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Helpful Tips to Stay Motivated Despite Life’s Obstacles

Let’s be honest. Life can suck sometimes. It can go from very good to very bad very fast. But how do you keep yourself motivated when life throws these unexpected curveballs at you? 

Staying motivated in times of hardship and strife can sometimes feel like taking on the impossible. However, having a set of coping strategies can help offset any negative feelings you may be experiencing. Everyone experiences some form of lack of motivation in their lifetime, but these five tips will help you stay motivated even when life hands you lemons:

Set Clear and Achievable Goals

Using the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound) goal setting technique set goals for yourself. There is a big misconception that when you are not motivated you need to wait for motivation to find you. That couldn’t be more wrong. Action is needed to spark the momentum for more action. Sitting around and waiting to be inspired to act on something is not productive. Instead make a list of small achievable goals that you can accomplish today and do them. Checking off things on your to do list as you complete them will give you the confidence to do more tasks and it initiates the momentum you need to continue to do more tasks.  Don’t forget to acknowledge your accomplishments though. No matter how big or small. Celebrate any victories and wins you have along the way and reward yourself.  


Physical activity can be particularly beneficial when you’re not feeling motivated. Physical activity makes you feel good and can motivate you. Keeping to an exercise routine can increase your energy levels and help you sleep better which can have a very positive effect on your motivation levels. Even the simple act of going for a walk will increase your mood tenfold and help you to refocus your mind from feeling unmotivated to wanting to participate in life again. 

Surround Yourself With Positivity

Surround yourself with positive people. Friends, family and supportive networks can be incredibly uplifting when we are feeling down. Leaning on the people who care about us the most can have significant psychological advantages. They can remind you of your past accomplishments and they may even be able to relate to what you’re currently going through. They can offer their support, love and maybe even a laugh or two. 

Self Care

Indulging in self care can be a very critical aspect of regaining your motivational momentum. Figuring out why you are unmotivated in the first place and coming up with a few things you can do to make yourself feel better is an essential component of that. Sometimes all we may need is a break, as well.  

Ask for Help

Last but not least. Ask for help. If you are truly feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated to the point that it’s affecting your everyday life then maybe seeking a professional opinion is the way to go. You are not the only one who has experienced a lack of motivation, and you definitely won’t be the last.  A specialist may be able to offer valuable insight as to why you are feeling the way you are and suggest alternative coping strategies to assist you. Asking for help can be intimidating but there are plenty of resources online and in person that can help. 

Motivation Fluctuates

Staying motivated in a time of turmoil and stress can be very challenging. But you can do it. Staying vigilant in your goal setting, remaining positive and reminding yourself of what you’ve already accomplished in life can be quite helpful. One thing to remember though is that motivation or the lack thereof is not forever and just like everything else in life, motivation levels can and do change with time. 

Momentum generates more momentum and combatting the lack of motivation with clear and concise action is one of the best strategies to use.  However, if you do find yourself bogged down by the burdens of life and cant seem to drag yourself out of them there are plenty of resources out there to help you. 

Taking the steps to work on your motivation levels might even motivate you to come up with more coping strategies you can use in the future. Either way don’t be too hard on yourself if you do feel unmotivated. It happens to all of us. 

Meaghan Franchi / Contributing Writer

Spring 2024

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