How Do You Find Motivation When You’re Physically and Emotionally Exhausted

We are always looking for extra motivation right? Motivation to lose weight, to clean the house, to stay on task, to finish a project. How do we define motivation?


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Motivation is the difference between getting up and doing that thing and staying on the couch binge watching your favorite show.

But are we sure that’s what we’re supposed to be looking for?


Defining Motivation:

After some digging, I’ve found the word “motivation” comes from “motive” which is something (such as a need or desire) that causes a person to act or a reason to do something.

So in turn motivation is only ever going to be a quick mindset shift to what gets you off the couch. You can not rely on it to be a long term thing.


There are 2 types of motivation:

  1. Extrinsic motivation

This is from outside of you. You can be doing this thing for a reward or someone else or something is motivating you to do that thing.

Picture this as your friend saying she’ll be at your house in 15 minutes. And your house is a disaster. So you run around all your living spaces picking up toys, putting things away, yelling at the kids to help you because we can’t have other people seeing our house that way. ( have you seen that video that was 

2. Intrinsic motivation: this is coming internally. You are doing something because you want to, you have interest in it, you like it. You have a strong desire to do it.

Picture this as you just taking 15 minutes, picking up toys and putting things away as part of a routine that you do everyday. You are not in a frantic rush. You do it because you enjoy the way it feels afterwards.   


What’s the difference between the two?

The first scenario is from others. They are coming over and you don’t want them to see the house in disaster mode.

The second scenario is you do it for you, because you like the way it feels when it’s all picked up and put away.

Motivation, unfortunately, doesn’t last very long. If you’re like me I can get so motivated to do something but by the time it comes to do it, I’ve lost any and all motivation and cannot get it back to save my life.

Then I sit there and feel discouraged because I cannot get that positive energy back.


Where did it go? Right?

I was extrinsically motivated at this point. I watched or listened to something that got me all pumped up. But since motivation doesn’t last long, you have to reboot it.

There needs to be a balance between getting extrinsically motivated and staying intrinsically motivated. Outside sources can only get so you far. It’s up to you, to your determination and discipline to keep it going and move forward. This is different for each person.  


How to find motivation when you’re physically and emotionally exhausted:

  • Remember why you started

You started this journey for a reason. Go back to the beginning and recharge yourself on your WHY. 


  • Too much to do and don’t know where to start

When this happens I think we all get the deer in the headlights look on our faces. I personally just stop and look around and then walk away! I’m already overwhelmed before I’ve started! So to get over this hump:

List out every thing that needs to be done

Create checklists/templates for recurring tasks. That way you can take the guess work out of what you’re doing.  There’s no wondering what happens next because it’s already listed out for you.

Start on one thing and finish it. Overwhelm and exhaustion comes from having too many open ended projects and tasks that you still have to do so everywhere you look there’s something that needs to be worked on.

If you are still overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, try out my FREE Frazzled to Focused course to help you over get over that hump!

  • Too tired

You need an adequate amount of sleep everyday. Aim for 7 to 8 hours a night. Your body needs you to sleep.

Rest for a while then get back to it. If you aren’t in the mood right now, relax and recharge for 15 minutes and then come back to it.

RE-look at your eating habits. I’m currently learning how much nutrition plays a role in everything that has to do with your physical health, emotional health, and well being. When I started putting whole foods in my body, drinking lots of water, and cutting down sugar intake, my overall energy levels all increased.


  • In a slump/can’t get in the mood

Watch a video/listen to a podcast from someone that inspires you.

Stop thinking about how much time and energy that it will take and just start on the task at hand. Once you start, you’ll be done with it before you realize!

Remember that we only have one life and have to make everyday the best it can be. I hate living in regret wishing that I had just done it yesterday. But then again, take a hard look at what you are working towards, maybe it shouldn’t be a priority for you right now. Push it back until you can find the time and energy to tackle the project.

Motivation and Discipline

Even if you’re moving slower than the pace of a snail, you are moving forward. You are making progress. You won’t get to your destination overnight. Most of the time the thing we’re aiming for is not a one time destination.

Getting healthier and exercising is something that will never end. 

Organizing will always be a work in progress, meaning, you will still have to work to maintain every space.

I have to remind myself this everyday. I look at who/what I’m aspiring to/for and think that I put in a hard day’s work and I should be at the end goal already.

For example, as you may know one of my current goals is to hit my goal weight and now get healthier. That reminds me I need to post a goal update! Anyways, I follow this gal Mommy Trainer on Instagram. She has a 15 day challenge and I thought I would give it a try. To me she is in perfect shape, that is ideally how I want to look, and she has three kids. She recently posted a picture that showed her progress pictures of what she looked like in the beginning after her third child and her current picture. I can’t remember how long it took her to reach her current picture, (I think it was a year?)

But, I do one workout and burn some calories and expect to look like her now when in reality it takes so much more than that. I have to remind myself that it takes discipline to get from point A to point B. Getting up every day and making it happen for myself.


Beyond motivation:

Remember that the definition of motivation means that its short lived. It is only the reason to do something. 

Gaining the discipline by training yourself to keep following through day in and day out is what will get you to your goal.



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