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  • Writer's pictureNatalya Permyakova

Boost Your Spirit: 5 Proven Steps To Restore Lost Motivation

We all go through phases where our motivation takes a dip.

As an entrepreneur, I love what I do but still experience periods lasting days or weeks where I struggle to be productive. I can't think about my startup, I dread my nomadic lifestyle. I know I should cook, exercise, learn something new, but I just can't get myself to do any of it.

I finally figured out the mechanism for getting out of those slumps effectively.

So if you've lost your motivation, this post will explain the science behind it and I will share my personal strategies to help you climb out of the abyss.

Let's do it!

The Science Of Lost Motivation

There are several researched reasons for why people lose motivation:

  1. Too much stress Chronic stress, especially work-related, can significantly impact your motivation and overall mental health (APA).

  2. Your goals are unclear Motivation increases when you have specific, challenging goals. A lack of clarity around goals diminishes motivation (Locke & Latham, 2002).

  3. Seasonal changes Seasonal affective disorder is depression related to seasonal changes, can impact your motivation levels (NIMH).

  4. Too much pressure According to the self-determination theory, autonomy boosts motivation. Too many external pressures can diminish your sense of autonomy and motivation (Deci & Ryan, 2000).

  5. You are a perfectionist High achievers who set high standards are prone to procrastination, avoidance behaviors, and burnout from fear of not meeting those standards (Greenspon, 2000).

So, if you’re stuck in a rut, remember—it's not forever. Lost motivation can be understood, and, more importantly, managed.


5 Proven Steps to Regain Lost Motivation

Step 1: Identify the root causes

The first step is understanding why you lost motivation in your particular case.

Reflect on these questions:

  • Are you burnt out? Are you overworking?

  • Are you under too much pressure?

  • Do you have clearly defined goals?

  • Is there a mismatch between what you do and your values?

  • Are you a high-achieving perfectionist?

Step 2: Set SMART goals

Once you know what’s been dragging you down, set clear and realistic goals that excite you. When you know exactly what you are working towards, it's a lot easier to stay on track. SMART framework has a built-in mechanism to maintaining your motivation.

How SMART goals keep you motivated:

  • Specific: Goals that are specific have a much higher chance of being accomplished because they provide a clear direction.

  • Measurable: A measurable goal allows you to track your progress, which is super important for motivation. When you see progress, even if small, it increases your intrinsic motivation.

  • Achievable: Set realistic and attainable goals. You are more likely to engage in tasks where you believe you can succeed.

  • Relevant: Align your goal with your broader objectives and personal values to maintain your motivation over a longer period.

  • Time-bound: Set a timeframe to create a sense of urgency. Time constraints increase your goal commitment.

Here is an example of a SMART vs. non-SMART goal:

Step 3: Seek inspiration and accountability

When I lose motivation, I pause most of my usual non-urgent tasks and dedicate time and space to learning new things, meeting new people, reading on topics that excite me.

This can be podcasts, books, or even motivational speakers.

For example, last week I attended an AI meetup to learn about custom GPTs. I was super motivated all week to build myself an army of AI helpers!

Also, having someone like a coach or a mentor to hold you accountable can make a huge difference. They can provide the push you need to keep, especially on days when your motivation dips.

Step 4: Change your environment

Sometimes, a simple change in the environment can stimulate motivation.

For example, a few weeks back, I took a week's trip to Taipei. I wasn't planning to do much work there, but I got so inspired by all the new things I saw that my creativity went through the roof.

I ended up working most evenings and accomplished more in one week than I would normally do in a month.

You don't have to fly to another country to boost your motivation. Try rearranging your workspace, a new routine, or even working from different cafes or coworking spaces. These changes can break the monotony.

Changing your environment also helps with psychological recovery. When you engage in new activities, it helps you psychologically detach and recover from the everyday stress. Such recovery is crucial for your long-term motivation and avoiding burnout.

Step 5: Celebrate small wins

Whether you are learning the language, trying to make a career change or get your startup off the ground, celebrate your progress!

Acknowledging your wins boosts your mood and your motivation to continue. Set up a reward system for yourself—for example, you could do a night out after a week of productive work, or a small vacation after a major project milestone.

Every time I finish the sprint for My Life Quest, I plan a few days for a mini-retreat. Last month, for example, I went to Hoi An, where I spent a few days in a design hotel on the beach journalling, reading, partying and relaxing.



We all experience motivational slumps. By understanding the psychological factors and using practical strategies, you can regain motivation and get back on track toward your goals.


Regain your motivation with My Life Quest

My Life Quest provides you with the most effective tools to help gain clarity on your direction in life and your next steps. It can be overwhelming navigating through all your dreams, goals, and aspirations. With My Life Quest, it's easy and fun.

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