5 Ways to Motivate Yourself When You’re Feeling Stuck

Feeling stuck and experiencing a lack of motivation can be incredibly challenging, often leaving us with a sense of ambiguity and uncertainty. Whether it’s personal or professional life, these feelings can stem from various factors, such as unrealistic goals, a lack of direction, or simply feeling overwhelmed. However, it’s important to note that we have the power to take action and motivate ourselves towards a more productive path through life. Small and actionable steps, based on research within positive psychology and academic psychology, can help to overcome these feelings and reignite our sense of motivation. In this article, we’ll explore the top five methods to motivate yourself when feeling stuck, including keeping a gratitude journal, practicing positive self-talk, creating smart goals, finding an accountability partner, and incorporating a dose of excitement into your routine.

1: Set Reasonable and Smart Goals

When it comes to motivating oneself, setting smart and reasonable goals is an essential step in the process. Smart goals are designed to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These goals can provide a sense of direction, focus, and momentum that is essential for overcoming feelings of stagnation or lack of motivation.

The importance of smart goals lies in their ability to provide a clear path forward. By establishing specific and measurable objectives, individuals can break down large or ambiguous tasks into smaller, more manageable goals. This can help create a sense of progress and achievement along the way, which can inspire and motivate continued effort.

It’s important, however, to set realistic and reasonable goals that are both achievable and stimulating. Unreasonable or overly ambitious objectives can quickly become discouraging, leading to feelings of failure or inadequacy. On the other hand, goals that are too easy or offer little challenge may not provide the momentum and motivation needed to truly overcome a sense of stuckness.

To set smart goals, it’s essential to be as specific as possible. This means breaking down larger objectives into smaller, actionable steps that can be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time. Additionally, goals should be measurable, meaning that progress can be assessed and tracked over time.

Achievability is key in setting smart and reasonable goals. It’s essential to choose goals that are challenging and stimulating but still within one’s capabilities. Finally, goals should be time-bound to create a sense of urgency and encourage consistent effort.

2: Make a To-Do List to Keep You on Track

One of the most effective ways of staying motivated, even when feeling stuck, is to create a practical and achievable task outline with the help of a to-do list. A well-planned task list can help prioritize important assignments based on their deadlines, and provide structure to an otherwise chaotic day.

When making a to-do list, it is essential to start by listing the tasks that need to be completed. It’s important to set SMART goals and prioritize the tasks based on their importance and deadline. Breaking larger assignments into smaller, manageable tasks can make them more approachable and less overwhelming.

To make the to-do list even more effective, it’s important to introduce a categorization and color-coding system that can quickly highlight which tasks are the most important and urgent. Additionally, tasks can be grouped based on their nature, such as work-related or personal tasks.

Incorporating apps or software can also make organizing and tracking the task list even more manageable. There are many to-do list apps available that can assist in creating and managing task lists. These apps can help productivity by using features such as reminders, prioritization, categorization, and collaboration.

It’s essential to keep track of a time budget and make sure that productive tasks do not get ignored or pushed aside. By keeping a realistic time budget, it is easier to see how much time is required for each task and to plan accordingly. This can help prevent underestimating the amount of time required to complete a task, leading to feelings of frustration and discouragement.

3: Incorporate Positive Self-Talk into Your Day-to-Day Life

One effective way of boosting motivation and overcoming feelings of being stuck is to incorporate positive self-talk into your day-to-day life. Positive self-talk is all about using kind and encouraging words when talking to yourself and replacing negative self-talk language with positive affirmations.

To get started with positive self-talk, it’s important to first identify any negative self-talk patterns that may be hindering your progress. This can involve paying attention to your thoughts and noting when you use negative language or speak to yourself harshly. Once you identify these patterns, you can begin to replace them with positive affirmations.

To use positive affirmations effectively, consider starting with statements like “I am capable of achieving my goals” or “I have the skills and abilities I need to succeed.” When negative thoughts arise, you can replace them with these positive statements and focus on the truth of the affirmations.

Incorporating gratitude practices into your daily routine can also help boost positivity and motivation levels. This can involve taking a few minutes each day to reflect on the things you are thankful for, big or small. By focusing on gratitude, it becomes easier to maintain a positive mindset and find motivation to keep working towards your goals.

One way to reinforce positive self-talk and gratitude practices is to keep a journal. Writing down your positive affirmations and gratitudes can help you stay motivated and encouraged when you are feeling stuck. You can also read through your journal regularly to remind yourself of the progress you have made and the positive mindset you want to maintain.

4: Take Breaks and Reward Yourself for Accomplishments

When it comes to boosting motivation, taking breaks and rewarding yourself for accomplishments can be incredibly effective strategies. Burnout can be a real obstacle to productivity, so taking breaks throughout the day can help reduce feelings of exhaustion and provide a chance for mental refreshment.

To successfully take breaks, it’s important to set boundaries for yourself. Try to take a quick break every hour or two, and make sure to step away from your work station during that time. This can mean getting up and stretching, going for a quick walk, or simply taking a few deep breaths. By stepping away from your work and refreshing your mind, you’ll be more likely to return to your tasks feeling energized and ready to work.

Another way to boost motivation is to set up rewards for yourself when you accomplish tasks. This can help create a sense of accomplishment and make tasks more enjoyable. Rewards can be big or small, but they should be something that you value and look forward to. For example, you might reward yourself with a piece of candy or a short break after completing a particularly challenging task. Alternatively, you might save up for a bigger reward, like a special treat or activity that you really enjoy.

5: Engage in Activities You Love

When it comes to staying motivated, it’s important to remember that focusing solely on tasks that seem daunting or uninteresting can quickly lead to burnout and a lack of motivation. Engaging in activities that bring joy and provide a sense of fulfillment is a great way to improve overall mood and motivation levels. Here are five ways to engage in activities you love to boost your motivation:

1. Hobbies:

Whether it’s painting, playing an instrument, or practicing yoga, hobbies are a great way to engage in activities you love and boost motivation levels. Hobbies provide a sense of accomplishment and can help improve mental health. Take some time to explore what hobbies you enjoy and make sure to schedule time for them in your day-to-day life.

2. Social Events:

Engaging in social events can be an excellent way to stay motivated and improve overall mood. It’s important to make time for social events with friends and family to stay connected and build meaningful relationships. These events also provide a chance to engage in new activities and create lasting memories.

3. Exploration:

Exploring new activities and places can bring excitement and provide a sense of purpose. Creating a bucket list of activities or destinations to experience can help motivate and provide a sense of purpose. Whether it’s hiking a trail, visiting a new city, or trying a new restaurant, exploration can help improve mental health and provide a fresh perspective.

4. Volunteer:

Volunteering can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which can improve motivation levels. There are many opportunities to volunteer in various organizations and communities. Whether it’s helping out at an animal shelter or reading to children at a library, volunteering provides a sense of meaning and positively impacts overall mental health.

5. Connect with Nature:

Nature connects us with the world around us and can provide a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Engaging in nature activities such as hiking, camping, or gardening can help improve mental health by reducing stress and anxiety. Make sure to schedule time to connect with nature and engage in outdoor activities.

Incorporating activities you love is vital in boosting motivation levels. Engaging in these activities provides a sense of joy, fulfillment, and purpose. Take time to explore different activities you love and schedule time to engage in them regularly. Remember, the mental health benefits of engaging in activities you love are invaluable and can greatly improve your motivation levels.


In conclusion, when feeling stuck, lack of motivation can be a common reason people struggle to accomplish tasks. However, incorporating actionable steps such as setting smart and reasonable goals, making to-do lists, practicing positive self-talk, taking breaks and rewarding oneself, and engaging in enjoyable activities can all help in overcoming this challenge. By incorporating these practices in your daily routine, you can significantly increase your productivity levels and overall sense of motivation. Remember that staying motivated is crucial in achieving success and reaching your goals. So, take the time to prioritize self-care, develop a routine, and stay focused on the big picture. Keep pushing forward, and don’t give up on your aspirations. You got this!

Previous post Motivation Vs. Discipline: Which One Is More Important?
Next post 5 Habits of Highly Motivated Individuals