How to Get Motivated When You Have No Motivation to Do Anything

no motivation to do anything

Motivation definition

What is motivation? The definition of motivation is a process that guides and initiates you to do something. The true meaning of motivation may be hard to grasp for some people, but it is very simple – it means to be moved to do something. It could be work, personal goals, or other things. Motivation, however, has a very subjective definition. For some, motivation might just be getting out of bed in the morning; Some might consider an act as motivating if it is much greater in magnitude. Therefore, the definition of motivation is quite varied and should thus always be considered as such.

Why is motivation important to peoples’ lives?

There are numerous reasons why motivation is so important in our lives. Motivation itself can increase our energy levels, as it causes us to work towards our goals and desires. And of course, motivation certainly boosts your productivity and makes you efficient at doing what you're trying to do. Isn't that great? Furthermore, your motivation doesn't only affect you but also those around you – it can influence others. Your attitude can affect that of the people around you; a motivated person makes the working environment far better and raises morale. Very importantly, proper motivation can also help you build long-lasting habits and manage your time in a much better way. All of these factors translate into the fact that motivation is crucial in our day to day lives – and we need to achieve our goals, dreams, and ambitions. Motivation can make all the difference between a good day and a bad one. 

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How to get motivated?

Have you ever had one of those days when you say to yourself, “I have no motivation to do anything” or ask yourself “Why do I have no motivation for anything”? Perhaps this is acceptable on a casual, lazy summer day when you are on vacation from your usual duties and nothing is at stake. But for some people, there is a constant, perpetual feeling: I have no motivation for life. Whether it’s going to the gym, going to work, looking for work, or doing house chores, sometimes it’s hard to work up the motivation to do anything. 

The first key to being motivated is to be self-aware. Self-awareness is a critical aspect of being able to be motivated regularly. It lets you better understand yourself and your place in the world and, therefore, pushes you to do more. It is an excellent way to motivate yourself. There are many things you should ask yourself to be self-aware. Ask yourself the following and try your best to answer them: "what is my purpose in life?", "what activity/job makes me happy or content?" "what are my hobbies and passions?" "what do I  really want to achieve in the next five years?", "what type of person do I want to be?". Asking yourself these crucial questions will allow you to recognize your life's major goals and ambitions, allowing you to get more motivated. Below are a few simple strategies to allow you to get a “jump start” on your motivation.

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Even the best of us can be demotivated at times.

Even the most motivated of people can, at times, be demotivated. There are a lot of reasons for this, and it is a normal process to go through. However, there are many ways to avoid being demotivated. If you want to get yourself to be motivated and not fall into this dangerous cycle, there are certain things you should do. Here's how to be motivated consistently.

Set specific goals for yourself

Setting specific goals ensures that you know what you're trying to achieve and are getting there instead of running in circles.

Track your progress

Tracking progress is very important as it allows you to see if a plan is working. 

Divide your tasks properly into smaller ones 

Dividing tasks makes it easier to achieve and makes tracking far easier. You're more likely to do several small divided tasks than one large and complex one; it increases your motivation.

Reward yourself after you complete something

Rewards always make you more motivated, so if you reward yourself after completing tasks, you’ll be more motivated to do them.

Focus on the Little Positive Thingsno motivation to do anything

Sometimes when you have no motivation to do anything, it has much to do with how you perceive the task at hand. For example, you may feel no motivation to go to work because you don’t like your job or any of the people you work with. Or you may have no motivation to exercise when you think about how hard it would be to run 30 minutes on the treadmill. It’s important, in this situation, to focus not on the difficulty or dread of having to “tolerate” these situations, which will only add unneeded pressure upon yourself. But rather, focus on the little things you have to gain from these tasks. Train yourself to look away from the unpleasantness and difficulty of these tasks, and focus your attention on the little things that you look forward to.

For example, you hate going to work because you don’t like your colleagues, but you look forward to your lunch break in the park, where you can quietly enjoying the calm of nature while eating your delicious pizza from the place down the street. You don’t like going to the gym because forcing yourself to exercise is hard, but you think that girl Debra at the gym is kind of cute and you want her to think you’re committed to being in shape. These may seem like ridiculous, even childish things, but sometimes it’s important to find ways to distract yourself from the negative elements that kills any motivation. Focus on the things that fuels you, not kills you.

Don't Underestimate Yourself

no motivation to do anything

Many people tell themselves: I have no motivation to do anything because I can’t do anything right. Such low self-esteem is a major motivation killer. There is no such person as someone who cannot do ANYTHING. In fact, these people who often sell themselves short may inadvertently impede any skills they already have. Before you force yourself to do anything, take some time to reflect on the things you can do and have done. Regaining some confidence in your own ability will help you build some momentum into actually completing a task.

For example, you’ve lost the motivation to look for a job because you don’t think you have any marketable skills. Don’t listen to those self-generated lies. Take time to consider the things you’ve accomplished, as little as they may be, that will fuel you to take the next step forward.

Focus on the Process, Not the End Result

no motivation to do anything

Some people may not even be sure why they lack the motivation: They ask themselves: Why do I have no motivation for anything? For some reason, they just don’t feel like doing something. Often times, this seemingly baseless lack of motivation can be attributed to the apparent distance of the end goal. If the destination seems far in the future, it may appear unattainable and not even worth attempting. If you were to drive across the North American continent from coast to coast, would it be easier to focus on the 6-day drive to the destination, or focus on finding all the scenic stops along the way? Focus not on the distance of the end result, learn to appreciate all the little things that come along the way of getting there.

Find People To Tag-team With

no motivation to do anything

People who feel like they have no motivation have a tendency to isolate themselves from others, having convinced themselves that they are not as accomplished as their peers. What they often do not realize is that they are not stuck in this funk alone. Sometimes it takes a little bit of opening up to others to help you break out of that funk. Reaching out to others can provide you with an external motivation that you may have trouble conjuring up on your own. Need motivation to get out of the house and exercise? Ask that neighbor who goes jogging at 6am every morning to come over and wake you up and take you jogging. It can even become a mutual motivation for someone else who might be feeling the same way, but because you reached out, that person now feels capable of helping the both of you.

Imagine the End Result

no motivation to do anything

“Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so.” An avid cinephile may recall this quote from Ridley Scott’s 2000 classic film “Gladiator” where Maximus addresses his men before leading them into battle, and for many, into certain death. Sometimes you may feel a lack of motivation to do something because the outlook is poor. For example, you may lack the motivation to look for a job because the economy is in a slump. But painting a picture of a bright future, although seemingly premature, may be the pivotal factor that drives you into a task for the sole purpose of attaining that goal. Don’t feel like going to work? How about imagining the prospect of saving up enough money to go on that dream vacation to Europe? Don’t feel like cleaning the apartment? How about imagining having a place so clean that your significant other actually enjoys staying over and tells all his or her friends how tidy you are? This is a more colorful way to perceive goal-setting, which in itself can seem mundane and become a tedious process. Creating a positive result in your mind can motivate you to do something that you otherwise may not even want to attain in the first place.

How can we make motivation a habit?

It is important to understand that turning your motivation into a habit is crucial as it saves you time instead of you always trying to make yourself motivated. We need to know that motivation is the result of an action and not the cause of it.

There are some ways to change your motivation into a habit:

  • Surround yourself with inspiration and motivated people; it makes all the difference.
  • Have a routine – and stick to it!
  • Remove all the distractions and unnecessary things from your life and focus on what's important.
  • Work on your mindset: stay positive, be focused, and stay determined
  • Plan your days ahead of time to be more productive

Incorporating these tips into your routine would make it easier for you to be motivated constantly. So, if you've ever wondered for hours how to be motivated – you now have the answer.

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Personal reflection

From my personal experiences, I have often faced a lot of discomfort due to my demotivation regarding work, studies, or my life goals in general. This lack of motivation was dangerous to me. However, with regular effort to incorporate these habits, I could be more motivated and turn my motivation into a habit. I was inspired by this work ethic and tried my best to eliminate my demotivation's discomfort. We must be motivated to achieve our goals and because it ultimately makes us feel happy and content. Motivation is a key element of finding true happiness. 

There are many inspirational quotes for motivation I read to feel better. One of my favorite inspirational quotes was from Walt Disney, and it says: "All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." This inspirational quote stuck with me and pushed me to do better in my life. 

While quotes provide me with a sense of passion and happiness, it also brings me great joy when my motivated self does something that I could only dream of. It is only then that I realize the true power of being motivated and how a dedicated, positive mental attitude can make a heap of difference in how I look at the curveballs that life throws me. 


 Being motivated can be hard. There are probably more people who tell themselves “I have no motivation” than people who are clearly motivated. The tips offered here are but the fundamental elements. There are many more useful advice to learning how to get motivated when you have no motivation to do anything. The most important thing is that it all starts with you. Remember, nobody can motivate you more than you. It may not be easy to get started, but once you pick up momentum, you will achieve your goal before you know it.


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