How to Get Back on Track When You’ve Lost Your Motivation

When your “get up and go” has “got up and left,” when there’s no more “pep” left in your step, sometimes the best thing you can do is just stop trying for a while. I get it sometimes when things just feel confusing and body gets lazy. Motivation sounds enticing when thinking and getting ideas, but the major thing is to start executing those ideas and be productive.

Moving forward feels great, but movement takes energy. When’s the last time you took a break without feeling guilty?

If you dislike the idea of resting, it might help to know that it’s a productive and appropriate project that could help you get your groove back.

Having said that, maybe you don’t have the option of sitting around doing nothing. Somehow, you’ve got to find or create the motivation to get moving again, regardless of how stuck you feel.

That’s when it’s time to do two things.

The first is to remind yourself of your own agency. No matter how helpless you may feel at a time like this, no matter what challenges you face, you have control over the little things in your life.

You’re the only one who gets to decide whether to brush your teeth, rinse out that empty yogurt container, or sweep up that debris on the floor near the front door.

When life won’t give up its rewards to you, you can still reward yourself with clean hair, a timeout, or—here’s a novel idea—a carrot. (Make it a baby carrot with peanut butter; you need the nutrients.)

Losing motivation creates a sense of powerlessness, not to mention a lack of direction and purpose. It casts a spell that makes you forget your autonomy. But total powerlessness is most often an illusion.

Who else makes those moment-to-moment decisions about whether to wash a dish, darn a sock, or do a push-up?

When you feel paralyzed by obstacles like apathy, low energy, or indecision, taking small, unrelated actions can rev that idling engine.

The best activities are simple acts of grooming and household management.

Sprucing up your résumé and applying for jobs on the Internet is not a small action; don’t ask yourself to do that before you have some wins under your belt in the form of clipped nails, a tidy drawer, or a changed light bulb.

Once you inspire yourself by being proactive in smaller tasks, you’ll be better able to roll up your sleeves and do some heavy lifting on the bigger stuff.

The second thing to do if you’ve lost your mojo is to follow these three, simple words: Just start it. I remember an instructor in graduate school telling us that if you simply begin to do a task, motivation kicks in within 10 seconds.

You read that right: 10 seconds may be all it takes to shift from “I don’t want to do it” to “I’m already doing it, so I might as well continue.”

Let’s say, for example, you’re trying to get yourself to go to the gym. Get up right now and gather your workout clothes and/or shoes. Fill a water bottle or do whatever it takes to prep for a trip to the gym.

You’re far more likely to follow through and actually go if you start doing anything related to your goal.

Between these two tools—inspiring yourself through small actions or committing to just 10 seconds of activity—you’ll be able to make more progress than you would by sitting there berating yourself for being stuck.

The best way to get things in action, is to do your best and leave the rest to God to take control.

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Faith And Action

In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus said:

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. “
I think what we see here is the same kind of thing James is talking about in James 2:14-26: “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by act is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.
You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. “

The foolish man may hear and even believe a house built on the rock is better, but his house still crumbles if he doesn’t actually build it there. If we aren’t living our faith, our faith is dying. Let’s hear, believe, and then act accordingly.