When you are depressed, you are likely to do less overall and so you have fewer opportunities to feel pleasure and a sense of achievement.  It is easy to be locked up in a cycle.  

It can be tempting to want to wait until your depression goes away to try to start doing some of the things you enjoy again.  The problem with this approach is that it can leave you feeling helpless as you’re likely to be waiting for a long time.  

The quicker way out of this vicious cycle is to increase your level of activity even when you don’t feel like it to start with.  

As you probably know, when we try to change our behaviour for the first time, we can feel uncomfortable.  This is not a sign that the activity is not beneficial or that we should not do it again.  Actually, it’s quite normal for you to feel uncomfortable during the first attempts at new activities.  The difficulty is that we misinterpret a normal initial discomfort to mean that we should not continue with this new activity.  Once we have started to act differently and achieved the initial behaviour change (even if it is a very small change) the satisfaction of having accomplished the initial step/goal increases our motivation to continue. 

Causes of Low motivation

There are a few things you should watch for that might hurt or inhibit our motivation levels.  These include:

  • All – or – nothing thinking: If you think that you must be absolutely perfect when trying to reach your goal or there is no point in trying, one small slip -up or relapse can sap your motivation to keep pushing forward.  
  • Believing in quick fixes: It’s easy to feel unmotivated if you can’t reach your goal immediately but reaching goals often takes time. 
  • Thinking that one size fits all: just because an approach or method worked for someone else does not mean that it will work for you in exactly the same way or time frame.  If you lack motivation to pursue your goals, look for other things that will work better for you.  


Motivation can be difficult to summon at times, but there are some techniques you can use to get motivated that are listed below:


  • Set clear goals: Identify what you want to achieve and create specific, measurable, and achievable goals.


  • Break tasks down into smaller, manageable steps: Sometimes tasks can feel overwhelming, but by breaking them down into smaller steps, they become more manageable.


  • Find your “why”: Figure out why you want to achieve your goals. Having a strong sense of purpose can help keep you motivated.


  • Surround yourself with positive influences: Spend time with people who inspire and motivate you. Watch videos, read books, or listen to podcasts that encourage you.


  • Celebrate small wins: Celebrate every small success along the way to keep yourself motivated.


  • Hold yourself accountable: Use tools like a planner or a to-do list to track your progress and hold yourself accountable.


  • Take care of yourself: Self-care is important for staying motivated. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising regularly.


  • Remember that motivation can fluctuate, and that’s okay. If you’re struggling to get motivated, take a break, and come back to it later with fresh eyes.


Here at IC Therapies we are ready to help you take this approach further by using a psychological treatment called behaviour activation (BA). It is designed to help you connect with what matters to you and help you regain rewarding things in your life.  It has scientific evidence to show that it works.

Leave A Comment