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How to Stay Motivated When You Just Really Want to Lie on the Couch

how to stay motivated

Summer is really here.

The days are longer, the sun is out and the heat is on.

You’re sitting inside you see the sun shining into the window. As you take a deeper look through the glass you can see the leaves on the trees swaying from the breeze.

It looks gorgeous outside. But you’re stuck inside all day because you have work to do.  And by the time you get out you’ll have more work to do, your own personal stuff.

You waited all through a pretty tough winter to miss all of the best days of summer.

You’d rather be at the beach, a local park or even on your couch relaxing with the sun shining in.

Days like this were made for relaxation, not to be trapped in an endless cycle of responsibilities.

At this point you don’t even want to finish what you’re doing. Instead you’re trying to figure out ways to enjoy the day before it’s over.

But wait, aren’t you supposed to be working?

Your Motivation is Shot

You know you can’t just up and leave your job early, so you’re stuck there for a few more hours.

But you might as well leave. I mean you’re not getting much work done. All you can think about it clearing out your afternoon schedule so you can enjoy some part of the sun before it sets.

Ugh, but what about all the stuff you have to do? It has to get done. Then again, tomorrow is another day.

You could do it tomorrow but you’ll just be in the same place again. You won’t make any progress if you don’t do something now.

You know you have to do it but it’s so hard to stay motivated when lying around sounds so much better.

How did this even happen? You were trucking along just fine then the sun shined in and ruined everything thing.

You were completely hypnotized by the gleaming rays and drawn to the window. You may have even been daydreaming.

You were distracted by something happening outside of what you were doing. And as soon as you realized what it was, your motivation for what you were doing quickly dried up.

If only it were raining, right? Well, probably not because then you’d want to curl up on the couch and watch movies.

What Are You Going to Do?

Working in a windowless cellar isn’t realistic so you have to figure something out, or else you’ll be stuck in the same place forever because you can’t stay motivated for long.

In order to address your lack of motivation you have to resolve it in different ways. As you may have noticed, unless it’s lounging and relaxing, nothing lasts for too long when you get like this.

You have to use a few different methods you fuel your motivation so you can get unstuck and make some progress.

Remember these tips the next time your motivation is fading and you’re thinking it’s a better idea to throw in the towel for the day and relax.

They’ll help you get back to work and your personal responsibilities without any resentment.

1. Look ahead

When all you’re doing is focusing all that you have to do before you’re done it’s no wonder your motivation is dead.

How can you stay motivated when you’re overwhelming yourself mentally?

Don’t worry so much about the process of getting there. Just take it one step at a time and as you do focus on how good you’ll feel when everything is said and done.

2. Stop

Yeah, you read that right. But I’m sure you’ve misunderstood.

It’s okay to take a break as long as you’re not throwing in the towel. Doing any one thing for 8-10 hours a day, followed by more chores later, is exhausting just to think about.

Stopping to take a break every few hours breaks up the monotony and rejuvenates you a bit before you start again.

Like if it’s really nice outside, you can take a 10-15 minute break to walk around and enjoy the sun and breeze.

If you’re exhausted from running around town for the past few hours, plop down on the couch for twenty minutes to catch your breath.

You just can’t let it take over the rest of the day. Getting to enjoy it for a few minutes prevents you from feeling like it was absent from your entire day.

3. Shake a leg

In my line of work I sit a lot. Actually, there are very few reasons for me to get up at all. It’s like I am chained to my chair.

Moving around, even during your break, prevents you from feeling like you’re confined. Because you feel like you’re confined to a space you get stir-crazy, then all you want to do is escape.

4. Reward yourself

It’s like when dedicated dieters and fitness enthusiasts have a cheat day. They allow one day of indulgence to reward themselves for sticking to their plan all week.

Recognized the effort and work you’ve put in and treat yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything big and shouldn’t disrupt your progress. Just a little something can you can enjoy and motivate you to continue.

5. Just do it

Who knew Nike has been providing good advice all along?

Waiting for inspiration is a big mistake. It’s a waste of time. That’s why motivating yourself is so important.

Sometimes you just have to push yourself a little to do what you have to. Once you start doing it you’ll realize it’s not that bad and actually want to finish it.

Like when you go outside for a walk on a beautiful day. You might not feel like coming back inside, but do it anyway. It may even push you to finish up early so you can get back outside.

6. Clock it

Think about how motivated you are when you’re working on a deadline.

The seconds are just ticking away and you can’t get them back. So you make every minute count.

Timing yourself or setting a completion time frame will motivate you to keep working until the time is up.

7. List the benefits

A lot of the time you’re not motivated to finish because you’re disconnected from what is at stake.

Make a list of the benefits for completing whatever it is you have to do. Whenever you feel you should just lie around instead, review the list.

Reminding yourself why you’re doing it will keep you going.

8. Make a playlist

You know there are at least a couple of songs out there that get you pumped to do something. Download a few of those songs so you can play them when your motivation is fading.

If there is a video that comes to mind that inspires you to take action, watch that too.

A few minutes of watching or listening to something that motivates you is worth it. And it’s a good way to add a little fun into the mix.

But this can be distraction so watch out. Five minutes is all you need, too much more than that is procrastination.

Stay Motivated

You may have previously convinced yourself that doing what you feel at the moment is the best. But that doesn’t work in your favor when you need to complete things, because all of a sudden you no longer want to do them.

If you could get something done by just wanting it, without further action, we’d all be living the easy life. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

You have to put in work to reap the benefits. Therefore learning how to motivate yourself is very important.

Figuring out what motivates you and using that to your advantage is powerful and irreplaceable when it comes to achieving your goals and living your dreams.

Always strive to keep your motivation up and nothing will stop you.


Tell me…

How do you handle dying motivation?




About Lea

Lea is a certified life coach, foodie and lifehack expert. Donโ€™t end up like the millions of people who gave up on their dreams, get unstuck and to the next level. Take the eye-opening Live Your Dreams course now to get moving!

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  • Junie

    Wonderful post Lea. Yes, I have those days when all I want to do is curl up on the couch and watch daytime TV. And nothing can motivate me to get some work done. It’s sad and it’s not good when you’re self employed.

    No. 2 works for me. When I stop, step away from the computer and go for a walk or just sit in the garden for a while to clear my head, it puts me back on track. Another way of getting motivated is to wash the dishes. There’s something about washing the dishes that fires up my creativity. Strange, but true. ๐Ÿ™‚

    No.8 is another good motivation push for me. I have a selection of praise and worship playlists. Listening to them keeps me focused.

    Have a lovely rest of the week.

    • Lea

      Thanks June. Nope, it’s the worst when you’re self-employed. You can talk yourself out of it because you’re the boss but if you aren’t productive it all falls on you.

      When you’re in that position you have to do everything possible to keep yourself motivated.

      Oh wow, that’s awesome. I wish cleaning something got my juices flowing. Then maybe my house would be tidy a bit longer lol.

      Thanks for sharing what works for you. I appreciate it. Enjoy the weekend ahead.


  • Excellent advice Lea! Self awareness and being clear about our “why” plays such an important role in our ability to stay motivated, but I also think your “just do it” advice is spot on. This is key no matter what you’re trying to do. For example I’m a writer and I do not believe in “writer’s block” – I think it’s more a matter of being consistent. Sitting yourself down day after day to do the work instead of waiting for that little blue flame of inspiration to hit you.

    • Lea

      Thanks Marquita!

      I know what you mean. I used to sit and wait for something to hit me, motivating me to make progress. But that proved to be a waste of time. I just ended up frustrated with how long it took to move along.

      Like you said being consistent helps you find your groove and stay in it.

      Thanks for comment and sharing your experience. I really appreciate it!


  • Hi Lea

    Amazing post and what a coincidence to be reading this today. It is very timely as I am currently at that place.

    I not only wanted to lie down on the couch but bury my head in it. It’s just one of those seasons I am so demotivated. Stopped in the middle of wrapping up a post since yesterday and even feel like quitting the blogging arena. Seriously.

    But I take your points. They are valid. I should have been on a day off today as well but opted to come to the office and immerse myself in the work instead of staying at home having a pity party.

    Thanks for sharing.


    • Lea

      Hi Lea,

      Oh wow, that’s great! Glad it found you in time.

      It’s prime time for that. The weather has been perfect for just lying around. Omg no, you can’t quit. Just remember it gets like that sometimes but it’ll past, keep going. Remember why you’re doing it.

      Great choice to be productive. You should express your feelings but you should make important decisions when you’re not feeling yourself.

      Chin up ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Andrew M. Warner

    Hi Lea,

    Great post. Funny enough, there’s been some pretty hot days last week and I did NOTHING. I was too hot from the sun and it affected me to the most I wasn’t even motivated to write or anything.

    Plus, it disturbed my sleeping pattern too .. which caused me to not be fully motivated the following day.

    I like all the tips you provided, especially the tip about stopping and clock it .. but any other advice for days like I went through? Lately it’s been cool, but it’s supposed to be scorchers next week. And no matter how much AC I have on, I still feel the heat one way or another.

    – Andrew

    • Lea

      Hi Andrew,

      I know what you mean. Before writing this post I noticed I was talking myself out of working because of the weather.

      Omg, I can’t believe the AC isn’t working that well for you. Make sure it’s running well. Other than that try to refrain from doing things that would increase your body heat before you plan to work, like exercising. If you don’t want to break your routine, take a cool shower in between. Yes cool, not hot. Also, I find drinking cold bottles of water, straigh out of the fridge, helps to cool me down. The impact actually lasts longer than I thought, that or I get more acclimated to the temperature. Oh, and close your blinds. I hate to say it, but the sunlight brings more heat in.

      Hope that helps. I’m actually looking forward to the low humidity, cool fall days ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Hi Lea

    What a great post

    This is what I need to keep me pumped up for more action. I loved all your points and you are so right. I agree that breaks are necessary.

    Thanks for this motivation booster. It came at the right time. Take Care

    • Lea

      Hi Ikechi,

      Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Isn’t funny how breaks arer helpful. You’d think they would be counterproductive but they really work for you.


      Thanks for your kind words.


  • Lea, how true – we all experience these temporary seasons. I usually just wait it out as they never last long for me. But these are all practical ways to get going again. There are times when your body is just screaming at you to take that break. Some silence, some stillness, and then some movement always seem to work for me.

    • Lea

      Hi Skip,

      Thanks, I’m glad you agree that they’re useful. Isn’t there? It’s almost like you can’t focus on anything else until your body has what it is screaming for.

      Thanks for sharing your secrets ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Lea, your #3, shake a leg, is not just a motivator, it’s healthy for us. Too many of us are sitting too long. There’s ongoing research about sitting disease. It’s rampant with technology. Thanks for a valuable post to help us be more self-motivated.

    • Lea

      It certainly is Patricia, especially when you live a sedentary lifestyle, you should get up when you can. Thanks for commenting.


  • Hi Lea
    Everyone can connect with the post. During stressful moments, I motivate myself by appreciating my past efforts. I prefer a silent space where I can understand my anxiety in a detailed manner.
    I can understand the pain behind your third point. Even, I also have a sitting job. When I am completely engrossed, I don’t even realize my long sitting hours. But, it is always better to take small breaks.
    Rewarding yourself is the best and easiest task, isn’t? We don’t have to wait for anyone. In this way, we can boost ourself
    Thanks for the lovely reminder

    • Lea

      Hi Yatin,

      I figured as much. I think we all have that moment when we just want to hang out but our to-do lists are a mile long.

      They even say with a mostly sedary lifestyle that you should get up and moving around often.

      Yes! Who doesn’t like a good reward. It’s like holding the carrot infront of the horse, something good to look forward to.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences.


  • Rachel

    Hey Lea,

    This post was written for me and I read it at exactly the right time. Today I finished my responsibilities and thought about my blogging duties to me. And I was contemplating, should I or shouldn’t I.

    Then I thought just go slowly. So I am doing your one step at a time thing. And I have some music that is relaxing me. Today I am not going fast and I am actually enjoying plodding along.

    However in saying that I have not had a day off in nearly three weeks so I think my mind is ready for a day to relax and unwind, but I will let it decide. It normally just wont work and when this happens I just go with it.

    And your so right, the sun makes us want other activities and the winter makes me want to curl up in a ball on the couch and watch movies and eat everything that is fattening. Great post. It came at the exact time I needed. Talk soon.


    • Lea

      Hey Rachel,

      Wow, I’m so glad this was so timely for everyone! Ugh, I know what you mean. I have the same struggle sometimes. You end up doing a lot over the course of the day. And then one more thing is like, “Uh, when can I relax.”

      That’s great to hear! Getting into the groove of it is important so it’s good to hear you’re enjoying your progress.

      You definitely should give yourself a mental break from time to time. Even if you can’t take a full day, maybe a few hours in between tasks. You don’t want to over work yourself.

      I’m so glad you can relate. I often have the same reactions to the weather.

      Thanks for sharing your insights.


  • Hey Lea, great post! And great timing! Summer days are difficult to spend inside getting work done. One of the ways I keep myself motivated is by promising myself small rewards – like watching a movie when it’s done, or reading a good book. I also keep motivated by looking at how much longer I need to go before I can sleep in (only one more week – that kind of thing). Sometimes I motivate myself with chocolate ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for these tips… I’ll add them to my tool kit!


    • Lea

      Hey Jenn,

      Thanks! I love rewarding myself too. Just the other day I went by the beach to enjoy the peace and the cool breeze since I was so productive.

      Hmmm, chocolate sounds like a great reward ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for sharing your tips.


  • mark newsome

    Thanks so much for sharing this fabulous post Lea!

    Now I don’t feel so guilty for occasionally wanting to make a temporary
    second home out of the couch!

    Apparently, this is a pretty big fraternity!LOL!But as usual, you have listed
    some extremely steps for us to take, in order to assure, couch lounging doesn’t
    turn into a second career!LOL!

    We both know there i always plenty of ways to be more pro-active, should
    we decide to!

    That is, if we decide to to follow the Nike motto and “Just Do it!”

    • Lea

      Thanks for stopping by again Mark!

      Same here lol! Especially when it’s so hot. Isn’t it just better to lie as still as possible in those conditions? LOL

      Yes, sometimes you just have to! Get up and do what you have to do. It’s not that bad once you start making progress.

      As always, I appreciate your feedback. Enjoy the rest of the week.


  • Hey Lea,

    I needed this one!

    After preparing a round up post it drained my energy. Then about a,week and a half later I found out my grandmother had transitioned and that drew more energy.

    So reading some thing like this gives me some more motivation to keep moving forward. Besides, I think my grandmother would snap on me if I stopped all together.

    But one thing that also motivates me are the benefits ad you mentioned. It gives me something to look forward to and makes me create mind movies of what can happen.

    Thanks for sharing Lea! Have a good one!

    • Lea

      Hey Sherman,

      Glad to help! ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh Sherman, I’m sorry to hear about that. Dealing with that kind of change can take a lot out of you.

      I’m so glad this post could be useful to you. And yes, make your grandmother proud!! I lost my grandfather during my last year of college. I wanted to drop out but I knew he wanted me to get my degree so I finished. So please continue on.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences! Enjoy the week!


  • Beautiful beautiful post lea. And timely too. The illustration you gave about the summer and the laziness that comes with it was very funny but I could relate with it personally.

    Just wanted to add a little addendum to your second point about stopping and taking a break. I have been there, done that, and have a badge of honour, Lol. It is very important to have an alarm or a reminder as the case may be. If not, the break will end up taking the rest of the day.

    In my own case, the break doesn’t always involve taking a walk, it could be ‘spending a few minutes on facebook’, or watching a ‘very short movie’. Either way, short usually turns to hours unless there is a reminder to jolt me back to the task at hand. haha.

    Beautiful I must say again.

    • Lea

      Thanks so much Toby. I’m glad it was timely ๐Ÿ™‚ I figured that’s how a lot of people may feel. Around this time of year I always here people complain about being stuck inside and wanting to enjoy the day.

      I completely understand what you mean. If you’re not used to do that it can become very easy to lose track of time and enjoy the moment a bit longer than intended. Thanks for the reminder.

      I noticed the same thing about going on social media or watching programs. They are so distracting, and in some cases are meant to take you away mentally, that you can get lost in them. I learned that it’s easier to end the break when I watch a 30 min show during a 30 min break. So when it’s over, I’m back to work.

      Thanks again Toby, much appreciated.


  • Hi Lea,

    Summer is here and I live a mile from the beach! Now I would rather hang out there all day, but business is business. I am motivated to be here at my desk while the warm sun shines into my window.

    My trick is to work smartly….do the most difficult task first, get that out of my way and then go on to do other tasks. And I have loads of them. But my reward is a walk on the beach each day.

    If I can get my work done, that’s my reward. But I did take about three weeks off and had my blog covered by my friends. As for my marketing side, it was set up on cruise control. I came back and found out I had even made sales while I was gone.

    It’s all about time management for me.


    • Lea

      Hi Donna,

      A walk on the beach as a reward sounds so great. And I’m sure it really is motivating. Who wouldn’t want to take a nice stroll on a beautiful day.

      Wow, making sales while you’re going is awesome! A really nice way to jump back into the swing of things.

      I too try to do that hardest task first but then I found myself stalling. I had to look ahead. Then I knew things would get easier once I completed that. And I realized it wasn’t as difficult as it seemed.