How I Stopped Using Motivation as My Scapegoat

Because the world doesn’t stop just because I’m not “feelin’ it”.

Motivation comes in waves. Some days we find ourselves ready to take over the world, as soon as we open our eyes. We make big plans, get the project started, and feel an overwhelming sense of excitement because we’re finally going to make this happen.

Then we wake up the next day and… nuthin’. We try to go through the same steps and motions we did the day before, but for some reason, we’re just not “feelin’ it.” Perhaps we’re not ready to take on this project? Maybe we need to rethink our plan of action?

So we sweep our big, exciting project aside for yet another time and begin scrolling through Instagram and YouTube videos. Three months later, this project has become something we definitely want to do someday.

I know too well how that feels. I can only speak for myself, but this makes me feel like a disappointment and a phony. Not keeping promises to yourself damages your self-esteem because you’re demonstrating you don’t have what it takes and cannot be counted on to achieve your goals.


Somewhere on the other side of town, someone else with similar plans who started on the same day, also woke up the next morning not “feelin’ it.” She completed and checked off a few tasks on her project list anyway.

She continued to complete tasks each day regardless of whether she was feeling motivated or not, and today she’s beginning to reap the rewards of her consistent follow-through.

I prefer functioning on this side of the fence, so during one of my “I feel unstoppable!” phases, I made it a point to document what’s helped me push through even when I didn’t feel like doing anything. I’m a single mom & business owner for cryin’ out loud… “I just can’t get into it today” ain’t gonna feed my kid or pay my bills. I had to stop using the lack of motivation as my scapegoat for flaking out on so many personal projects.


Unmotivated vs. Unmotivated but armed with a clear plan

I found that when I rely on motivation alone, I start strong with the greatest enthusiasm and sincere intentions to make my dreams come true. However, because my emotions are not supported by a clear plan of action, I don’t have anything to lead me to my destination when I’m not feeling motivated.

On the other hand, when I have a clear plan of action broken down into easy to follow tasks (usually with a little reward attached to it), I can complete my daily responsibilities even when my motivation is low to nonexistent.

Today’s course creating plan:

  • Create an outline for Unit Two
  • Flesh it out so it’s ready for upload to the platform
  • Find relevant B&W banner image
  • Convert content to PDF (for bonus download)
  • Pop some popcorn and watch a movie with my son

I also prepare a list of obstacles vs. solutions including self-imposed hurdles, external distractions, and circumstances beyond my control as well as their countermeasures. This way, I have an idea of how to proceed in an event I am faced with challenges.

Obstacles vs. solutions:

  • I’ll want to push tasks off for later | Get at least the outline done, then hula hoop to clear my head and re-energize (Once I get started, I usually find my flow and won’t stop until I finish. Getting started is always the hardest.)
  • The temptation to read random texts from friends | Put my phone on Do Not Disturb while working.
  • Suddenly recall a funny YouTube video I want to watch | I can watch all the beauty YouTubers’ drama that I want after I finish my daily tasks.
  • The laptop starts lagging | Work on the desktop while I scan and defrag laptop.

I had this unrealistic image that I was supposed to be on cloud 9 when I worked towards my goals. Yeah, good luck getting anything done with that mindset, momma. Because in the world of achievers, a goal is a destination for which you do whatever it takes to reach — regardless of your mood.


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Live Your Life On Purpose

Get Purpose. Get Perspective. Get Passion.

Carmen 🎀 Sakurai

Written by

Certified Cognitive Behavioral Coach. Best selling author. Advocate for victims of NPD abuse. Writer @ Psych Central, Thrive Global. CarmenSakurai.com

Live Your Life On Purpose

Get Purpose. Get Perspective. Get Passion.

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