What you can do to stay motivated when life seems tough

4 min read

Education & Career Trends: July 31, 2022
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS


Consistent efforts over time will help you comfortably break negative loops and form productive patterns.

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Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviours. It is what causes us to act. Motivation reflects something unique about each one of us and allows us to gain valued outcomes like improved performance, enhanced wellbeing, personal growth, or a sense of purpose. However this sense of motivation and drive is affected when one is hit by tough circumstances in life.

Lack of motivation is essentially lack of passion. It comes with the feelings of no goals, desire, or willingness to work.

As unfair as it might be, sometimes you put your all into a goal and it still doesn’t work out. It can be crushing and make you wonder why you should even bother trying anymore. But believing nothing can change will only be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

On a positive note, there is a lot you can do to spark your motivation and drive again. Here are some ways you can adopt to find what works for you:

1. Reassess your goals and priorities

  • Ask yourself questions like what goals have you set for yourself? Why are you not close to reaching those goals? What do you do each day to try and attain what you want?
  • Identify the slump areas and negative pattens in your answers.
  • Try to work on these areas which need change.

2. Evaluate your willingness to work

  • If you are feeling stuck, stop and look at what other options are available to you.
  • Would a new hobby excite you? Different career options? Going back to school?
  • Evaluate your needs and work on them accordingly.

3. Stop dwelling in the past

  • Maybe you trace your lack of motivation back to some unpleasant incident.
  • Remember the objective fact that it is an incident of the past.
  • It might have gotten you where you are, but it’s not keeping you there.
  • Stop fixating on what came before and look to what comes next.

4. Have goals with a routine

  • You won’t break your bad habits by getting into a one-and-done goal.
  • You need something that requires consistent effort.
  • Consistent efforts over time will help you comfortably break negative loops and form productive patterns.

5. Figure out your unique system

  • Loss of motivation can often be from trying to cram yourself into the box that others use for success.
  • For example, if you’re not a morning person, you’ll never enjoy trying to be one. Maybe instead look for something that accommodates an evening schedule.

6. Eliminate distractions

  • Nothing stunts your progress like getting sidetracked.
  • Work on cutting back on procrastinating through social media and phone time.
  • Find a comfortable work environment for yourself which is free from counterproductive distractions.

7. Have a positive social circle

  • The people you surround yourself with majorly influence your sense of motivation.
  • Negative interactions can leave you feeling jaded.
  • Find ambitious and supportive people you can turn to when needed.

8. Find a purpose

  • You need something to give you a reason to wake up in the morning.
  • Without a purpose, you’re just going through the motions.
  • Determine where you want to be and how to get there.

9. Push through no matter the circumstances

  • Ultimately sometimes you just won’t feel up to getting things done no matter what.
  • But remember that inaction will have worse long-term effects.
  • You know you’ll feel better getting something done, so push through even when it’s a bad day.

There is no permanent fix to motivation, but you can utilise enough tools to learn how to overcome it when it does set in.


Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

How you can tap into your hobbies for a side hustle


(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above mentioned article are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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