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3 Factors that Can Reduce Motivation and How to Address Them

Despite our best intentions to meet a goal, building up and maintaining the motivation required to get there can be another story. Maybe you find that you just can’t seem to bring yourself to start on that big project or finally scratch off that dreaded item on your to-do list. Determining what could be underlying your lack of motivation can help you determine how to develop a plan to combat procrastination and move forward. In this article, we will explore three different factors that can contribute to lack of motivation and how to address them.

For more articles and information about motivation, visit BetterHelp.

3 Factors that May Reduce Motivation

Avoidance of uncomfortable feelings. Many psychologists understand procrastination to be rooted in something deeper than laziness or challenges with time management. It is now thought to be connected with difficulty around emotional regulation. An individual may find that they delay a task (even knowing it is unwise to do so) to avoid accompanying feelings such as anxiety or self-doubt. While delaying a task can provide temporary relief, it can heighten feelings of guilt about not doing the task, which leads to continued procrastination–creating a vicious cycle.

Try: Extending yourself a little self-compassion. Beating yourself up over not getting done what you hoped or intended to will only perpetuate the cycle of negative feelings and procrastination. Instead, decide to be gentle with yourself and forgive yourself for procrastinating. Research has revealed that showing yourself kindness and compassion is linked with increased motivation.

Not prioritizing taking care of yourself. Engaging in healthy habits for your mental and physical health is essential to your mindset and energy level throughout the day. Therefore, if you are not eating a nutritious diet, moving your body regularly, or getting adequate sleep, this may impact your motivation levels. An overloaded schedule without designated time for self-care and relaxation can also make it difficult to stay energized.

Consider: What is one habit you might implement into your daily routine to enhance your well-being? Maybe it is drinking more water or altering your sleep routine. Or maybe it’s taking something off your plate that isn’t imperative to carve out more time for you to de-stress. These little changes can add up to make a big difference when it comes to how you approach daily tasks.

Mental health concerns. Ongoing challenges with motivation can sometimes be a symptom of a mental disorder, such as depression. Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities, decreased energy, and difficulty concentrating can all combine with low motivation to make carrying out daily responsibilities feel impossible.

Next step: Learn about the other symptoms of depression, including persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, and fatigue. Take note if you might be experiencing any of these symptoms in addition to lack of motivation or any other significant changes in mood, energy level, or behavior. Consider seeking out the support of a mental health professional who can help you to process what you may be experiencing and determine a plan to improve your quality of life. Addressing any mental health concerns that are present can significantly impact increasing motivation.

Featured Image by Marta Kulesza from Pixabay