Feeling unmotivated? Get your will power back

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 21 May, 2024 08:00 | 3 mins read

We might have the best intentions and plan to do something, yet end up not doing it. The numerous gym memberships that expire every month are testament to this. One commits their money as a promise to show up, and they tell themselves that they will show up and even come up with exercises they will do, yet bail out at the slightest excuse. One plans to save money at the end of the month, but blows it all at the slightest prompt.

In both examples, there is a lack of motivation to stick to a set goal. Motivation is the driving force that guides our every action whether internal such as thirst or the need for esteem, or external such as the need for applause and recognition. There are times when one lacks motivation due to various reasons.

How to tell you are unmotivated

“Lack of motivation is apparent when someone lacks punctuality, procrastinates, is frequently absent from work and with flimsy reasons, performs below par, and is generally lethargic. It can be caused by various reasons. In the workplace, it can be caused by unclear vision, feeling unappreciated, and a bad working environment. In the personal arena, it can be caused by anything from emotional upsets and stress and can often spill over to other areas of life such as non-performance at work due to an emotional upset at home,” Catherine Gachutha, a psychologist explains.

She says the most important thing is self-awareness so one can clock the lack of motivation and ferret out what could be causing it.

Coach Vuyanzi Rod, a self-development coach concurs with this. She says  non-performance due to lack of motivation can be because of personal and personality changes and urges people to look deeper and not just dismiss non-performance to laziness.

She says there are deeper reasons and more nuanced ways of getting to the root of the lack of motivation other than looking for the quickest label to slap on a person.

“We all have daily routines such as going to work daily and we might feel motivated up to a point. The reason behind the routine should be important as it is the driver of the action. It could be to provide a better life for the children hence the daily trips. If someone feels unmotivated, they should look back at the heart of the matter as to the reason they do what they do. Money is not the reason. The things that the money does such as pay for vacations or health bills is the real reason that one should look at in the quest for motivation,” coach Vuyanzi explains. 

How important to you is that thing you are now unmotivated to achieve? Being compliant and being disciplined are two different things. At times students on scholarship get good grades to comply with the requirements for said scholarship. Someone who determinedly pursues good grades even without set rules and guidelines is said to be disciplined.

Way forward

Every person needs to know who they are and what drives them. What fuels you and what is it that causing you to sway away from the destination? What is the destination and why is it important? They need to find the reason they are feeling disconnected from their goals.

One can power through tasks by instituting positive reinforcements after successful completion of tasks. This means that there has to be a task list to begin with and a certain level of self-awareness as the celebration of finishing a task looks different for the person who rewards themselves with an indulgent food treat and another who rewards themselves with their favourite read or watching their favourite series.

“One can also create an accountability system. This is where you have someone to whom you give progress updates on how much you have achieved at a given time. It could be a meet-up with a friend to discuss progress every two weeks. Or it could be a life coach. The only difference is that the coach will not only be an accountability partner, but will also help you find the reasons behind your actions, and why they fuel you towards your goals. A mentor can also be a great accountability partner as they can help you monitor and guide your growth in the industry. The great thing is that mentors are inspired to be great and to be role models to their mentees during the mentorship sessions,” Vuyanzi shares.

Catherine emphasises on the importance of dealing with emotional challenges expediently as they cripple creativity and might affect motivation and performance. The other trick to achieving goals even with lagging motivation is to work on being a better time manager.

“Have clear goals with clear timelines and then ruthlessly prioritise. Shun peer pressure and keep working on your goals no matter what. Stop when you are done not when you feel like stopping. Ensure you pace yourself and have a work plan with breaks as burnout and fatigue can lead to lack of motivation,” Catherine says in conclusion.

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