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8 Ways to Improve Lack of Motivation and Depression

8 ways to improve lack of motivation and depression, motivation
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So, you feel as if you have lost your motivation for living a full life?  And everything appears like a steep mountain to be climbed? Or a deep ditch from which to extract oneself? Is there no enthusiasm, no youthful exuberance for being able to achieve a dream or to conquer it all?  You say the joy of living is gone?  You feel like a loser and all your dreams seem to have vanished? Lack of motivation and depression often go hand in hand.

Update: Dr. Shannan Crawford talks about how we have set the perfect storm for depression in our lives and what we can do about it.

Be assured, you are not the Lone Ranger. This is a common human malady when we allow our lives to run without direction, without goals, and lack of assessments. Frequent checkup times can help us determine where we are in our trek through life. Wasting decade after decade in mediocre living, when there is so much more within us seeking to flourish, is sad.

Let’s look at ourselves honestly, neither beratingly nor blindly, to identify how we can live our best lives to a fuller and more enriching degree.  Perhaps you have reached a stalemate. Now is the time to advance.

Try these 8 ways to improve lack of motivation and depression.

Rule out or Determine State of Depression 

Lack of motivation is often accompanied by some degree of depression. The degree of depression ranges from very mild and transient to severe. 

In seeking to ascertain the depth, it is important to know if this is:

  • a habitual state of mild depression
  • a period of depression following a recent loss of something or someone significant
  • a period of feeling down that is difficult to shake
  • or an all-consuming state of depression leading to inability to function, think clearly, or even to have thoughts of suicide.

*If you are having suicidal thoughts, please seek immediate help. Call your doctor or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 or your local 911.

Lack of Motivation and Can’t Move Forward

Lack of motivation makes it difficult to move forward – to make decisions – to step out and try even promising new opportunities. Demands, concerns, and frustration result in problems that cannot be acted upon because of the impotency of motivational lethargy. Mild frustration can lead to many unfaced issues resulting in non-productive activities. Try these 8 ways to improve lack of motivation and depression.

Difficulty Completing Usual Tasks

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.


Repeatedly starting the day on time with a positive attitude, following through on to-do lists, assignments, appointments, follow-up calls, etc. will become a habit, according to this sage advice and many years of observation. Starting with the basics and seeing progress, even in small increments, will help us step out of a dull area of life and make strides toward excellence. Making a list of tasks and checking them when completed will mark your progress as well as give yourself a thumbs up!

Struggling with Lack of Self-Confidence 

Lack of self-confidence plays a major role in lack of motivation. Moderate self-esteem is the healthiest type of self-esteem on the scale – moderate being midway between narcissism and a damaging low reading of self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem is based more on valuing one’s inherent worth as a person and less about comparing ourselves to others. 

 Becoming the person and living the life that aligns with your principles allows for a self-respect that results in a more confident and better life. Studies show that those with high moral standards are less likely to become involved with drugs, alcohol and other self-destructive activity. Belief in God and belief in self combine to give a self-confidence that, when nourished, upholds motivational goals and success.

Positive changes can be attained. Life can again be beautiful. In the numerical list below, we will examine some options to help accomplish this feat. Try these 8 ways to improve lack of motivation and depression.

Poor Self Image – Lack of Motivation –Which Came First 

Low self-esteem is characterized by a lack of confidence, of feeling inadequate, feeling badly about oneself. We may feel unwanted, unlovable, incompetent, awkward or at least quite pedestrian.   

This degrading feeling carries over into feeling fragile and easily hurt by others. A negative perception of oneself causes withdrawal from others and keeps us from trying something new for fear of failure. Believing negatively about oneself becomes an assertion of believing that this is also what others are thinking of us.  

Note that this is a feeling about yourself. Your view. Others may see you in a completely different light.

Motivation declines. Energy flees. However, this feeling of low self-esteem can be overcome. Stop listening to your critical inner self. Call that self out and fight it with positive comments as you assert your strong points. Compliment yourself. Choose you. Self-acclaim your accomplishments. 

*If you are having suicidal thoughts, please seek immediate help. Call your doctor or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 or your local 911.

Practice Self Compassion to Improve Lack of Motivation

Secondly, practice self-compassion.  Encourage yourself to do nice things – for you. Believe the positive statements. Act on them. Get up. Dress up. Show up. And pat yourself on the back and say well-done. I can and will accomplish this today.  And I will look great doing it, and I will excel; and I will help someone else to excel as well.  Never let self-hate and self-doubt take over and rule.

 God made you for a purpose and gifted you with the ability to fulfill that purpose. He wrapped that gift with his forgiveness and his love and he promises that he is with us at all times. We can draw our strength and acceptance from him. You can read more about finding your purpose in life here.

 Our motivation will be buoyed by God’s presence and by his voice that tells us that we belong, that we are loved, that we can depend on him. What a joyous turn around. Don’t waste another day, Beautiful and Strong Person!  Try these 8 ways to improve lack of motivation and depression.

Loss of Focus, Unmotivated and Depressed

Never lose sight of your goals, even on the most dismal day.Anticipating good things iswhat hope is.Hope motivates. Hope changes the world. The gift of looking forward to joyous happenings is hope. Hope drives away despair. Hope gives a second chance. Hope keeps us focused on our dreams, our goals. Renew your hope by renewing your focus and your dreams. 

8 Ways to Improve Lack of Motivation and Depression

1. Set Manageable Goals – We hear children playing, saying they are going to be an astronaut, a policeman, a nurse, a teacher, a rock star. The sky is the limit. When did we start reducing our goals? Are we afraid of failure or do we just not know how to make these things happen? Are we so afraid of failing that we do not step out and try? Or, are we just indolent? 

We may need help in setting realistic goals, those that we have reason to think we can reach. But let us work at our full potential to master that for which we are created. Let us not discourage the young who have dreams, but rather help them identify their gifts and minimize their weaknesses. I hope that someone encourages you today.

2. Exercise – Walk.  Walk. Walk until you want to run. Walking is the best exercise that most of us can do for the remainder of our lives. Walking has been hailed as a great cardiovascular health builder, a means of weight reduction, lowers blood sugar, strengthens bones, improves our wellbeing, energizes us, reduces stress. Such an affordable activity and physical medication. When you feel completely unmotivated, take a brisk two-mile walk and I promise you that you will return with a more exuberant spirit and a rosier outlook on life. 

3. Establish a Routine – Most people perform better and are more relaxed when they follow a simple routine that meets the demands of their lives, encourages productivity and gives a sense of order and completion. Determining what works best for you is essential in keeping you at the top level of who you are each day.

 We must be somewhat in control of our lives to give a semblance of order and thus give us a time for complete relaxation at the end of the day. Getting out of bed when the alarm sounds, making the bed, showering and dressing, and allowing time to get to appointed work area on time, give momentum for the tasks ahead for the entire day. 

A routine that is not so rigid as to ruin the day if there is a break, will motivate you and push you to finishing a project in a timely fashion. And produce the inner satisfaction that you crave. 

In order to change a habit in your life you must do the newly chosen activity daily – and that takes 66 consecutive days, it is said, to become a habit.   What needs changing in your life that would help you be more motivated and in turn be happier with your life? Would you devote two months to change something from fair to great in your life? Try these 8 ways to improve lack of motivation and depression.

4. Feed your brain positive thoughts. We are told that we are what we eat. By the same token, our mental state is what we feed it. Constant reruns of the news of the day, especially accompanied by the incessant spew of vitriol of our time, can not only anger, tire and depress, it can formulate who we are and who we are perceived to be. 

The beauty of the electronics that surround us is that we can choose to play good music, thoughtful and enlightening speeches, positive bits on self-improvement, comforting messages from the Bible, or humorous stories as we go about our day or work out.

 Consuming good things – not trash – lowers our blood pressure, relaxes our nervous system, releases stress. Exercise produces endorphins – chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and improve our ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.  

Increase stress – or decrease stress – the choice is yours.

5. Push yourself to socialize.  Re-establish ties with your family. Call old and new friends. Avoid hanging with the same group of downers that you have been with – people without goals, without joy, without motivation and without purpose.  Step away. 

Volunteering with a group from a non-profit or helping coach kids’ sports or perhaps joining a group learning or honing a skill like painting or sculpting gives a boost to one’s routine. 

 Positive people exude an air of energy, happiness and purpose. It is contagious – stay there until you catch the vibrance of a lifted spirit, then share it with someone else.

6. Join a support group.  If you are unable to self-motivate or follow a schedule to the point of it being detrimental to your income and self-regard, perhaps joining a support group for a time would be beneficial. I encourage your seeking this out if you are unable to self-motivate with these and other suggestions. Get some pointers from others and be accountable. Change what needs changing in the present so that your future will be more rewarding.  

7. Get adequate sleep – preferably at the same time each day. Often exhaustion is the culprit causing both depression and lack of motivation. Without goals and schedules, little is accomplished other than draining one of energy and ideas. We can cheat our bodies at times, but we will pay for it.  Long term deprivation from proper sleep and rest plays havoc with health, attitude and relationships. Make correcting this a goal of primary importance as you determinedly self-analyze.

8. Seek guidance and direction through a relationship with Jesus Christ, the one who loves you the most.  God made you and He has a purpose and a plan for you. The compelling reason is that he loves you so much that he wants you to have the “abundant life” spoken of in John 10:10. He has a purpose for you here on earth and promises to give you joy and a full life of purpose.   Through his mercy and grace, you have promise of eternal life in heaven with him – How? – by believing that he died on the cross to save you from your sins and placing your trust in him as Savior and Lord. 

Watch the “GREAT NEWS FOR YOU VIDEO” on this page to know more.  

That is how much he loves you. And the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God of all time and eternity knows your name, loves you and wants you to have a full and meaningful life here on earth. Follow him – he will save you by his grace through faith that he provides. He will make this life purposeful and rewarding. He will make the new life after death a glorious and everlasting experience.  Choose Jesus.

*If you are having suicidal thoughts, please seek immediate help. Call your doctor or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 or your local 911.

We invite you to watch the “Great News” video on this page and find out more about God’s love for you and how you can receive forgiveness and eternal life – today!

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The Prayer of Salvation

Jesus, I don't know You, and I don't know what Your plan is for me. But thank you for coming to die in my place. I'm sorry for anything I've ever done wrong in my life. I don't understand how You could ever forgive me, but if You really would, I would like to accept your free gift of grace and complete forgiveness. Please come into my life and take control, and help me trust You. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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