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Words By Tara Wagner

How I Motivate Myself on a BAD DAY | Boost Motivation in 30 Minutes Even When You’re Tired

how i motivate myself

If you struggle with motivation on a physical level, not just a mental and emotional one, this blog is for you
I’m going to share how I motivate myself on a bad day when everything seems stacked against me, including my own body and my own health. This is essentially how I keep moving forward when I’m having a hard time moving at all.

Watch here or read below.

How I Motivate Myself on a BAD DAY | Boost Motivation in 30 Minutes Even When You’re Tired by Tara Wagner Click To Tweet

Now, I strongly believe that motivation is really about training your body and your brain to make moves, to get out of the thoughts and the emotions that keep you stuck, and to get into action.

For the average healthy person, I think something like The 5 Second Rule, if you’ve heard of that, is a really great process to help you to train those things into yourself. However, I know how hard it is to feel motivated when you feel like crap, and yet I’ve built a multiple six figure business. I know that if I can do this, so can you, even if your challenges are not the same as mine.

I’m going to walk you through the steps that I take when I need more than just a simple motivation hack to get myself moving. I’m going to walk you through my process of how I motivate myself on a bad day, so that when you’re having a bad day and you need more than just a motivational hack, you really need a practice to get you moving, when you really, really, really can’t or don’t want to be moving, you’ll have this to fall back on.

girls arm on table with coffee and book


Step #1 is self-care like whoa. You have probably heard me say this before and you will probably hear me say it again. I think that self-care is the biggest missing piece when it comes to motivation.

Most of us are not unmotivated, we’re freaking tired, and if we don’t take the time to listen to our bodies and our needs and we just keep trying to push through or to create motivation, we’re just going to end up burnt out. I might have a need for motivation, but I get to start by addressing my most urgent and physical needs first. I get to give my body what it needs before I can ask anything of it. Now obviously we need to make self care a daily routine.

I know that when my motivation is waning, it’s because my self-care routines have also been dropping, but when I’m having a bad day, I know that I need to take some time out and do some kind of self-care triage to just get myself back to a balanced place before I can even start looking at what needs to be done, or how I’m going to do it.

This doesn’t always have to take forever. In fact, I can get some really good self-care in sometimes in as little as 30 seconds. If you want to know how I do that, make sure you grab my Self-Care in Seconds training.

Most of us are not unmotivated, we’re freaking tired. (Tara Wagner) Click To Tweet

My next step is always managing my overwhelm ike I said, most of us are not unmotivated, we’re tired and we’re tired because there’s too much going on.

Now, if you’re chronically overwhelmed, you’re not going to be able to tackle this in 30 minutes. This is going to actually be something where you need to change the underlying patterns that are leading to this overwhelm.

I did a blog on this called How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed Right Now AND For Good. I really recommend you check that out. It talks about a process of actually changing those patterns.

One thing that I will often do when I’m feeling unmotivated, and I’m wanting to manage my overwhelm is I’ll look at the tasks on my list and see if they’re too big. A lot of times I’m overwhelmed because I’m looking at the size or scope of something that needs to be done. If I can break it into just bite-sized chunks and chip away at little pieces, I can create that momentum, that progress without a lot of energy.

Motivate Encouraging Blend Marble Background with Picture of affirmationss "i turn every experience into an opportunity"


Once I’ve done these very practical pieces, I’ve increased my self care, met those physical needs, and managed my overwhelm, then I can move into more of the mindset piece. For me, this is going to be a little bit more work, especially in the beginning it was a lot more work.

Now, I can do this in a matter of a couple of minutes, but if you’re really struggling, I really want to encourage you to grab a pen and grab some paper, and write out the answers to these two questions.

The first question is, “Why do I actually want to do this?”

It’s very easy to focus on all the reasons we don’t want to do something, especially when we’re physically feeling them in our body. The more you focus yourself on what you actually do want to do, what you’re actually trying to create, what the outcome is that you’re moving towards, the more you’re going to increase that emotional energy, and that emotional energy is going to give you a little bit of a boost of a physical energy as well.

Even when you do feel fatigued or you’re dealing with some health stuff like I do, this can help you to just get that little bit of momentum going so that you can start chipping away at those little things that are going to move you forward.

Question #2 is the really important one though, and that is “How can I do this differently in a way that’s still going to honor my needs (or honor my health or my body or whatever it might be)?”

If I’m physically having a bad day, but I have this idea in mind of how this needs to get done, what this should look like, I’m going to feel very unmotivated because I’m not going to have the capacity to do it in the way that I think it should be done. But if I can ask myself this question, “How can I do this differently, but in a way that meets my needs,”, first I’m first very connected to my why. “Why do I actually want to do this?”, I’ve got the energy and now I’m looking at the how. “How can I do this differently?”

This has been a really important question for me because it’s allowed me to shift out of the way that I think things should look, and into the way that’s actually going to get them completed.

Perfect is the enemy of done, of complete, of good enough. (Tara Wagner) Click To Tweet

You will feel incredibly unmotivated if you feel like things have to be done a certain way, or look a certain way, or you need to act a certain way. Challenge your mind to find a way to do it in a way that still meets your needs.

Now, I do recommend pen to paper journaling for these exercises. Really give yourself some time to delve into it, especially that first sentence. Really allow yourself some time to answer that question, maybe over and over again to get really deep into it.

You can also try talking this out loud. Sometimes hearing ourselves say these things is going to be just as powerful as writing them down. But again, before you jump to these practical or mindset pieces, start with your self-care.


It’s going to offer you some perspective shifts, as well as a butt load of ideas to help you start filling your cup, even when you are exhausted or you think you don’t have time.

You can grab that by clicking the button below or clicking here to learn more.


Be sure to leave a comment with your thoughts or questions, as well as your best tips on how to motivate yourself on a bad day.

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Tara Wagner

I’m Tara Wagner, creator of the Breakthrough Boss®. I help small biz owners overcome burnout and create part-time schedules with full-time profits. Not with some new marketing strategy, but with a holistic approach to how you operate.
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How To Upgrade Your Business
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(3 Mistakes to Correct Right Now)

How to Upgrade Your Business So It Doesn't Burn You Out (3 Mistakes to Correct Right Now)

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