Winter Wellness: How to Keep Motivated When You're Just Not Feeling It

30.11.21 05:00 PM By Theresa Yu

  • How to Keep Motivated When You-re Just Not Feeling It

In this Winter wellness series, I will go over qualities of combating winter blues, sluggishness, and mental freeze during these cold months.

“Without commitment, you’ll never start, but more importantly, without consistency, you’ll never finish. It’s not easy…So, keep working, keep striving, never give up, fall down seven times, get up eight.” – Denzel Washington

    Sometimes you can get a spur of motivation to start something you really want to do, but after a month or so, you stop doing it. You lose that initial motivation and you feel unexcited, unmotivated, and stuck on proceeding. You don’t want to lose sight of your goal, but at the same time you don’t feel like you want to pursue it any further.

    Does this sound like something you’ve experienced before?

    To gain your motivation back, you then turn to Google on how to rally yourself to get back to that initial motivation phase. Some popular things you might be thinking of accomplishing are:

-  Going back to school

-  Getting a promotion

-  Publishing a book

-  Starting a business

-  Getting back in shape or losing weight

-  Sleeping more

The list is endless!

    I’ve been there before; the “shiny object syndrome.” We see the shiny object, but after a bit of time, we lose sight of it due to lack of motivation. This happens to me…most times. I see something and I want to go for another shiny thing that passes my way, which feeds my knack for taking on too much at one time.

    We all have goals to carry out, and there are tons of advice out there. But…which Google article should you follow?

    Some articles might tell you to just take micro-steps. Once you get the momentum going, you won’t be able to stop and… ta da! You achieve your goal. For example, if your goal is to tend to the weeds in your garden, you pull one first to fulfill this goal. However, no one stops at just pulling out one weed if your garden is overflowing with weeds, so you just keep going until your garden is immaculate.

    Some other articles might tell you to set up some sort of accountability. Have you heard of this? Write a check to yourself and give it to a friend for safekeeping. After you complete your goal, you then “pay yourself back” by cashing in that original check. This way, the incentive is to get money after you achieved your goal. If you didn’t achieve it, you wouldn’t get your money back.

    How about the strategy of making a great plan? You schedule down what you’re going to do for each day to achieve your goal. You set a deadline. You make sure you conduct these tasks daily, to ensure you reach your goal on time. You may even make it through the first 30 days and celebrate, knowing you probably have another 60 days to go to see any results. This is wonderful…for someone who has a rigid schedule.

    I do want to communicate that yes, these strategies actually do work. It’s good to take things one step at a time. You should have an accountability partner along your journey. We don’t work in silos! Making a strategic plan is necessary to execute effectively and timely. These are all great principles for keeping your focus on the goal. However, none of these really address what to do when you fall off the motivation train.

    Even if you took a few small steps forward, you can feel deflated when you might have to take some steps back. The accountability might still be there, but you might weigh those pros and cons and feel that it may not even be worth it after a bit of time. Having a plan is good, but you may not follow your plan, especially if there are other variables that will delay it.

    So, what is the best thing out there to keep you motivated?

    My best answer is, there is no motivation. This is a temporary feeling that almost always disappears after a month or two… the next best thing when your motivation is gone is to have self-discipline. This is another topic in itself, but here are some solutions that may help you get back on track:

    1.  The most important thing to do is to identify what your goal really means to you. It is something you truly care about? Is it mission-driven and will it help someone else other than yourself? Without a sense of purpose, you won’t care about your everyday tasks. Focus on something you do care about and work backwards from there.


“…And when you can bring in a little more brightness and awareness to this very moment, that is living with purpose.” – Brittany Lynne


    2.  Speaking about focus, carrying out a plan to focus on each task will help you achieve your goals faster. What works for me is focusing on one thing at a time – no multi-tasking. Our brains are wired to complete one task at a time and when multi-tasking, the brain diverts attention to each of the various tasks. This shortens your ability to focus and concentrate; therefore, it’s more effective and wastes less time to focus on one thing at a time.


The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus” – Bruce Lee


    3.  Be OK with failure. Failure is a big blow to the ego, and you might need to take some time to recover from this. That is OK. Failure is necessary for growth, and the faster you can move forward from your shortcomings, the faster you can obtain your goal. The main idea is: you tried something and it didn’t work out. However, at least you tried, and you now know what it takes to achieve your goal. I talk more about dealing with failure in this article. 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

    Lastly, what you decide to do cannot be short-term solutions. Long-term solutions lead to long-term goals. For any big goal you want to achieve in life, conditions are, it will probably take some time to delve deeper and tackle it. Probably longer than you thought it would take. You might get lost along the way, but we all do! Trust that you have a good handle on this and as long as you make progress in the long-term, then you are well on your way to your goal.

For more posts and articles like this, sign up here:

Practice: How to Fail With Grace:

Theresa Yu