How do you learn when you are demotivated

No motivation? 8 motivational tips that really work

There are moments in life when you just don't have any motivation.

  • No motivation to work.
  • No motivation to learn.
  • No motivation to exercise.
  • No motivation to clean up.
  • No motivation for anything.

No matter who you are and no matter what your goals are: Lows of motivation are part of life.

After all, we are not machines that execute commands at the push of a button and process endless to-do lists without emotion ...

Personally, I don't know anyone who is always 100% motivated.

Of course, that doesn't mean that you can't do anything about your lack of self-motivation.

There are some very effective motivational aids to help you pursue your tasks full of energy.

And that's exactly what this article is about.

By the way: You can also watch the short version of the article as a video:

8 effective tips against a lack of motivation

Are you looking for your motivation like a lost sock? Then you are right here.

The following are the 8 most effective tips against a lack of motivation.

For me personally, motivation tip number 8 works best.

Tip number 5, on the other hand, is very deep and can shake you quite a bit. But sometimes the dog is buried right there.

1. Use the motivational quickie!

You probably know it:

You have firmly decided on something, but absolutely no motivation for it:

  • To finalize your cover letter
  • To go jogging
  • To learn for the next exam
  • Make the tax return
  • Prepare the important presentation for next week

For hours you've been shirking the task and procrastinating so well that Homer Simpson be proud of you.

Then try a quickie!

No, not the kind of quickie you're thinking about (you piglet), but with the motivational quickie.

How it works?

Very simple.

Make a resolution to do the planned task for 5 minutes.

You can certainly overcome yourself for 5 minutes, right?

But what happens in most cases is interesting. 5 minutes can quickly become 30, 60 or even 90 minutes.

This is because in 99% of the cases it is only the beginning that costs us so much to overcome.

Once we have started and are in on the task, it is a lot easier.

The 5 minute motivational quickie works wonders!

Have you noticed that once you've been jogging, filing your tax return, studying, or doing something else, it's no longer difficult for you? Yes maybe even suddenly it's fun?


2. Small steps

Often we are unmotivated because our goal seems too big and powerful. We believe it is impossible to achieve.

Imagine you want to write a book ..

The task seems so big that it's easy to lose motivation (I know what I'm talking about since I've written several books).

But what is a book made of? From chapters. And every chapter from sub-chapter. And each sub-chapter from paragraphs.

Writing a book can be very intimidating. But what about a chapter? And a sub-chapter? And a paragraph?

I think you get what I'm getting at.

When you break your task or goal down into small steps, it seems much more tangible and realistic.

And that is very important for your motivation.

If you think that you cannot do something, you also lack motivation.

Break your task down into small steps

If you've never been to the gym and your goal is 100kg. Doing squats makes you demotivated.

Once you set out to do 3 × 10 reps with no weight, things will look different.

Do not forget: Every great journey begins with a small step.

(Read also: Overcoming listlessness)

3. Do it first thing in the day

There are certainly some things in your life that you do not enjoy doing. Unfortunately, it is often the very things that are important to achieve your goals.

You are probably putting off these tasks for as long as possible ...

Do you know what works better?

Do them as early as possible in the day.

What many people don't know: our willpower is limited. And the more tasks we do that cost willpower, the less we get out of it.1

So in the morning your willpower tank is still full.

Another big bonus: you'll feel relaxed and good for the rest of the day because you've already got the worst behind you.

For example, let's say you've made a firm commitment to jog for 30 minutes every day.

Then do it before work. Then you have it behind you. Then you are proud of yourself. Then you feel good because you have overcome your weaker self.

For me, for example, it's the same with writing. I enjoy writing, but I often find it difficult to start. And the longer I wait with it, the harder it gets.

Then there is my guilty conscience, the self-reproaches, etc. You know what I'm talking about.

That's why writing is one of the first things I do in the morning. For example, while I am writing these lines it is 9:37 a.m.

I will probably continue to write for another 60 to 90 minutes.

Even if I'm not productive for the rest of the day, it's been a pretty good day - because I got the most important things done first.

4. DO NOT visualize your goal

A common motivational tip is to visualize your success.

So you should picture in your mind that you have already achieved your goal:

  • How to run across the finish line of your first marathon.
  • How you look after you've lost 10 kg.
  • What your office will look like when you finally have the new job.

The problem?

This supposed motivational tip turns out to be an anti-tip.

Visualizing positively - for example, imagining getting a new job or passing an exam - will in many cases lead to worse results.2

Psychologists believe it's because positive visualization makes us lazier and less prepared because our brain believes we have already achieved our goal.

DO NOT visualize your goal

So when you imagine how sexy you will only look after you have only lost 10 kg, your brain will believe you have already lost the 10 kg - and this makes you less motivated to really do something for your goal.

I don't know about you, but I have seen this phenomenon on myself many times. The more I imagine that I've already achieved something, the harder it is for me to motivate myself to do it.

So what works better?

That you imagine all the intermediate steps. The difficulties, the problems, the risks - and how you will deal with them.

This will help you prepare better internally for it.

By the way: what has an enormous influence on your endurance and motivation is your mindset. That's why I wrote a guide in which you can find out how to develop a strong mindset and thereby increase your motivation. You can get the counselor download it for free here.

5. Take a break

Are you no longer motivated at all? Do you feel energized and weak? Are you completely demotivated?

Then treat yourself to a break!

Charging your batteries often works wonders.

This can mean taking a quick nap or a walk. It can mean taking the rest of the day off. Or it can mean switching off for several days.

In our increasingly hectic and faster world, we often forget to allow ourselves enough rest.

But without relaxation, tension is no longer possible at some point. Without breaks and rest periods, sooner or later you will no longer have any motivation or energy.

Working 24/7 is nonsense!

It is not uncommon for our biggest breakthroughs to occur during periods of rest.

Then we have important insights, gather new motivation and gain new strength.

So if you've been going full throttle lately and are no longer motivated, take a break.

Paradoxically, sometimes you can only move forward if you stop.

6. Question your goals

It's perfectly normal to have no motivation every now and then.

However, if you have been unmotivated for a long time and you permanently lack the energy, you should question your goals.

There are tons of goal setting tips out there.

But the why behind the goals is rarely discussed.

However, setting a goal is useless unless you know why you are setting it.

Because the motivation behind your goal largely determines how motivated you will be to work on your goal in the long term.

Question your goals - and be honest!

If you do something just to impress your parents, for the money, or because you think it should be done, you are likely to suffer from motivational problems all the time.

If you set yourself goals that align with your deepest values ​​and beliefs that challenge and inspire you, you will struggle with motivation problems much less often.

Who is more likely to lose weight?

  1. A person who the (even overweight) doctor recommended to lose weight for health reasons?
  2. A person who has resolved to lead a healthy and active life, who no longer sees food as a substitute for satisfaction, and who wants to find a sport that is fun?

If you are permanently no longer motivated, question your goals. And find something that is fuc * ing meaningful to you.

7. Avoid distractions

Do you know what the number 1 productivity and motivation killer is?


  • Emails.
  • Facebook.
  • Instagram.
  • Netflix.
  • Youtube.
  • Tinder.

These beasts are stopping you from doing what you set out to do.

I'm damned serious.

Internet and social media eat up your motivation and productivity for breakfast. And literally.

When you check email and social media first thing in the morning, your motivation is low. If you try to do something while your smartphone beeps and flashes every 3 minutes, anyway.

I'm at a point in my life where I leave my smartphone on airplane mode until lunch for many days.

It's unbelievable how much more motivated and productive I am in the mornings.

Do you use your smartphone or your smartphone yourself?

If you have no motivation, procrastinate, or simply can't get ahead, avoid distraction.

  • Switch your smartphone to airplane mode and move it to another room.
  • Avoid Youtube, Netflix, news sites or other time killers.
  • Tell colleagues or roommates that you want privacy.

Remember: focus is one of the keys to being motivated.

8. Remember your why

You have set yourself an ambitious goal. But on the way there are unexpected challenges, big hurdles and unfortunately also setbacks.

Welcome buddy, that's called life!

Most of the goals in life that are meaningful are not easy. Because if they were simple, they wouldn't be meaningful.

What can help you in difficult times is remembering your why.

  • Why do you want to achieve your goal?
  • Why did you start
  • Why is it worth going on?
  • What would happen if you gave up?

A strong why is the greatest driving force when the going gets tough (this is why motivation tip 6 is so important).

When you have a clear why, you will move on even if it is difficult, if you experience setbacks, or if you have no motivation.

The stronger the fire burns in you, the more drive and determination you have.

Motivation is therefore often a by-product of a self-determined life. A life based on your values, ideas and goals, not those of others.

Follow your path in life. Because that is the only path that you will be really motivated to walk.

4 mindsets for more drive and motivation

Your mindset has a great influence on your drive, motivation and endurance.

With a strong mindset, you will do what you set out to do, stay on the ball and achieve your goals faster.

That's why I wrote a guidebook. In it you will learn 4 mindsets to increase your motivation.

Just enter your email address and I'll send you the guide for free.

You might also be interested in:

  1. Baumeister, R. F .; Bratslavsky, E .; Muraven, M. & Tice, D.M. (1998). Ego Depletion: Is the Active Self a Limited Resource? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 74.5: 1252-265
  2. Fredrico L. Narvacan, Niño & Evangeline, Atienza-Bulaquiña & D. Evangelista, Lucille. (2014). Effects of Visualization on Academic Performance of College Students. International Journal of Information and Education Technology. 4. 156-160. 10.7763 / IJIET.2014.V4.389.