What to Do When You Have Goals But No Motivation
Do you have goals but don’t feel motivated to work on them?
If you set goals but you don’t feel motivated to achieve them, listen, there is nothing wrong with you.
This is a common issue many people faced every day. The reason? They either have lost the connection between their goals and them, or their goals are simply not their main priority in their lives.
The key is to identify what is the root causes of your lack of motivation and work from the core to get yourself motivated again.
Here are some of the common factors why you have goals but no motivation, and what you can do about them…
1. Your goals are not what you truly desire to achieve
Yes, are your goals what you truly want to achieve?
This happened to me many times in life. I set goals that I don’t really want. I was influenced by my parents and thought that I wanted to be an engineer because my father is a contractor.
As a result of the influence, I ended graduating with a degree in civil engineering. But the truth is that I took the course because I thought that was what I wanted to be, an engineer.
I struggled a lot through the 4 years in university. I love my life in university, but I just don’t like to study the subject that doesn’t interest me.
Fast forward to the present moment, I’m not an engineer. Instead, I’m a blogger and also an internet marketer.
And the things that I do every day has nothing to do with engineering or construction.
This is what happens when you pursue a goal that you don’t truly desire in life.
Many people set income or financial goals, but why do they do that? Well, one big reason is that they thought that financial freedom is the ultimate success they are looking for.
The media and our society have brainwashed us to believe that success equals being rich and wealthy.
While there is nothing wrong with pursuing a financial goal, but you have to make sure that it aligns with your core values.
Make sure the goals you set are the goals that you truly want to achieve in life.
If your goals are not what you want internally, you will have a hard time keeping up with the momentum and coming up with the motivation.
But when your goals are what you truly desire to attain, you will have no problem feeling motivated to do the work and become committed to achieving them.
2. Examine your why behind your goals
Why do you set the goals in the first place?
I bet you know that your purpose for the goal is the most key driver for keeping you motivated throughout the journey.
If your ‘why’ for your goals isn’t strong enough, you will never feel the need to achieve the goal. And you will never feel motivated for it.
That’s why your ‘why’ must be strong and emotional.
Here’s an exercise I learned from Dean Graziosi to uncover your true purpose for your goals. Dean calls it the 7 Levels Deep exercise. I learned this technique from his best-selling book, Millionaire Success Habits.
The 7 Levels Deep Exercise
Ask yourself why you want to achieve your goal for 7 times to discover the real ‘why’ behind your goals.
Example: I wanted to get organized
Level 1: Why do you want to get organized?
Answer: Because I will become more productive.
Level 2: Why do you want to become productive?
Answer: Because I want to get more done.
Level 3: Why is it important for you to get more done?
Answer: Because I must achieve my goals and I can’t afford to procrastinate anymore.
And you keep asking yourself why and keep digging deeper.
Usually, when you reach level 7, you will have discovered your real purpose behind why you want to do what you do.
Use this exercise to discover your purpose for your goals so that you will feel motivated to pursue your goals even when you don’t feel driven.
3. You don’t believe you can achieve your goals
Think about it, do you truly believe you can achieve your goals?
You don’t have to answer me, just ask yourself the question and answer it in your heart.
You see, when you don’t believe something is possible, you will never have the motivation to pursue it.
Why? The reason is simple – You don’t believe that it is possible, so why do it.Most of the time, people set goals that are too far out of their reach. They are working in a job that pays $3,000 a month, but they set a goal to earn a million dollars in a year.
I’m not saying that is impossible, but you have to consider both your resources and your resourcefulness.
If you don’t have the knowledge, the skill, the mindset, and the habits, it will be extremely difficult to achieve the goal.
And when you set a goal that you don’t believe in, you will NOT be committed to it.
You will do it with a half-hearted attempt than to go all out.
That is why it is important to set a goal that you believe you can achieve.
Now, I’m not asking you to set small goals or big goals, I’m asking you to set a goal that you believe in.
When you don’t believe in your goals, you will never be committed to them.
Here’s a guide you should read: How to Believe in Yourself to Achieve Your Goals and Dreams
4. You are feeling overwhelming
Let me ask you, how many goals do you want to achieve? Do you know that the more goals you set, the more likely you are going to fail to achieve them?
Don’t fall into the trap to believe that you need to set as many goals as possible. Yes, having more goals can sound inspiring, but when it comes to execution, you don’t want to split your focus too thin.
Most people have goals but they don’t feel motivated because they are overwhelmed by them.
They simply have too many goals and that confused them and they don’t what to focus on.
Don’t let this happen to you.
My suggestion is to start with just 1 career/business goal and 1 personal goal.
When you have too many things on your plate, you will never know where to begin, and that’s when you will lose your motivation to take action.
Focus is the key, my friend.
5. There are too many distractions
You can’t get things done if you are constantly being distracted. This is common sense.
Hence, if you want to maintain your momentum and keep your motivation for your goals high all the time, you must get rid of all possible distractions.
Let me give you an example. As a full-time blogger and internet marketer, I have seen plenty of people start a project to build a successful online business.
They start a blog or a website, but after a month, most of them are not working on that website or blog anymore.
Why? Because they have been distracted by other ‘shiny objects’. They are distracted by other opportunities that promised them ‘better’ results.
You can start a website to sell things online, but soon enough, you will discover other opportunities that seem much better.
You will always be distracted by other projects, other targets, other people, and other more important ‘priority’ that will take your attention and motivation away.
Don’t let this happen to you. Build a bunker. Cover yourself and be prepared so that you will never get distracted from your goals.
If this is what causes you to lose motivation for your goals, use this technique: Time Block: The Technique For Superb Focus And Productivity
6. Your goals are too far away
Do you set annual or yearly goals? If you do, I’m pretty sure you are going to fail.
According to this article from Inc.com, the University of Scranton did a study and found that 92% of people who set New Year’s resolutions fail to achieve them.
In other words, New Year’s resolutions or annual goals don’t work.
This is because a year too far away. And in between, too many things can happen. When something becomes unpredictable, you will lose motivation when things don’t go according to your plan.
Think about it. You can feel extremely motivated when you set the goal to earn a million dollars by the end of the year.
But after a month or two, when you don’t see yourself making any significant progress toward your goal, you will quickly lose motivation.
Not to mention that there are so many distractions around you that will try to get your attention away from your goals.
This is why when you set a goal that is too far away, you will lose your motivation for it.
I suggest you focus on 90-day goals instead.
A 90-day goal is just nice to produce life-changing results and at the same time, the timeframe is good enough to allow you to make progress to keep your momentum high.
If you want to learn more about setting empowering goals that change lives, go through my masterclass, Goal Setting Formula.
7. Your goals don’t intrinsically motivate you
If your goals don’t intrinsically motivate you, your motivation will never last.
“Goals should also, whenever possible, trigger intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, motivation. An activity is intrinsically motivated when it’s seen as its own end; it’s extrinsically motivated when it’s seen as serving a separate, ulterior purpose—earning you a reward or allowing you to avoid punishment. My research shows that intrinsic motives predict achievement and success better than extrinsic ones do.”
An excerpt from Harvard Business Review.
The key then is to find out elements that intrinsically motivate you.
- Why do you want to build a successful website?
- Why do you want to become the best violinist?
- Why do you want to blog?
Find out what motivates you intrinsically.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger workout in the gym, the more he sweat, the happier he gets. Why? Because he sees himself as getting closer to his goal of becoming the best bodybuilder.
And that’s what motivates him to hit the gym every day.
You have to identify the elements that drive you internally if you want to keep your motivation strong for your goals.
Means Goal VS End Goal
Understand whether you are pursuing an end goal, or a means goal.
End goals are what you truly want. It is something that you want to experience and desire deep in your heart.
For example, it could be traveling around the world and experience different cultures and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Means goals, on the other hand, are targets that will get you to your end goals.
For instance, you want a certain job, a college degree, or earning $10,000 a month, or getting into a certain company, etc.
Steve Pavlina has a very good simple explanation of this.
He said, seeing your favorite music group performs live in concert is an end goal. You want to be there and enjoy that particular experience.
Now, suppose a radio station is having a contest where the prize is two tickets to that concert, and you want to win that contest, this, my friend, will be a means goal.
Winning the contest is not the outcome that you desire. Winning the contest is the pathway to the concert, it is a means to an end.
Thus, focus on the end goal. Pay attention to the internal motivation that keeps you moving forward.
8. Your goals must be something that matters to you
If you are not feeling motivated for your goals, maybe they are not important to you.
I suggest you read my guide here: The Power of Having a Purpose Driven Mission.
In the article, I mentioned why when you lack a purpose-driven mission, it will be difficult to stay motivated in life.
John Sculley was the CEO of Pepsi Co. when Steve Jobs approached him and tried to recruit him. Jobs was known to the world for being a legendary visionary, and he was someone who believed that what he was doing in Apple was incredibly important to the world.
And this led Jobs to approach Sculley. And you know what Jobs told Sculley to get him on board?
Jobs asked Sculley, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
Of course, Sculley wanted to do something that matter, hence, he joined Apple.
That’s the power of having a goal that truly matters.
You want to make sure your goals are something that matters to you.
You want your goals to be impactful and meaningful. You don’t want your goals to be just about ‘numbers’.
When your goals are meaningful, you will feel the motivation to work on them, day and night.
As Steve Jobs said…
“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”
– STEVE JOBS
Again, you want to associate a strong purpose and meaning to your goals.
When you are working on something meaningful with a strong purpose, you will never lack motivation.
If you set goals but don’t have the motivation to achieve them, it is a normal thing and happens to everyone.
This is because motivation comes and goes. So, to keep your motivation strong, you want to work on the 8 tips I shared above.
And if you want to learn how to make your goals a reality and always feel driven toward them, join me at Goal Setting Formula.
This article was written by Shawn Lim, a blogger who is obsessed with personal development and who writes to help you discover your purpose, reignite your motivation, and help you achieve your goals for amazing success in life.