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The Secret to Staying Motivated

the secret to staying motivated

Have you been searching for inspiration, trying to find the motivation to start something? To make a dent in that project, to exercise, to eat healthily, to do that one thing you’ve dreamed about for a while?

I think we’re used to ‘searching’ for motivation. Pinterest, blog posts, videos, speeches, books – we use these resources to ‘find’ inspiration, but are we really just creating a distraction for ourselves? (I sound like Carrie Bradshaw, don’t I?)

Sure, you can be inspired by someone. You can be inspired by an idea or a concept, absolutely.

But what gets you to start doing is YOU.

Let’s say you get dinner with a friend and you’re talking about your lack of motivation lately. You’re having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning to do the same old routine tasks every day.

Your friend might give you some great advice. She might tell you about how she wakes up each day and asks herself,

How can I be better than I was yesterday?

That’s pretty motivational. If you’ve been having a good day so far, you might feel that you can use that to your advantage.

But you might also not want to hear that. You might have had a shitty day, and all you want to do is complain. You’re not in the mood for taking advice.

That’s because you feel motivated depending on your current mindset and situation. But you know who controls your mindset?


It’s your responsibility to control your mindset (or at least pay attention to it), and that’s why external situations/people/ideas aren’t reliable sources of motivation.

Maybe you’re struggling to start a project, so you think, ‘I’ll just read this blog post about motivation and that’ll help me.’

While you think you’re helping yourself, you’re actually still in that mindset where you don’t realllllly want to get started…because if you did, you would have just started already. You kind of want to be distracted.

Because starting means commitment, and commitment is scary. That’s totally understandable. Just accept it, and realize that the distractions aren’t going to help you get stuff done.

Weirdly enough, I wrote an essay in college about my ‘addiction’ to finding inspiration on Pinterest (heavy stuff, people). Here’s an excerpt:

Pinterest divests me of creativity and shatters any fragment of innovation I have. To actually be inspired, I must be willing to inspire myself. Instead of sitting at my desk looking at photographs of a perfectly green forest, I must remove myself from the virtual world and wade through the deep, blissful reality of my own nature to receive the inspiration I crave.

The point I’m trying to make here is that you alone have the power to motivate yourself.

You don’t need to search endlessly looking for inspiration that will only lead you down a black hole of distractions. You are in charge of motivating yourself. Don’t rely on other people. Don’t rely on tools or books or quotes. Definitely don’t rely on Pinterest.

(I’m not saying avoid these things altogether, I’m just saying use them for enjoyment and education rather than depending on them for motivation.)

All it takes is a decision to start working. To tell yourself, I’m going to start this right now.

It’s your choice.

Once you understand that, you won’t have to waste time ‘searching’ for motivation. You’ll realize that it’s all about your mindset and understanding the reasons why you haven’t started yet.

It’s about recognizing that you’re distracting yourself, but then making the choice to either continue with the distractions or to get to work.

Being in control of your own motivation is a pretty powerful thing, so take advantage of it whenever you can. Remember that it’s up to you to get started and keep going. You go, Glen Coco!

Photo: Geneva Vanderzeil

About the Author
Picture of Catherine Beard
Hi, I'm Catherine! As the creator of The Blissful Mind, I love exploring ways to make life more fulfilling, especially when it comes to our daily routines, habits, and well-being.

12 Responses

  1. Again, this is something that I’ve thought about too, as a fellow Pinterest addict and blog lover :) I think motivation is so overrated (very hypocritical of me to say :P). I do this too, where I wait and scroll through social media until I feel ‘motivated’ enough so I can get started on what I want to do. I really think inspiration is most useful and special in ‘small doses’. It really does feel good to be motivated but most of the time, we need to be in control and take charge. Another enlightening post as usual Catherine :)

    1. Yes, inspiration is definitely the most useful in small doses! You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with ‘inspiring’ stuff because eventually it loses it’s impact. I think it’s important to understand that no one feels motivated all the time, and that it’s okay to be distracted for a little while. Thanks, Naomi! Love that we’re always on the same page :)

  2. Just yesterday I was reading a letter I wrote to myself. At the time of writing it, I was about to start my first year of college. Now I’ve just finished my first year of college. Anyways, I wrote something about how I don’t need to worry about finding myself or creating myself or whatever, and just that I needed to BE myself. I said that I need to start doing things and not just think about how wonderful it would be if I did those things. I said to stop making dream/mood boards. And then I said jk I should probably still do a little of that. Anyways, just trying to say that what you wrote really resonates with me! I live too much in my own head and don’t make enough of it. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    1. I should definitely start writing letters to myself! It’s always interesting to see how your mindset changes over time. The ‘motto’ for my graduating class was actually ‘Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself’ and I feel like that quote has become so cliche. Like you said, life is about doing, less about thinking ;)

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it’s all so true! xx

      1. Haha I think it can be different from person to person. I personally live too much in my own head, so shaking it off is good for me. Some other people might need a little more thinking ;P I don’t usually write letters to myself; it was an assignment I was given to prepare for my first year of college hahh. Might not be a bad habit to develop though! I like to think that blogging is a sort of extended letter :P

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