Three Ways To Regain Your Motivation When Everything Sucks

I think we can all agree that last year wasn’t the best for most of us. I had so many amazing career highs but a lot of lows as well. There was a period where I lost all motivation and was just going through the motions of my daily life. I work in political journalism so just imagine covering all that “breaking news” in 2016. One of my co-workers even said she cried every morning before going to work. It was rough.

I did some deep reflection and a few things to regain my motivation and more back. It wasn’t immediate and took a bit of time. I had to overcome my burnout and refocus where I put my energy. But in the end it was all worth it and I feel a lot better now. Hopefully these tips can help you gain back your motivation no matter what industry or situation you’re in.

Photography: T. Elaine (Caffeine Chaser)
Photography: T. Elaine (Caffeine Chaser)


In December I spent a week in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida at an amazing journalism academy hosted by NABJ and The Poynter Institute. Getting away from work but also learning new skills for my job was probably the best thing I ever did. I felt so refreshed when I left and it was so nice to vent to people in my industry (but who weren’t my co-workers). When I came back I attended the VisionCon2016 #GirlBoss panel and vision board party. It was fantastic being around likeminded women for a few hours.

I highly suggest looking for a workshop or event related to your field to get out of your funk. You never know who you will meet or what you’ll learn. My journalism group formed a private Facebook group and we regularly communicate in it.


I only took one psychology class but I learned the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Basically extrinsic motivation stems from outside factors or your environment but intrinsic is developed within yourself. I set a lot of goals for myself but when I’m unmotivated I feel like I let myself down when I don’t accomplish everything. So I began to lower my expectations for myself and when I went above and beyond I felt so good. Do I think you should always have low expectations for yourself? Hell no. But do I think you should lower the bar sometimes? Yes.


When you have a lack of motivation you usually feel overwhelmed too. Instead of saying “I’m too busy” try saying “That’s not a priority for me.” Literally try prioritizing every little thing. But only prioritize the things that are necessities and things you really want to get done. For me it was my yoga class. I told myself no matter what I was going to take this hour out of my day and go to yoga because it made me feel good and everything else could wait until later. When you take control of the little things in your life, the big things don’t seem so hard. Remember sometimes the powerful word is saying no.

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Stay driven.

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