fit and flexible? Is your apartment bright and sparkling and smells like citrus?
Especially with bigger, more longterm goals, you want to make this visualization exercise a regular part of your day. I usually visualize during my morning routine.
By regularly imagining all those details, not only do you get a huge motivational boost. You also teach your brain what you want. And your brain is an amazing resource when treated correctly. It will start working towards making that image happen!
4. Tell other people about your plan
If you struggle to get motivated, having an accountability buddy can be an awesome idea. Find someone you can tell your goal to. And who will hold you accountable.
This works especially well if your motivation-partner goes for similar goals. The feeling of not wanting to let them down doubles. And you can exchange tips and tricks on how to reach your target.
5. Reward yourself
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Dull, in this context, can also mean uninspired. Demotivated. So make sure that you reward yourself on a regular basis.
Ideally, your reward is something that you enjoy and that has nothing to do with your task. Both negatively and positively. So, for example, don’t reward yourself with a cheat day OR healthy delivered food if you are on a diet.
Instead, reward yourself with a movie. Meet a friend for coffee. Or take some time off from work for your favorite hobby.
6. Debate with your inner voice
For many of us, motivation fades as soon as we start thinking about what we have to do. Our inner voice wakes up and tells us why we can’t do it anyways. Or why it’s too hard. Maybe it even starts telling us about all these other things we could do…
So in order to get and stay motivated, it is important that you learn how to debate with that voice. Start by becoming aware of its patterns. Does it always say the same things? Then find counter-arguments. Learn how to win the debate!
7. Break it down
No matter how big or small your goal is, chances are that you can break it down into smaller parts. If it is so small that you cannot possibly break it down, simply do it right away.
The reason why we want to break it down is that big tasks can feel overwhelming and like you are not making any progress. If instead, you see small, very manageable bites, you can’t help but get motivated. It will look so much more doable all of a sudden!
“Working out and getting fit” sounds so unattainable. “Work out for 5 minutes every day this week” is a completely different story, isn’t it?
8. Track your goals
Keep track of your goals either with a project management app, if it’s a big one, or simply with a tracker in your journal. I use my bullet journal for this.
This way you’ll be able to see your progress, which will motivate you to keep at it.
9. Display your goals
Find a good way to display your goals. Maybe have a vision board? Or simply pin your goal list to your mirror? The type of presentation is up to your preference. Just make sure that you have visual reminders of your goals around to keep you motivated and on track.
10. Trick your brain into enjoying the work
Remember what I said earlier about the power of the brain? Well, you can also teach your brain to enjoy the “work” you put towards your goal. This way it will want more of it. And what do we call your brain wanting something? That’s right, motivation!
So whenever you do something towards your task or goal, play some nice music. Make sure your surroundings smell nice. (I use essential oils like this one* for that.) Do whatever you can to create a pleasurable experience.
11. Use positive affirmations
A very similar way to get motivated is the use of positive affirmations. Use them to tell yourself that you are a super motivated and energetic person. That you love the thing you will do now. That you can’t wait to get started.
Find out which thoughts hold you back, and then affirm the opposite to yourself. Out loud!
12. Strike a power pose
Do you remember “fake it till you make it”? This works both on a physical and mental level. And we will use it now to get motivated!
No matter what you really feel like, get your inner actress on and strike a pose. Stand or sit the way you would when you would be really inspired and excited to get started. Hold this pose for up to a minute. And enjoy the result.
13. Compliment yourself
Would you agree that getting compliments is motivational? Then use the power of complimenting on yourself! Stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself what awesome human being you are! How motivated! And energetic!
Again, do this even if you don’t feel like it. Fake it. Go for that Oscar!
14. Accept the work in progress
You might use some of these tips and feel how they work. But then, the next day, everything is back to normal. To the slump. And you ask yourself: How can I stay motivated?
The truth is that there will always be days when you feel a little less inclined to do anything. But motivation works like a muscle. You can train it. Keep working on it, keep adjusting your mindset and you’ll find that it comes easier and easier to get started.
“Physical motivation” or “How to get more energy naturally”
Now we’ve thoroughly covered your motivation mindset. But what if you are plagued by constant fatigue? Your lack of motivation could absolutely be caused by a physical lack of energy! So the next few tips tell you the basics on how to get drive and energy in a natural way.
15. Make sure you get enough sleep
This sounds like such a no-brainer, but unfortunately, it is not. If you are not getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night and you feel constantly tired and demotivated, it’s time to work on your sleeping habits.
For starters you want to leave the phone out of the bedroom, go to bed on time, and minimize any sound or light disturbances. Blue light blockers can really help with that!
16. Eat the right things for an energy boost
No, I am not talking about sugary treats! Those will give you a blood sugar spike and related energy boost, but also a nice crash afterward.
Instead, opt for foods whose sugars absorb much slower. Surprise, surprise, those are the typical “healthy foods”. Eat fruit, especially berries, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains instead of fast food.
Those foods will also fuel your brain power and therefore are good for motivation. For a handy checklist, I recommend Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen.
If you are trying to get motivated to exercise: congratulations! Exercising will actually help you get more motivated. The reason behind this is that exercising releases certain hormones that cause you to feel energized.
18. Drink water
A lack of water can easily cause fatigue and therefore a lack of motivation. To keep your energy levels high naturally, keep drinking water throughout your day.
If you struggle with this habit, put a “water tracker” on paper. Put it on your desk and check off the glasses as you drink them. Doing this for a few days will help you get used to drinking more.
Or print the water tracker below (clicking on it opens a printable PDF water tracker)!
19. Reduce stress
A certain amount of stress hormones is actually good for you. But this gets out of balance easily, ending in feelings of exhaustion and mental fog.
To counteract all the stressors of your daily life, find relaxing activities. The easiest and probably most beneficial habit to pick up for this is meditation.
Or try these yoga poses for stress relief!
20. Get outside
Last but not least, make sure to get outside regularly. I want to say every day but would feel like a hypocrite. I work from home and I’m an introvert. Let’s say regularly. If you can do every day, you are a champ!
Nevertheless, going outside, getting fresh air and, even more important, enough vitamin D* is a basic requirement for a healthy energy level. If you live in the northern hemisphere like me, consider supplementing vitamin D. You can find a Vitamin D supplement here*.
How do you get motivated?
Do you have any tips for us that are missing in this list? Let me know in the comments and make sure to share this with someone!
*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.