By the way, my new eBook, “A Step by Step Actionable Guide to Reaching Your Dreams” is out now! It’s for women who want the best from their life but need a push/bit of guidance. It’s action-packed, non-fluffy and full of content. Click here to read/buy now. I’ll happy wait for you to come back 🙂

What can you do to keep yourself motivated? How can you pull yourself out of that dullness you sometimes feel when the last thing you want to do is do stuff?

I’m going to give you a really easy step by step guide on how. This is for those looking for a little kick up the bum, and to remind you of everything you’ve achieved so far.

Mental health (specifically depression) can lead to extremely low motivation. It makes the little tasks much harder.

You don’t even need to suffer from depression, or any other mental health issue, to know what it’s like being unmotivated.

So what steps can you take to combat these moments? When you really couldn’t think of anything better than just sitting on the sofa?

Keeping motivated whether you suffer from a mental illness or not

Get a to-do list sorted

Some of the best things come from creating yourself a to-do list. When I was little, I used to write down everything I wanted to do on my to-do list.

I don’t know why I did it, but it happened. I would only give myself 5 minutes to do them as well. Definitely didn’t have my time management skills sorted at 8 years old!

But I distinctly remember racing around with new energy trying to get anything I wanted to be done.

Whether it was clean out my hamster’s cage, play with said hamster, or anything else hamster related (I LOVE hamsters by the way), I would do it.

Before that moment, I was just sat doing nothing.

Fast forward to now and my to-do lists are much longer and full of adulty-type stuff. I have much less energy as well so you won’t see me running around like a headless chicken now!

The thing is, though, getting that sort of energy going is hard nowadays, especially if you’re lacking in some serious motivation. So I’ve created this to try and bring something back for you.

I’m not saying it’s going to be a light bulb moment, but it might spark a little something in you.

Write a to do list to help you with motivation. With or without mental issues

So grab yourself a bit of paper now. Push yourself to do it. It won’t be that bad once you get started. If you need a bit of help, why not read this post I wrote on to-do lists? Might be useful 🙂

Give yourself more credit for the great things you’ve already done

You’ve had many achievements already in your life, without even realising it. You might also have regrets too.

I want you to focus on the good things so far. I don’t want you to dwell on your regrets. So for example, how about that time you trained someone on something?

Or that time when you really enjoyed, for example, creating a training guide?

These bits you did were inspired and motivated by you. Focus on what it was that got you going the first time. There would have been something that sparked this on you.

Confidence comes with motivation, with or without a mental illness

Having confidence in your actions will inevitably increase your motivation levels. Procrastinating happens from lack of motivation (insert link about procrastination).

Remind yourself about the ‘whys’ and ‘how’s’ to keep you going. Don’t like about the ‘what-ifs’ and ‘maybes’.

Ask for help

Asking for help can seem impossible sometimes. The last thing you might want to do when you’re feeling unmotivated is asking someone for help.

But sometimes the best moments and ideas can come from other people!

Take me for example, the post I wrote about famous people and mental health (read it here!) was inspired by a work colleague mentioning it to me.

He knew I write about mental health and it sparked his interest. In turn, this sparked mine.

Without that little spark (sorry for using the word so often!), that whole post probably wouldn’t have existed! Or it might have done, but way down the line somewhere.

Ask for help when you need motivation, whether you suffer from a mental illness or not

I do say this a lot as well, but we are social creatures. Humans need humans to communicate with. Being unmotivated tends to make us kinda want to crawl into a little shell and ignore the world. We become hermits.

Now I love hermits, I really do, but this will do nothing for your motivation levels.

So bite the bullet and talk to someone. You don’t have to spill your life story or anything, just broach the subject with your mum or dad. See what advice/opinion they can give.

You’ll probably wonder why you were feeling so unsocial in the first place!

Create yourself little goals

Similar to a to-do list, goals keep your mind engaged and focussed. Lack of motivation comes about from a lack of direction and that’s why goals are great.

I promise you, the minute you start writing them down, you’ll feel motivated already.

Set yourself some goals to keep motivated

*disclaimer! I can’t magically make you feel motivated but it might help :)*

Create yourself some nice goals to look forward to. What exactly is it that you want? Write it down and pop it somewhere that you frequent often. No, the pub doesn’t count!

Goals are really great for keeping that motivation going. If you want more info on why goals are great – read this post I wrote recently on them. It has pointers on how to structure them too.

Celebrate the small things

Lack of motivation can sometimes come about from a lack of appreciation. That’s why I’m telling you to celebrate your small wins!

Treating yourself once you’ve hit a milestone is a great way of doing this. Let’s say you’re trying to tone up or lose a bit of weight.

Once you reach your mini-goals, for example losing a few inches off the waist, celebrate! A bottle of wine/fizz will do no harm! How about a new piece of jewellery?

It’s just a little something to keep you motivated.

Celebrate the small wins to keep yourself motivated, mental illness or not

Now I’m not a competitive type of person. But for those that are, this would be a really great way to motivate you. You’ll do everything possible to get to your goal, and you get something at the end of it!

When I say celebrate the little things, it doesn’t always need to include buying something. Why not post to Facebook and let the world know? Or share it on twitter?

There will no doubt be others willing to congratulate on your successes and will definitely keep you going.

Again, it’s all about positivity and reinforcing that whenever possible. Want to know more about positive reinforcement? Read a recent blog post about it.

Visualise where you want to be

Visualisation is a really great way to keep that motivation going.

Imagining where it is you see yourself has a really powerful effect. It can make whatever it is you are working towards more real.

So the next time you’re feeling a bit unmotivated, why not start drawing what you want? Do a bit of research on the internet and find images that relate to you goal.

Print them out and stick them somewhere. Or how about creating a whole mood board? All you need is some paper, glue and a printer.

You can stick stuff to it whenever necessary, or when you find something relevant.

Hang the mood board somewhere really obvious as well. There’s no point doing it if you’re just going to shove it somewhere of insignificance.

Visualise your goals. it will help keep you motivated, mental illness or not

Honestly – a little bit of visualisation works wonders for me. I need things stuck here, there and everywhere to keep me thinking about my dreams.

It’s not that I’ll forget, it’s just that I need regular reminders to keep me motivated.

Don’t beat yourself up

Sometimes, things go wrong. Sometimes you make mistakes. We’re all prone to this.

But beating yourself up about these things will do you no good. It can have a negative impact on your mental health and DEFINITELY make you unmotivated.

Those with anxiety, depression or another mental illness means you might succumb to negative thoughts. I know my anxiety makes me think badly all the time.

I really have to snap out of it. So that’s why I’m telling you to think now.

Please don’t beat yourself up about anything that might go wrong. Especially if it hasn’t even gone wrong yet!

You know what as well? Things will go wrong. But they create solutions too. They give you the opportunity to resolve issues as they come, and will improve you as a person.

By not beating yourself up, it will help keep you motivated. This will be fore you with or without a mental illness

They are actually very positive things, once you’ve got past the initial hurdle.

Do you know why companies are always asking for feedback? You know, those automated messages tell you that your feedback is important?

That’s because companies want to improve. How are they going to fix things if they don’t know what’s wrong?

This is the same for you. If you’re happily plodding along thinking you’re doing everything right, but you’re not, how will you know?

Turn around the negative into a positive. Allow yourself to accept that you will make mistakes and the motivation will follow you. You’ll want to improve.

The point of this post today is to make you realise that you are capable of anything you want.

Don’t let motivation stop you. Use these tips at times when you’re feeling like doing nothing. Push yourself through that unmotivated monster and fight back.

How do you keep yourself motivated? What advice would you give to someone feeling like this right now?

10 comments on “An Actionable Guide to Getting Yourself Motivated”

  1. I don’t suffer from mental health illness. However, just like many of us, there are days where things aren’t just working out and self doubt comes into play. I’ve seen people who suffer from it and it’s not the easiest thing to watch. The fact that they feel so helpless is heartbreaking. You have provided some really good practical advice. The hardest thing is giving yourself credit for anything. I hope others can apply these practices you have provided. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hey, Mimi – thank you for sharing your thoughts. I love how understanding you are, even though you’ve not been through it. If only more people were like you! It is heartbreaking seeing people go through it, and the worst part is that you can’t do anything to help. Thanks again for sharing your opinion – I always love hearing other people’s point of view 🙂

  2. I enjoyed reading this post but there’s a but! A big one… I have a friend with mental health issues and most times she is absolutely fine! Sometimes though, she has a breakdown! A really difficult breakdown. When she feels better, she tends to drink alcohol, which in my opinion is a no no for someone with mental health issues. I may be wrong. I looked at the leaflets in her medication and they all say avoid alcohol. What’s your take on that? Great article BTW

    • Hi Joleisa, thanks for commenting! Most of the time I think everyone is fine, or at least looks like they are. They may not be inside, though, and that’s where alcohol can come in, unfortunately. The problem with anything alcoholic is that they always say not to drink because it’s a depressive, and can kind of counteract medication. I still drink, though, in moderation! I think for your friend, though, it would be good for her to think about what it is that makes her want to drink. Plus, is it in moderation? If it is then I wouldn’t worry. The best way to try and help her is probably to talk to her and let her know you’re here to go to if she needs you. Hopefully that helps 🙂

  3. Just ran across this on Pinterest today. Very interesting to me. I have taken Meds for depression for 15 years and do not skip it because of the downward spiral. I do love to drink once in a while. I am more confident and outgoing with a glass of wine. I realized last year after reading a story about an agoraphobic person that I have those tendencies. I have encouraged all my friends to call me whenever and I always go with them even if it is to the Good Will for a little while. They help me with spontaneity.

    • Hi Claudia, thanks for sharing! I too also love a drink, but also take medication for my anxiety. It sounds like you’ve got some really great friends around you and they understand you whish is even better. I hope you continue to improve and keep going!

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