How To Set Goals When You Don’t Feel Motivated

Goal setting is such an important part of achieving your dreams and creating the life that you want to have! But sometimes we all find ourselves lacking motivation even during times where we need to set new and fresh goals. So today I wanted to share my top tips for how to set goals when you don’t feel motivated.

Motivation is something that is deeply personal and a lot of factors can impact whether or not you feel motivated.

And sometimes you will find yourself in a prolonged amount of time where you are lacking motivation. But you may find yourself in a situation where you really do need to set new goals (beginning of the month, year, life change, etc).

Or you are hoping that setting goals will help you achieve some motivation. I know that setting goals is a great way to boost my personal motivation! This is because I am very encouraged by goal setting and trying to achieve goals especially numeric goals. So if this is something you are reading and agreeing with then it is definitely worth trying to follow the tips below and set some goals for yourself!

Keep reading for my tips on how to set goals when you don’t feel motivated. Which are all realistic goal setting tips and tricks. Remember, this is all about getting through the process of goal setting even if you are feeling unmotivated!

Also, I have a whole video on goal setting without motivation that you can watch here!

How To Set Goals When You Don't Feel Motivated

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How To Set Goals When You Don’t Feel Motivated

{ Realistic goal setting tips and steps }

Tip 1) Do a timed brainstorming session.

Set a time for how long you want to brainstorm. And don’t let yourself stop until that timer has stopped.

This will “force” you to think about your goals and what you want to accomplish without any distractions or anything else to do.

Turn your phone off (or put it on do not disturb if you are using it for the timer) so that you aren’t tempted to peak at it.

And really focus your energy for a set period minutes into brainstorming goal ideas and things you really want to accomplish. This gives you a great list to work off of to narrow down things, pick the time frame for each goal, and to help you think of actionable steps for your goals.

Goal brainstorming is always helpful to do. But if you are lacking motivation right now then set a timer and only brainstorm for a set period of time.

Also, if you are being realistic about the challenges you are having setting goals then you need to be realistic about the steps you are taking! So don’t try and set a timer for an hour. That is probably not a realistic amount of time to be brainstorming goals. Instead aim for 10-20 minutes.

Tip 2) Evaluate the goals you have recently missed.

Something that can really be holding you back from feeling motivated and not wanting to set new goals can come from missing a goal recently. If you just missed a goal and are struggling with that then this could be your most important tip for how to set goals when you aren’t feeling motivated.

When you miss or don’t complete a goal it can really mess with your self esteem. As well as your motivation to try again or to set new goals.

And the best way to get through that feeling to help you set new goals is to take an hour or so and evaluate your missed goals. I have an entire guide on this here! And I highly recommend going through it if you know you missed a goal recently.

This is especially important if it’s the end of the year and you didn’t complete a goal. Or the beginning of the year and you are already off track on a resolution! Missing a goal doesn’t have to mean for the next month or year that you are feeling like you failed.

Try to convince your mind that a missed goal is just a learning opportunity and take the time to learn from it!

Tip 3) Think about your future self if you don’t set goals.

The next tip for how to set goals when you don’t feel motivated is a bit less actionable. However, it is so helpful especially if you are really feeling like you are stuck and in a rut.

Find somewhere quiet to spend 30 minutes or so and think about your future. You can either just do this all in your mind or you can grab a notebook and journal through these thoughts. Whatever works the best for you and your preferences!

But start asking yourself these questions about your future:

  • If I don’t set any new goals where will I be in 5 years?
  • Will I resent myself if I don’t set any new goals?
  • What goals am I currently working on that are helping me?
  • Will I achieve my lifelong goals if I don’t work on goals now?
  • What goals did I complete recently that have improved my life?

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions! But they can really help you start to think about your future self and the live you want. Which can result in you getting the burst of motivation you need to set your new goals and make an actionable goals plan for those goals.

Taking the time to think about your future and to really get in touch with your thoughts can really motivate you. Sometimes a lack of motivation just comes from a disconnect in your mind about what you want to achieve next. And what you want your life to look like in the long run.

Tip 4) Talk it out with someone you trust/encourages you.

The next tip is one that can really pull you out of your own mind which may be something you are in need of.

Try to chat about your dreams, goals, and plans with someone you trust. When I am lacking motivation and inspiration to set goals I try to chat with my partner.

Getting his perspective and just talking things out can really put things into action for me. And it can likely help you too! Just make sure to talk with someone that you both trust with your emotions and plans and that will also genuinely encourage you. Try to avoid talking with someone that (even it it’s unintentional) makes you feel bad about yourself.

Tip 5) Make a list of things that inspire you.

Next up is to really “trick” yourself into getting inspired and motivated even if it is just for a short period of time.

And one of the best ways to kind of force this motivation is to sit down and make a list of things that inspire you.

This can be people, career related things, health/fitness, relationships, etc. Just think about the things around you and that you have seen in the past that inspire you to become your best self. Thinking and writing down those things can really get your mind into the right mindset to set goals.

Sometimes when you need to set goals or want to in order to improve your motivation you just need to trick your mind a little!

Tip 6) Get creative with your goal setting system.

The final tip for setting goals when you don’t feel motivated is my personal favorite!

Does just making a list of your goals on a piece of torn off notebook paper sound boring?

I feel you!

As a creative person that feels so dull and doesn’t inspire or motivate me at all to actually make my goals. And if you feel this way too then you may want to try getting more creative with your goal setting system.

Make your goals into a digital collage. Grab some giant poster board and put your goals on there. I recently saw someone tape each of their goals to a bottle of wine so that when they achieved them they could drink it!

Getting creative can really encourage you to pull yourself out of your rut. And start setting from fresh goals even if you are lacking some motivation. Especially if getting creative is something that inspires and motivates you. Don’t be afraid to try something weird or different. The only thing that matters is finding what goal setting system works for you.

How To Set Goals When You Don't Feel Motivated

I know how difficult it can be to set goals! As well as making goals plans when you are lacking inspiration and motivation. And I hope these tips for how to set goals when you don’t feel motivated helps you get through those times! And still set some goals that your future self will thank you for.

Though I quickly wanted to end this with a reminder that your mental wellness comes first! If what you are going through is more than just a lack of motivation then prioritize your mental wellness first and foremost. Never push yourself to think about goals that will harm your mental wellness and make sure you are happy and healthy before worrying about goals!


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1 comment

  • These are awesome tips! Some months I definitely feel a lack of motivation, so this post was extremely helpful!! I’m definitely going to try talking it out with my friends/family, I think that’s an awesome idea!

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