7 ways to motivate yourself into action

Learn 7 ways to motivate yourself into action even when you don't want to do a thing! Click to read this inspiring post.

Dear me… 

So… you booked a vacation, and now you can’t settle down and do anything else but mindfully pack!

Can you relate?

For most that book a future vacation, my guess is it brings them something to look forward to.

For me, it has a different effect. My mind plays tricks on me and tells me it’s time to go NOW! 

Would you rather be on a Maui beach too? Learn 7 ways to motivate yourself into action even when you don't want to do a thing! Click to read this inspiring post.

I mean, seriously. Isn’t that beach picture just enough to shut you right down?! (sorry)

And yes, I am returning to Hawaii soon. I’m heading to Maui and new-to-me Molokai!

Incidentally… I’ve updated my Hawaiian section HERE so it’s now easy for you to book your own trip! More on this soon.

ANYWAY…. this motivation thing becomes an issue when you are forced to book a vacation ahead of time AND want to get stuff done, however your head and heart are elsewhere. I’m already sitting on my fav beach with my toes buried in the hot sand. Yet that doesn’t pay the bills when you ought to be in work-mode.

Even when I haven’t booked a getaway I feel myself losing enthusiasm to do stuff around my house or work now and then. Don’t we all?

So if you are built like me, and are struggling to keep your head above water at times, I decided to share how I re-motivate myself to get stuff done with DIY in mind. However you can use these tips to fill in your own blanks.

Here’s hoping even one of these tips may lead you into the right direction…

(this post contains some affiliate links)


7 ways to motivate yourself into action


Remove phone distractions by no phone or computer scrolling first thing! Part of Learn 7 ways to motivate yourself into action even when you don't want to do a thing! Click to read this inspiring post.

1 . Remove distractions


Whatever I start, that’s where my head wants to stay. So if I’m busy scrolling on my phone and something shiny catches my eye, I could stay there for hours. It’s dangerous territory for me.

I find my most peaceful mornings are when I stay off the AM scrolling before I get out of bed. But that is hard. So I allow a peek, then shut it off and grab my Daily Journal instead and just get going.

How I do it:

  • Stay off the phone in the AM (this is hard!)
  • If you snuck on (hand raised), at least stay off the computer
  • Brew coffee and pick up my journal instead, and start there

This is one reason I NEVER turn on the TV during the day. EVER.

Start the day right with an epic Daily Journal list - Part of Learn 7 ways to motivate yourself into action even when you don't want to do a thing! Click to read this inspiring post.

2. Start with my Daily Journal


Speaking of The Daily Journal… this has become paramount in my life.

My day structure use to resemble a can of paint landing on the floor, splattering everywhere. One mind zone could also lead into an all day ramble online only to realize I was still in PJs at 4pm!

That all changed once I learned how to get my thoughts ‘on the page’ through my special Daily Journal list.

This works folks! It allows you to plan your day, BUT!!!! along with a sprinkling of your bigger dreams. If you wish to gravitate towards something new as well as get stuff done, It’s golden.

How I do it:

  • First thing in the morning, I find my fav spot, brew my coffee, then write
  • This starts my day planning on the right foot and keeps me productive throughout the rest of the day
  • If I start later in the day, I still attempt so I’m not wasting, say, just the evening.

A to-do list is fine, and even needed to stay on task. BUT getting some bigger dreams in there is imperative too if you wish to grow and stay inspired.

How I stay organized:

My own DIY Day Planner

(the only one that’s ever worked for me, made with basic office supplies)

Clipboard Checklist

(easy to customize, printable included)

guest bedroom with black and white walls - before

Ikea wood shelving storage with baskets in a guest bedroom

Guest room series HERE

3. Make a room-to-room list


When I’m in-between home projects and everything just feels ‘too big to start’, I flounder. I’ll sit on the sofa and feel low because I don’t have an empowering direction, even though I know lots needs to still be done.

This is where I know I need a fresh list.

I’ll grab a notebook, and walk room to room, listing all the things I want to do to that given space.

Something always triggers me into action.

How I do it:

  • Walk room-to-room
  • List projects by room (ie: kitchen)
  • Circle the ones I wish to do first
  • List supplies on a Post-It note (so it’s an easy grab if going to town)
  • Schedule the project in my day planner (so I’m forced to get the supplies)
  • Start something I DO have supplies for while I wait on these supplies.

This keeps me moving in the right direction!

Reclaimed wood storage shelf in a bathroom closet

Reclaimed wood shelving project HERE

4. Clean something


You know the feeling. Nothing ahead is inviting you. You’d rather crawl into bed and flick on Netflix so you don’t have to deal. However it’s too early in the day for such nonsense.

This is when I get up and clean something.

How I do it:

  • Choose a room, and pick up stuff / put it back
  • Do another room / entire house if time allows OR
  • Gut the one room, and clean properly
  • Start a new decorating project to ‘fill in a hole’

This is how I start early every single project in my house, such as the above reclaimed wood shelf closet pictured above. I got sick of the mess, so I cleaned it, which lead to a total revamp!

If nothing great transpires from this at the time, at least you’ll end up with a picked up house! And that right there is still worth your time.

Black sidetable with stenciled Houndstooth wood panels-007

My Houndstooth curb-side found furniture makeover HERE

5. Scroll, get inspired, then get off!


Some days I’m locked into the start of my day by scrolling on my phone. Some good can actually come of it if you don’t let it get out of hand!

If I’m truly at a loss on what direction to head, I’ll scroll until I feel ‘the tug’ of something great. You know that feeling, right? It’s incredibly fleeting! But it happens. You spot something that triggers a positive, excited gut reaction. Maybe it was the colour of something or that cool thing hanging on a wall…

But then you keep scrolling, and suddenly you feel this ‘weight’ of overwhelm. That’s when I get frustrated, and not want to do anything.

There’s a better way if you can mindfully discipline yourself.

How I do it:

  • Scroll online
  • STOP when your gut hits the spot
  • Get to work before the fleeting feeling leaves

Other places of online inspiration are through searching online or doing a search on Pinterest. I’m not a fan of copying others work, however what I’m after is that trigger-happy moment that leads me down my own unique path.

assembling an Ikea Ektorp 3.5 white slipcovered sofa-013

white ektorp Ikea sofas in a winter living room with wood oar wall decor

The new Ektorp white livingroom revamp HERE

6. Start something new


Ever work on something so long it loses its lustre? Happens to me all the time. But most often it happens when I work on full room makeovers. These are long, drawn out projects that I don’t feel instant gratification for.

This is where starting something brand new comes into play. Maybe I want a fresh new pillow design on the patio which could inspire a new stencil design, or perhaps it’s time to start a brand new room.

Or I can choose to focus REALLY hard on that full room makeover, and pick one thing in it to work on as my new chosen project.

All I know is, sometimes I just need something NEW to spark the creative adrenaline rush again.

How I do it:

  • Read the full room list for inspiration
  • Physically walk into that room to ‘get in the zone’ again.

bike on the Vedder River rotary trail during summer

Find all my bike ride posts HERE

7. Take a mini mind vacation


Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all the things I feel like I ought to be doing. Then I’m left feeling like I don’t want any of it! Netflix snuggled under the covers with the cats sounds pretty good right about here.

This is where having a bike riding habit comes in really handy. If I’ve had enough of my overthinking, I say out loud, “I’m going!”, grab my water out of the fridge, check the bike tires and I’m out the door. Just like that.

I call this a mini mind vacation. I focus on the sounds of nature and the wind on my face and erase all other thoughts out of my head. It’s so freeing!

How I do it:

  • If overwhelmed, mindfully stop everything
  • Do something you really enjoy, that takes you away from the task
  • Focus on sight and sound
  • Do until overwhelm is a done deal

You can accomplish the same with a brisk walk, reading a book, enjoying a coffee outdoors or watching a show.

I think mini mind vacations are necessary every single day, even if in short bursts. They’re like a reset button that helps steer you in the right direction again, while you enjoy something you love to do.

(if you’re in the market for a bike, be sure and read my ALL THINGS BIKE tips HERE)

Ok my friends, now that I have my list up above, it’s time to re-read my own list and take action!

How about you?

Are you slowing down with vacation ahead?

How do you keep moving forward when you feel yourself shutting down?


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Categories: DIY, Inspiration, Personal

7 thoughts on “7 ways to motivate yourself into action

  1. UGH, I’m the worst at shutting down all the technology stuff that’s supposed to make our lives easier but mostly just consumes time. I can’t tell you how often I’ve found myself still scrolling aimlessly hours later. I’m so going to try your trick of avoiding it in the morning. Well on weekends anyway, unfortunately as an IT consultant I have to be online 24/7, but the weekends are a good place to start, right!?

  2. This is perfect timing for me! I’ve been off my job for several weeks due to an injury and I’m struggling with depression. Some of it has to do with not thinking clearly enough to organize my thoughts and time while I’m working on healing. I have not been creating because it feels overwhelming to dig all that stuff out and creating is at the heart of who I am. I LOVE your organizational lists because… well… they came from a real woman like me, not some corporation or someone who doesn’t have life under her underwire bra.
    I’m going to copy your lists, make some adjustments for me if needed, then see if I can get back to creating again. Thanks for listening to your instincts that at times we need tips on motivating in the summertime as well. Enjoy your vacation!

    • Oh Annie, I understand this more than you will ever know. It’s so important to just get quiet and listen to where your heart is telling you to go. I hope you give that journal list a true try. Answering questions is easy. It’s coming up with the questions that feels so hard. This way it’s done for you.

      I also suggest to search deep on the WHY you feel you are being pulled down. There’s some big stuff going on there. Keep asking why.

      ie: I’m tired.
      What do I need to do to feel better?

      Ask that with every hurdle. You’ll quickly see some answers! It works so well for me to sit down and DIG.

      I hope you share your progress!

  3. Woweee this is just what I needed to read today! Thank you =)

    I recently started a new note book listing everything I need to do regarding the house and garden because the amount of work needing doing was starting to weigh heavy. I did it room by room, and colour coded things as desirable, quite important, very important or “needs professional”. I am going to try and do at least 2 things on the list every weekend. Thank you for reassuring me I am on the right track, and for all the additional tips.

    Hope you are having a wonderful time in Hawaii.


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