I had been feeling unmotivated for a few weeks when my life suddenly came to a screeching halt. I was uninspired to write, weary from parenting, and I felt stuck.
Most of us know all about feeling stuck.
We get stuck in long, winter seasons that drag on without even the slightest hints of springtime.
We get stuck in bad habits, complacency, escapist behaviors, and deep, muddy ruts along the paths of our lives.
What do you do when you’re feeling unmotivated and struggling to find the courage to do something about it?
I wrestled with this question as the milky light of winter dawn eased through the windowpane. A thought came to mind. It went something like this: “Have you forgotten your why?”
I spend most of my days pouring into three little people. I also write words to share with the world. My why is the same for both these areas of my life. My vision is to use my life to point to Jesus.
I want to point my kids to Jesus every single day.
And I want the words I share with the world to point to Jesus.
But sometimes, I forget my why.
How Remembering Your Why Can Help You When You’re Feeling Unmotivated
I forget my why when I forget this parenting journey is about more than just surviving. It’s about teaching my kids to know and love the Lord. My calling is to help them grow and become the kind of people who touch the world for Christ.
A few years ago, I started passionately pursuing a writing career because I wanted to point people to Jesus. But part of the process includes spreading the word about my words. It involves creating graphics and marketing. And it’s really easy to forget my why in the mix of all the things I have to do.
Let’s pause right here.
Friend, what is your why?
Why did you become a teacher, a banker, a business owner, a mom, a nurse, a writer, or whatever you decided to become?
Was it about putting food on the table and paying the bills?
That’s okay. There’s a time for stepping up to care for our physical needs.
Was it about making an impact on the world around you?
Being a difference-maker?
Carrying Christ to a broken world?
Today is a good day to remind yourself of your why. Especially if you’re feeling unmotivated, pause to remember why you pursued this life you are living.
Go back to the beginning.
Remember the fiery passion you had at the beginning.
And if you’ve strayed from your primary purpose, take some time to get centered today.
Practical Steps to Take When You’re Feeling Unmotivated
Here are a few ways I’m getting centered to remember my why these days. I pray they will help you as well:
1. Connect with God in silence and solitude.
I’m letting God speak into my identity. I sit by the window and watch the cottontails chase each other through tufts of green. I open the Bible and let God remind me I am his. He reminds me I am the apple of his eye. My name is Beloved. Nothing can change these parts of my identity.
2. Set social media boundaries.
Chasing the praise of people is wearing. And when the praise doesn’t come, it’s easy to start feeling unmotivated. When you lack motivation, don’t surrender to the temptation to scroll mindlessly through some social media feed.
3. Cast down the achievement idol.
I’ve chased productivity throughout most of my life. I love getting things done. But this mentality also leaves me feeling depleted and drained. I eventually face burnout.
A better way to live is this: I aim to live present to my moments. I try to put people ahead of productivity.
Instead of racing to do more, I slow down and simply do whatever needs to be done next.
4. Listen well.
Sit with your kids and ask them about their days, their dreams, or their favorite video games. Sit with your husband and look at him while he tells you about his day. Turn off the TV and be fully present.
Call a friend or call your mom and ask how she’s really doing. Be all there. Listen to God while you listen to her, and ask him how you can encourage her. Refresh someone else, and you will be refreshed in the process.
5. Try slowing down when you’re feeling unmotivated.
Refuse to hurry. Stop to give thanks for the small miracles surrounding you. Watch the sun sink low. Pick wildflowers. Sip tea slowly. Listen to good music. Build a fire and watch it blaze. Read a poem.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Stacey Pardoe