Motivation is elusive at times, so each one of us has been challenged to find it when it escapes us.  Whether it is for a specific work assignment or simply to move life forward, motivation is an essential feature of high productivity and meaningful output. As a result, we lean on a variety of techniques to keep motivation high and continually adapt our approach to staying inspired.  When motivation runs dry, use the following tips to turn things around.

Set a Mini-Goal

Success begets motivation, so setting yourself up to win a small battle is a great way to support ongoing productivity.  The morale boost from a minor win creates momentum, which can be all that’s required to ramp-up motivation levels.  When tackling a work project, for example, carve-out a short-term benchmark you can easily reach.  And if that is not enough to spark a roll, move through subsequent tasks in the same way. Eventually, sustained motivation will set-in, seeing the project to completion.

Turn to Past Success

When frustration or self-doubt get in the way of motivation, turn your focus to things you have done well in the past.  Reminding yourself of what you’re capable of is often all that’s required to restore forward thinking and ramp-up motivation levels.  In fact, sometimes you can pull lessons directly from your past successes, to be applied to ongoing projects.


Playing a game or competing in a sporting event stimulates motivation. Pitting yourself against others or even against yourself in a solo sport stirs natural internal responses, which motivate you in all areas of life.  Win or lose, competitive juices motivate you to perform at peak levels.

Find Help

Motivation and inspiration are infectious, so leaning on helpers can be a strong force for revving-up your own enthusiasm.  Even tapping an associate’s or co-workers expertise for a single piece of the puzzle can be enough to boost your motivation tackling the other aspects of a project.

Get back to Nature

Though it represents a stark contrast to business environments and other fast-paced parts of modern life, nature has an amazing restorative impact on motivation.  Walks through the park or a more intensive hike, for example, expose you to inspirational features of nature, which are easily carried to tasks you need to complete. Taking-in the larger picture this way inspires reflection capable of motivating observers to get excited about their own places in the universe.

Study Mentors

When struggling with your own output, it can be beneficial to study examples of the type of work you wish you were producing.  Formal mentors can help with motivation directly, by sharing experiences and helping tweak your trajectory.  But even studying respected colleagues from afar yields clues to what motivates them and keeps them on track.

Change your Scenery

Sometimes work environments become stale and uninspiring, calling for a change of scenery to boost motivation levels.  If possible, shake things up by changing your environment, which can itself stir inspiration.  Travel, for example, stimulates worldly feelings, which can be beneficial to self-motivation.  And though it is not always possible to get away when motivation wanes, there are nonetheless worthy options found locally, allowing you to stay on-point with assigned work tasks.  If you telecommute, for example, try heading-in to the office for a day or two to mix things up. Or if a cubicle stands in the way of motivation, seek permission to deliver remotely, enabling you to complete work assignments at home, the library, or some other inspiring location.

Get Fit

Mind and body are inextricably linked, so motivation levels are influenced by physical fitness as well as mental fortitude.  If you find your productivity and inspiration slipping, account for your physical approach alongside the mental exercises you tap to increase motivation.  Start slow, to get your blood flowing and synch your and and body.  Once positive results are felt, it becomes easier to engage in exercise as a motivational force.  Walks and other low-impact movements should not be underestimated for the benefits they bring.

Do the Opposite

Human beings undeniably get in ruts, reinforcing patterns that can be hard to break from.  When your motivation slips as a result of sameness, try changing your approach with a radical departure from the status quo.  By acting contrary to your standard approach, you’ll open new perspectives and channels of understanding.  Even if you determine your original take on things is the best one available, it serves to reinforce your confidence, motivating you to keep up the good work.

Be Forgiving

Second-guessing your methods and performance can be enough to thwart motivation and hold you at a standstill.  Rather than becoming mired in negative introspection, forgive periods of diminished motivation with a clear eye toward brighter days.  This forward-thinking frame of mind helps you get beyond life’s inevitable speed bumps into positive territory that supports achieving your goals.

Motivation ebbs and flows throughout the course of daily life, and it doesn’t always synch with your personal and professional responsibilities.  When motivation dips at the wrong time, it pays to reevaluate your approach using these helpful tips.  In the end, jump-starting motivation levels leads to ongoing success for those able to move beyond trying times.



About the author 

Sarah Brooks

This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @

Brendan Baker is Australia's leading personal development blogger and and helps people build and grow online businesses based on their passions. He has created the Launch Your Life Academy and Your First 1000 Subscribers. Connect with Brendan: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

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  1. Hi Sarah, I loved so many of your ideas her. Both ‘change your scenery’ and ‘do the opposite’ sound like wonderful approaches to get a fresh perspective and break out of old ruts. I seem to thrive whenever I get out for a nature break, and love what you said about taking-in the larger picture. Thanks for this post!

  2. Thanks for the insight. I enjoy reading the article. I find the Get Fit idea interesting. Yes our mind and body are connected and it is really easier to discover motivation if we are physically fit. If our body is healthy we can endure more. It’s about time someone pointed that out. Thank you again for sharing.


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