What Motivates You?

Since making the transition from a steady office job to freelance life, there is one thing I’ve struggled with above all else: staying motivated.  Up until now I had such a routine – although every day was different, I still had to get up in the morning, go to work, come home, eat dinner, etc. etc. When your life consists of routines like this, it is so easy to get caught up in the motions and you don’t have much time to let distractions get in the way. You forget to stop and think about why you’re doing what you’re doing. Now, every day is a blank slate. It is up to me to create my own schedule, and it’s not easy. But a lack of motivation can occur at any point, to anyone – in school, in work, in life – often without warning. I’ve found there are a few things that have helped me get back on track, and I’m sharing them below. If you have any advice, or have had a similar experience, let me know in the comments!

clarify your purpose

Ask yourself WHY.

So often I find myself doing things without even questioning why.  Sometimes it’s not necessary – we all need to have moments in which we let go, stop thinking, and just live in the now. But when it comes to things like work, or larger steps you take in your life, ask yourself why. What is the end goal you’re hoping to achieve? What is the real reason behind your actions? Reminding yourself of a larger goal, and the steps you’re taking towards that goal, can help renew your drive and reinvigorate your spirit.


One thing at a time.

Sometimes the end goal is so far in the future, the steps to get there feel like a never-ending staircase. Tackle one thing at a time. Assign daily goals for yourself, and if you can scratch one thing off your list each day, you’ll make progress faster than you think. I often find myself putting things off because they feel so overwhelming – procrastination is probably one of my worst traits.  I’ll end up trying to do a million things at once, at the last minute. I’m also slowly learning to realize that sometimes it’s ok to put something aside, move on to a new project, and then come back to it. Things suddenly become clear when you look at them with fresh eyes.

motivate 1

Change it up.

A change in scenery can do wonders. On days when I’m struggling with getting motivated I seek out a new coffee shop to make my workplace for the day. Being in a different environment can trigger new senses – new sounds, sights, smells – and somehow this helps to reinvigorate my mind. If you can’t physically relocate yourself, try stimulating your senses with different music than you’d normally listen to, or light a candle or dab some essential oil on your wrist.


Look at the bigger picture.

When all else fails, look at the bigger picture. In this short time we have on earth, what do you hope to achieve, where do you want to be ten, twenty years from now? What is most important to you? The answers to these questions, whether they are big or small, will lay the groundwork for your path in life. Give yourself the time and space to think about what really matters, and what you really want – there’s no better time to start moving towards that goal than now.

+ Tell me: What motivates you?

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8 years ago

This is sound advice; thanks for sharing. I, too, am beginning to realize “sometimes it’s ok to put something aside, move on to a new project, and then come back to it. Things suddenly become clear when you look at them with fresh eyes.”

Dee | http://www.daundra.com/blog

Nina P
8 years ago

Great advice. I unexpectedly had to leave a planned career in the Army due to an injury several years ago. I was lost for a long time trying to figure out what else to do beyond working in an office, and making a paycheck. I am still looking for that something, but have recently taken significant steps to figure out what that is. And summoning the courage to break out and try (and fail however many times). Your article is very helpful. Thank you.

8 years ago

Such a great article! I struggle with this sometimes, but finding ways to feel inspired usually helps me feel authentically motivated. Looking at pictures of what I want my life to look like, listening to passionate music, and spending time in nature usually give me the boost I need to feel recharged and motivated.

8 years ago

Thank you for this reflection. I’ve just learned in the last times, the importance of living in the now. When I speak of living in the now, which is a term most of us heard a thousand times, is like Paulo Coelho once said, not letting the everyday tasks threaten your bigger dreams. I can now (almost) fully accept that my life is what is happening to me right now and not what I want to happen in a year or two, or how I wish it would be. Does this affect my bigger dreams and goals? Not at all. Now everyday I try to understand that is better that I work in what I have to work on than wish and sigh that everything was perfect. What motivates me is to be free, to make my closed ones feel loved and to create and travel. Years ago, and not so long ago, I would from time to time, stress that I should be doing what I love and leave projects in the middle. Now I know life has beautiful ways of taking us to where we want to be. I’m following life.

8 years ago

This is an amazing post ! So inspiring … Great advices ! Really appreciate all of them :)


8 years ago

What motivates me, is my striving for happiness, in my opinion, I think that’s the most important and the best goal a being can have :)

8 years ago

Awesome advice, thank you.

8 years ago

Lately the only thing that motivates me is knowing I have a daughter who looks up to me as a role model.

8 years ago

You guys, inspired by your “Fine” banner, I made one of my own! Love it.. Totally motivating!


7 years ago

Thank you