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How to Get Motivated When You’re Feeling Uninspired

We all have those days when we just don’t feel like doing the work associated with achieving our goals, so the question is:  How do you get motivated when you’re feeling uninspired? It’s as simple as finding the motivating factor—the thing that will inspire you to take the next step.

But what if the thing that normally motivates you isn’t working today—right now when you need it most?  How do you get motivated and inspired to do what you need to do? Find a new motivator.

First, identify your usual motivating factor by clarifying what normally leads you to take action:  The pleasure of achieving the desired end result or the pain of avoiding an unwanted result?

In other words, every decision you make is based on the positive attraction to the pleasure of the benefits (pleasure) or on the negative avoidance of the pain of penalties (pain). When you find the dominant motivator (pleasure or pain), all you have to do is leverage it to inspire you to take action.

For instance, some days you may be motivated by pleasure, other days it might be by pain. Pay attention to the days you feel especially inspired to get motivated. Are the days when you feel most inspired driven predominantly by the pleasure of doing or by the pain of not doing?This is your usual motivating factor. Tip:  Log your personal motivators in a journal or notebook to identify your personal motivators and patterns. This will help you better manage your actions and goal achievement.

When you discover your personal motivator factor, you know what to switch up on the days when you feel uninspired.

If you’re feeling uninspired, start by asking yourself these questions:


1.  What Are the Results If I Do the Work?

The pleasure motivator is when you’re motivated to do the work because of the benefits it brings.

If you’re feeling uninspired, this is the first question to ask yourself. You may not feel like going to the gym, but the benefits of doing the work inspires you to take the action you need in order to achieve the end results.

Ask yourself:  What are the end results when I do the work?

Keep going:  Are the end results, regardless of the work that has to be done at this moment, enough to motivate me? Is my desire for the end results deep enough to get me to do what I need to do now to achieve a future goal?

If you’re inspired to do the work, you’ve found your motivating factor. Take action NOW, before your inspiration wavers!


2.  What Are the Results If I Don’t Do the Work?

If the pleasure of doing the work isn’t enough to get you motivated, perhaps the pain of not doing the work will be enough to get you going.

Using the same example of going to the gym, let’s approach it from a different angle:  Perhaps, up until this point, you haven’t been able to motivate yourself to do what you need to do by thinking about the benefits of doing the work. In this case, the pleasure motivator isn’t working, so you’ve got to approach it from another angle:  the pain motivator.

Ask yourself:  What are my end results if I don’t do the work?

Keep going:  Are these the end results I truly desire? Am I willing to sacrifice or undo my previous efforts? Am I willing to delay achieving a goal I deeply desire?

If you’re inspired to do the work, you’ve found your motivating factor. Take action NOW, before your inspiration wavers!

Still feeling uninspired? Ask yourself this additional question.


3.  Am I Willing to Pay the Price?

Good, bad, short-term, long-term—there are consequences to every decision you make (even a non-decision cannot escape the consequences). If you’re still not motivated to take action, there are only a few questions left to ask:

Am I willing to pay the price for action or non-action?

Am I willing to accept the consequences of my decision?

Am I making this choice so that I won’t regret my decision, or will I regret it later?

Either way, you will come to a decision to take action or not to take action, and either is okay. Whatever you decide, own it. Own the decision, own the consequences and remember that tomorrow is a brand new day. What you choose to do is just as important as what you choose not to do.

Tip:  Beware not to use your decisions to feel guilty about your shortcomings. Everyone has down days—everyone has days when rest is more important than action. Do not set goals that set you up to feel guilty, set you up for failure, or are someone else’s goals for you. Commit to goals that carry a deep desire so the desire propels your motivation. If you have a down day, you have a down day. So what? Start again tomorrow. Just be sure to own your decision and don’t use it as an excuse to beat yourself down or to wallow in guilt.

You are your own best navigator when it comes to achieving your goals. It may not always be about go-go-going. While we desire to reach the end goal, the journey is unique to each of us. What may be the right action for you may not be right action for someone else. Learn to follow what action (or non-action) feels best—for you. If you find a specific goal particularly challenging or stagnating, revise it, chunk it down, delete it or approach it from the opposite motivator.

About Anne Bachrach

Anne Bachrach
Anne M. Bachrach is known as The Accountability Coach™. She has 23 years of experience training and coaching. The objective is to work less, make more money, and have a more balanced life. Anne is the author of the books Excuses Don’t Count; Results Rule! and Live Life with No Regrets; How the Choices We Make Impact Our Lives. Go to and get 3 FREE gifts including a special report on 10 Power Tips for Getting Focused, Organized, and Achieving Your Goals Now. Join the FREE Silver Inner Circle Membership today and receive 10% off on all products and services, in addition to having access to assessments and resources to help you achieve your goals so you can experience a more balanced and successful life (

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