Getting motivated when you’re struggling


I’ve been finding it difficult to get started lately. It’s unusual for me, but this does happen on occasion. Like many of you, I work for myself, I’m really busy and my to-do list is always extensive.

Each day it includes a merry mix of all the elements I’m meant to include in life – fitness, nutrition, meditation, keeping an eye on my goals, managing clients, calling my mum, caring for the dog, paying my bills and writing. Lots of writing for work! Usually it’s because I have so much to do that I speed through things in an attempt to get everything done, but this past week or so I just can’t seem to find the motivation to conquer it. I skip out on going to Pilates, emails are driving me insane so I often procrastinate on them, and same with many of my social media tasks. I end up stuck on mundane tasks that I don’t have to think much about, but I’m left in the evening with either a lack of excitement about the day that’s just been, or I’ve not ticked off much of my to-do list.

I don’t like either situation, and neither is ‘me’. I am usually very good at time management – if I could just keep from feeling fuzzy headed and lacking enthusiasm! I’m also at a point in my business where I’m working a LOT but I’m working at bringing in new clients and money, working on the business, pitching etc. Consequently I’m working all the time but for little financial return. I don’t mind this, but I think it’s potentially getting me down a bit. Can you relate?

I’ve identified:

1. I reckon I’m lacking in support and contact with others, and therefore am left floundering on my own for most of the day.

2. My list of things to do is too big, and I’m getting overwhelmed, and therefore instead of starting, I’m struggling with where to start.

3. I’m also quite tired so potentially something health-wise I need to rectify.

I bet I’m not alone on this front though. Does anyone understand how I feel? Do you have any advice?

I’ve taken a step toward my goal of building my online business and also digital networking by signing up to a 30 day blogging challenge with the Simple Blogging Network. I hope that by doing this I’ll be pushed along to blog more/regularly but with the bonus of receiving engagement and feedback, and also the opportunity to interact with others.

I’ve also done a bit of Sunday afternoon reading about getting motivated when you’re struggling, and have discovered a couple of interesting articles. One is a couple of years old, but really helpful, 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re In a Slump, by Loe Babauta. From this piece I gleaned that I am probably focussing on too many things, although, it’s hard to narrow that down when the items on my list to follow up on each day are about building the business and hopefully bringing in dollars.

And in amongst that, I need to fit in health and fitness time which is an important goal to me at the moment too (but often put on the back burner if I’m ‘behind’ with work). Nevertheless, perhaps narrowing my goals is something I need to address sooner rather than later, so I’m working towards a more defined ‘something’ rather than a whole heap of things.

From these one or two narrowed goals, I liked his suggestion of looking for something each day to inspire towards those goals, for example, if fitness is important, or even a goal of ‘getting motivated’ is critical, then reading something about these things in the morning to get fired up about it is a good idea.

Another feature I enjoyed was this one from The Huffington Post by James Clear, with particular reference to exercise, but I think the tips apply to many situations. He discusses the “pre game routine” that’s “so easy you can’t say no”. It’s kind of like taking baby steps towards getting going, and creating a routine so that the day – or what I’m meant to be getting into each morning – is shuffled into motion without a hitch. So, perhaps my pre-blogging routine is to settle in with a cuppa and just write for 15 minutes…

Anyway, food for thought, and I at least feel a little better about being proactive about solving this issue. Who knows, maybe with Monday morning tomorrow I’ll be back on board. Feedback and comments always welcome though.

Sarah Blinco


About the author: Sarah Blinco

Writer, editor and digital content manager – find me on social media @sarahblinco PS - if you found this piece helpful, I would be really grateful if you could take a moment to leave a comment below.

5 comments to “Getting motivated when you’re struggling”

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  1. Michelle - February 3, 2014 at 3:09 am Reply

    I am in the same boat as you about getting motivated. I have a ton of stuff to do but don’t really want to do it. I also work from home and some days I just want to stay in my pj’s and play with my son all day. I have taken some time this week to get my stuff in order so I know what to tackle first. Once I start, I will be good to go.

    • Sarah Blinco - February 3, 2014 at 6:56 am Reply

      Thanks Michelle! I find that too in my life – once I decide when I’m going to get my act together, or decide when I’m going to do something, or how, I just do it. It helps to know I’m not alone though 🙂

    • hannah - April 16, 2014 at 9:49 pm Reply

      Hi Michelle,
      I love this article because its straightforward and for real, and yes Michelle, there are a list of things that we should be doing but we just find out we are not doing them, whew!
      Here’s the thing though ( and I put this to practice).
      Lets not wait to be motivated before we do what we love to do, instead, it will do us much good to remember how motivated we were when we first launched into it (our own thing) and we can draw inspiration from there.
      Then, in other not to be overwhelmed, you can bring together a team(like-minds) and share your dream with them and tell them how it might benefit them. You would be surprised that they will happily dedicate 15-30 mins of their time investing in your project.
      All in all, stay true to your goals. Go Michelle

  2. Jennifer Akers - April 5, 2014 at 6:18 pm Reply

    Hi Sarah,

    I think many ‘of us have been in a similar situation, and you made a great priority list of how to address it. I was nodding my head while reading, especially having the contact with others (so crucial when we solopreneurs work online). I’ve been dealing with health issues myself, so I know how it can zap your drive and motivation. I’ve also read that it’s helpful to prioritize your overwhelming list – I know I make mine way too long — and to remember WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. Great advice – helpful to find a kindred spirit through Beth’s Simple Blogging Challenge too. 🙂

    Jennifer Akers recently posted…Get Seen Without Spending a Lot of MoneyMy Profile

    • Sarah Blinco - April 6, 2014 at 6:33 am Reply

      Thanks so much for the feedback and advice. It’s always good to know we’re not alone 🙂 And yes, I struggle with my lists being overwhelming and much too long. I will remember your advice this week when planning!

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