Finding motivation is probably one of the most difficult things to do once it is lost. Generally a loss of motivation is a symptom of a more systemic problem either internally or within an environment and therefore is not a singular problem to address. Also, compounding the problem is that without motivation, addressing a problem becomes a problem before its even started. This being said, the only way to tackle it is to go back to the basics. Start simple and build momentum until motivation starts to build and go from there. It is easy to procrastinate on small tasks, but this creates a natural loss of motivation that can build and begin to impact many areas of life. Once things pile up, it becomes even harder to create that motivation. Add onto that being tired, sick, depressed, anxious, or even happy and enjoying what you are doing, and it all compounds and leads to loss of motivation for tasks that are not desirable. However, these tasks are needed to achieve goals, be successful, or be fulfilled. Loss of motivation can reach all aspects of life, small or big. It can be lack of motivation to clean the house or to get a job. No matter what the motivation is needed for, building it does not have to be the overwhelming task that it may feel like. There are many tasks or activities that you can do to improve motivation.
Make small changes: Small changes that show success will build motivation. Loss of motivation is often started by a perceived sense of failure. Experiencing success, even small ones, can help build the desire to do more and achieve more. This starts the ball rolling and will use natural momentum to improve motivation.
Create structure/routine: Having structure allows you to prepare for things and have a set time tasks are for. This allows less time for procrastination and lessens the likelihood of not following through.
Understand emotional difficulties: Loss of motivation is often caused by depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem. Understanding these allows you to work towards improving upon them and resolving the underlying issues causing your loss of motivation. Psychotherapy can assist in working through these areas.
Set small goals: Setting smaller goals that will eventually lead to the big picture goals will make them less overwhelming and improve motivation to achieve. It is much easier to motivate yourself to clean one room of the house than tackle an entire house. When feeling overwhelmed it is easy to lose motivation because tasks do not seem possible and there is no end in sight.
Ask for help: Sometimes when facing a task alone it is more difficult to be motivated. If you know it is something that has been causing a lack of motivation, asking someone to join you, encourage you, or help you can improve motivation. This is either through a sense of support or due to a lack of wanting to let someone down (accountability). When internal motivations are not present, sometimes external motivation is needed to get you started.
Reward yourself: Everyone needs a little reward sometimes. We go to work and get a paycheck, we go to school and get a grade, we do something nice and make a friend. If you need extra motivation, set up a reward for yourself. If I exercise every day this week, I get to buy that new pair of jeans I have wanted. Start small and eventually the success you see will be motivation and reward enough.
Act opposite: The Dialectical Behavioral Concept of opposite actions proposes that acting opposite of a negative emotion or action will prevent bad habits from forming and encourage success, building motivation. So rather than acting on the urge to stay on the couch and watch tv, acting opposite and getting up to work on a task will retrain your mind and body, building motivation.