5 Ways to Get Motivated When You're Feeling Overwhelmed
Even if you’re the most positive person in the world, you may find it hard to get motivated sometimes. You may just fall into a rut and positive changes seem like too much to ask for.
Don’t worry. There is hope.
Believe it or not, there are steps that are scientifically proven to help you get motivated, overcome depression and make progress in your life.
Motivation is a process that takes time, repetition, and discipline.
Even the most successful people in the world have felt apathetic or overwhelmed at times, and managed to get over it. The good news is that anybody can overcome a lack of motivation and reach their goals.
That’s why it’s important to remember that it’s never too late to get motivated.
If you keep the following 5 simple steps in mind, they can help you make the positive changes you need in your life to get motivated, overcome obstacles and reach your goals.
Ready to get motivated? Good, let’s go!
1. Have a clear goal
When you feel depressed, it could be because you’re overwhelmed from taking on more than you can handle. Maybe you try to do too much and forget your focus and free will.
First of all, it’s important to keep refocusing on the goal. That way, you can direct all of your effort and dedication towards it and achieve the changes you want in your life.
Do you want to lose weight? Are you hoping to read more? Would you like to wake up earlier?
Determine what your goal is, write it down, and be as clear as possible. For example: I’m going to lose 10 pounds by January 1st.
2. Look for motivation
This means finding the fuel that will propel you to get motivated: your “why.” Human beings are programmed to avoid pain and look for what gives us pleasure.
Experiencing short-term pain can be a good strategy when you’re trying to make changes that will improve your quality of life in the long-term.
To get past the pain, you won’t have any other choice than to change. It may be what your mind needs to get motivated and move forward.
Find out what pain points and pleasure points you have and connect them with the goal you wrote down.
3. Create a routine for success
Once you establish your goal, it’s important to realize that there are forces that don’t have anything to do with finding motivation.
When you break your daily habits and make new, better ones, you’re able to turn your cycle of actions in your favor instead of being trapped by bad habits.
You don’t necessarily have to make huge changes to see improvement. You can start little by little, and it’ll be much easier to increase over time.
This can be as simple as starting to exercise for 2 minutes a day, at a certain time, and keep increasing as you decide is necessary.
Program your mind to break your habits and create a routine where you’re rewarded. Putting reminders on your cell phone is also helpful.
4. Get accountable
When you run a marathon, you can challenge your friends to try it too or bet on you for a little bit of money, for example. This will help you get motivated to do all you can to reach the goal you set for yourself.
Your goal doesn’t have to be about becoming a professional athlete or getting first place. Nor do you have to do it just for others.
Remember that your goal is personal, and meeting your objective should mostly be about feeling proud of yourself.
Talk to people about your goal, post your progress on social networks, or even look for groups of people who have the same goal on and offline. This will connect you with people to constantly support and encourage you.
5. Remember why you’re doing it
It’s very easy to lose the drive you had at the beginning when you found your motivation and fixed your eyes on your goal. You have to constantly remind yourself why you started.
Use reminder phrases that also help you get motivated, like mens sana in corpore sano (“a healthy mind is a healthy body”).
Repeating mantras also helps. Put them where you’ll see them before bed and first thing in the morning.
You could go a step further and record a self-motivation video for your “future self,” reminding yourself of your motives for changing and why you should keep going even when it’s hard.
The only way you can stay conscious of what you need to change and improve is by reminding yourself why you’re doing it.
Are you overwhelmed? Are you unhappy with your life? Take the reins of your life and start working on it. Put these ideas into practice and move towards the life you want.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Palmero Francesc. (2005). Motivación: conducta y proceso. Revista Electrónica de Motivación y Emoción. https://doi.org/10.1162/pres.17.4.365