What to do when motivation fails

What to do when motivation fails

by Pamela Ng 07 Jan 2020

Many people attribute success to motivation, because that allows people to have the ability to work hard constantly and consistently for success. However, there are times when even the most inspired of us falter. Whether it’s due to burning both ends of the candle or a lack of conviction, what can we do to keep ourselves moving forward?


1. Avoid temptations

Some temptations need to be tackled head-on, while others are better off being avoided completely. That way, there is little or no chance of succumbing to them. You may think that it is quite cowardly a move, but you need to learn the importance of picking your own battles – you’re dealing with finite resources after all. For example, if your goal is to maintain a healthy weight, avoid vending machines or convenience stores so that there is no way for those unhealthy snacks to get to you.


2. Accountability

A lack of motivation can also result in the lack of self-control. To counteract this, hold yourself responsible for your own actions instead of blaming others. Keeping a journal of your activities and being brutally honest about it is one of the best ways to keep yourself in line. If it’s in black and white, there’s no denying what happened!


3. Make decisions when you are in the correct headspace

Motivation tends to fail us when we are at our most vulnerable. Letting emotions and momentum get the best of us can result in regrettable actions being taken. For example, don’t go to the grocery when you are hungry AND stressed, because you will be more likely to gravitate towards junk food for some instant gratification. Taking the time to reflect on your goals and the progress you’ve made can help you realign your feelings and desires. Do this, and you’ll be surprised at just how differently you react to situations.


Motivation only works when it is backed by discipline. Relying on it wholesale makes for a very dangerous gambit – you’ll start off in the beginning just fine, but you might find yourself in a situation where it becomes insufficient. In that moment, the choice between sinking or swimming becomes painfully real. Developing that discipline at a later stage will be decidedly more uncomfortable, but it certainly beats not having any at all.