Motivation is the driving force that determines whether you choose to perform a task, what the task will be and how persistently you'll continue. Tiredness is defined as lack of energy and motivation, which means that the two are related. If you’re tired, you’re most likely also unmotivated. The first step is to explore why you’re tired.
Whether you call it weariness or tiredness, fatigue is a natural response to exertion. It occurs in regular daily cycles, but it shouldn't continue for a long period of time. If you have fatigue that’s not helped by getting more sleep or eating properly, consult your physician to rule out medical problems. Some common causes of fatigue include being overweight, anemia, depression, thyroid problems, medications, arthritis, diabetes, sleep disorders and malnutrition.
One of the most common causes of fatigue is stress, so if you can’t avoid it, find time to relax, practice meditation and exercise. Regular exercise not only reduces stress, but it also helps you control weight, improves your mood and boosts energy, all of which remedy tiredness and provide motivation. Proper nourishment is also essential. Eat regular meals that include complex carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables and fruits. Your body needs water to sustain metabolism and produce energy, so keep yourself hydrated. You also need to eat enough calories to get through the activities you want to perform, so even if you need to lose weight, never eat less than 1,200 calories a day.
If you’re not feeling motivated, begin by writing down your goals. Putting them down on paper – making them visual – helps you get organized and gives you a place to begin even if you're not motivated. Start by making a list of things to do, use the list to prioritize tasks and then focus on the first one so you don’t get overwhelmed. List the steps you need to take to reach the goal. Keep the steps small, realistic and achievable. Be as specific as possible; define what needs to be done, how you’ll do it and, most importantly, set a time frame. Give yourself a date to finish each step and check it off your list as you do it. Motivation and energy increase in proportion to your achievements.
Rewards are a bit controversial, with some arguing that they eliminate motivation. Overcoming tiredness and rebuilding motivation, however, require effort and dedication. Acknowledging success contributes to a positive cycle that boosts motivation to continue. Don’t reward yourself randomly; use your goals and pick a time when you’ve reached a specific level of success. Then reward yourself in a way that doesn’t undermine other efforts. For example, if exercise or eating properly are part of the plan, don’t reward yourself by skipping exercise or overindulging in a big meal. Instead, reward yourself with a new MP3, go to a movie, treat yourself to a day at the spa or devote time to reading a book.
- University of Rhode Island: What is Motivation?
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Fatigue
- University of Miami: A Diet to Boost Your Mood and Energy Level
- Penn State University: Boosting Your Metabolism 101
- Harvard Health Publications: Tired of Being Tired? Tips for Fighting Fatigue
- Mind Tools: Locke’s Goal-Setting Theory